Commuter Rail Forum introduces pilot project

Posted by on Apr 15, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Cape Cod Times By Ethan Genter April 15. 2016 2:00AM MBTA seeks ideas for funding Bourne commuter rail Details of pilot project get first public airing, but financial support still a question mark. BUZZARDS BAY — Without the support of their oversight board, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority officials looked to the community Thursday night for ideas on how to get people between Bourne and Boston by train. Bringing the details of the proposed commuter rail pilot project to the Cape for the first time, MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola said the plan would have Massachusetts Coastal Railroad feed riders between Buzzards Bay and the current final stop in Middleboro-Lakeville for $3 a trip, with a stop in Wareham. Under the proposal, three rides in the morning would start at 5:20 a.m., getting riders into South Station at around 7 a.m. Four returning rides would begin at 2:10 p.m., with the final trip leaving the city at 6:52 p.m. The pilot program would begin in September and run for seven months. The decision to go to a feeder system, instead of just extending the commuter rail, revolved around the size of the MBTA’s trains. DePaola said they would be too big and would block traffic on Academy Drive, but Mass Coastal Railroad’s trains could fit. The estimated monthly operating cost for Mass Coastal would be $200,000, DePaola said. Each trip could carry about 360 riders. The MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board gave scathing reviews to the pilot project last week, saying it did not make financial sense given other cuts the agency was making. At the public meeting at the Bourne Memorial Veterans Community Center, Town Administrator Thomas Guerino countered that the town decided to join the MBTA during some of its darkest hours, and he hoped to see some return. “We’ve made a commitment,” Guerino said. “We need to see something for our investment.” Bourne voters decided to join the MBTA at last year’s town meeting. Annual assessments are estimated at $40,000 but could be as high as $82,000, all without a promise of commuter rail. All MBTA services, with the exception of the Cape Flyer, which operates on weekends during the peak summer season, are subsidized, DePaola said. But the projections for the subsidies required for the seven-month pilot program were much higher than other commuter projects, he said. State Rep. David Vieira, R-Falmouth, said he planned to reach out to the Cape Cod Canal Region Chamber of Commerce to see if advertising dollars would be available. Vieira said he also would work with the Cape Cod Commission to disseminate more information on the project and to possibly collect feedback on whether the public would use the service....

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Consultants hired to aid in park planning

Posted by on Mar 24, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Town selects designers to aid in park restoration For release: March 1, 2016 For further information: Sallie Riggs, 508 314-4801, The Town of Bourne has selected Brown, Richardson and Rowe, a landscape architecture firm, to assist in the design of its Main Street Buzzards Bay park. Brown, Richardson is partnering with Stantec for project engineering. Bracken Engineering, a Buzzards Bay firm, was also contracted for the existing conditions survey. The park restoration and upgrade project is a multi-year undertaking with the goal of creating a town park that offers a variety of recreational opportunities to residents and visitors of all ages and all abilities, an inclusive park. The existing conditions work has begun with the drilling of test pits and a survey of the existing park. Initial concepts have been developed (see attached) and Schematic Design is expected to be complete in early April. The team of professionals was identified through a Request for Qualifications process in the late fall. Brown, Richardson was selected from nine applications and contract negotiations were completed in January. A year ago the Bourne Board of Selectmen asked the Main Street Steering Committee to make recommendations on how to improve the park as part of the downtown revitalization program. The area is the first thing one sees when entering Bourne from Wareham on Main Street. An on-line survey of town residents gathered information on what features people would like to see in a restored park. Highest on the list were a movie screen, a playground, seasonal ice skating, and a splash park. Park planners are committed to making the play areas inclusive and have added the availability of Wi-Fi service to the list of features. Selectmen endorsed a concept plan in February 2015 and in May 2015 voters at Bourne Town Meeting approved the use of $350,000 in Community Preservation Act funds to begin the restoration project. The total restoration and upgrade is expected to cost about $1.5 million with support coming from additional CPA funds and state and federal grants. The park is on Main Street and can be accessed from the Cape Cod Canal bike...

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Ribbon-cutting Celebrates New Major Development

Posted by on May 28, 2015 in Bourne's Downtown | 0 comments

The first project in Bourne’s Downtown Growth Incentive Zone was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in July. Keystone Place at Buzzards Bay, a senior living community, was ready for residents about 15 months after a February 2014 ground breaking. The four-story building includes 106 market‐rate residential units: 31 for independent living, 55 for assisted living and 20 for memory care. The development also includes both underground and above ground parking, several dining rooms and kitchens, indoor hospitality areas and outdoor amenities, and is next to accessible paths in the new downtown conservation area leading to the Cape Cod Canal. The building is designed to conform with the Downtown District Zoning By-laws that were adopted by an overwhelmingly positive Town Meeting vote and with the architectural standards and guidelines also adopted by an overwhelmingly positive Town Meeting vote. It has been designed to meet the Town’s interest in smart growth principles and low impact design. The project is expected to bring about 100 new year-round jobs to Bourne’s Downtown, increase tax revenues to the Town and bring visitors – relatives and friends of the residents – who will purchase goods and services. People interested in living at Keystone Place may call 774 302-4539 for more...

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Town Votes to Join MBTA, Extending Commuter Rail to Bourne’s Downtown

Posted by on May 20, 2015 in Bourne's Downtown, News | 0 comments

In May 2015, Bourne residents voted with a significant margin to join the MBTA. The vote came after more than a year of study by Town leaders (see below) and followed one of the MBTA’s worst performance seasons. In April 2016, MBTA leaders conducted a public forum in Bourne to introduce the concept of a “Pilot Feeder Service,” a way to test the potential ridership of a train from Buzzards Bay to the Lakevile/Middleborough station. See Post: Commuter Rail Forum.    The success of a summer-time, weekend passenger train had triggered intense interest in extending commuter rail an additional 18 miles from the Middleborough/Lakeville stop to Buzzards Bay. The idea quickly earned support from state transportation leaders and Bourne residents. A public hearing in January 2014 demonstrated energetic support. In the spring of 2014 the  Chair of the Town’s Board of Selectmen encouraged the Board to make the commuter train extension one of its goals. Then the Town’s Transportation Advisory Committee took up the question: would commuter rail be a benefit to Bourne’s Downtown? In May 2015 Town voters answered: “yes.” The Committee defined a series of questions that members thought voters were likely to ask. The Town’s Board of Selectmen requested that the Cape Cod Commission planning staff work with the Committee to provide technical assistance in identifying the answers. The first item under discussion was a definition of the process to join the MBTA. It was soon defined as requiring two steps: 1) a Town Meeting vote was required to authorize adding a question to the next Town election ballot as to whether the Town should join the MBTA. That vote easily passed the February 2015 Town Meeting. 2) the May Town election ballot included the question about joining the MBTA. It also easily passed with voters approval. Once the process was defined, the Committee continued researching such questions as: how much will the Town be assessed, and where will commuters’ cars park? In March 2015 the Committee accepted a report from Commission staff that responded to the questions. After additional deliberation, the Committee recommended to the Board of Selectmen that they support a vote to join the MBTA. The Committee’s conclusion was: Our research has convinced us that bringing commuter rail service to Buzzards Bay will provide the catalyst needed to trigger redevelopment of underutilized properties along Main Street and create a vibrant downtown for Bourne. There are enormous benefits to be gained by the entire town from this action with very little financial liability and few potential problems. The Transportation Advisory Committee supports a positive vote to join the MBTA in order to send a strong signal to our elected official and potential developers and...

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