As part of the Town’s revitalization efforts for Main Street, local leaders have been working with state transportation officials to bring commuter rail to Buzzards Bay, Bourne’s Downtown. At a public forum on April 14, 2016, MBTA officials presented a concept for a “Pilot Feeder Study” that is projected to begin in September and run for seven months. The feeder concept would bring commuters from Buzzards Bay to the Lakeville/Middleborough station using a shorter train operated by Mass Coastal Railway at a cost of $3 each way. Departures and arrivals would be timed to permit a smooth transition from one train to the next. The proposal met with mixed reactions. See Post: Commuter Rail Forum
At the forum, Town leaders expressed strong support for bringing commuter rail to Buzzards Bay. The Town has put in place several tools that position it to welcome the growth that commuter rail usually brings, including new downtown bylaws, a Growth Incentive Zone reducing the permitting process, and architectural design guidelines. See Bourne’s Downtown. Town leaders envision new housing designed for the young professionals who like to work and play where they live, but who need to travel to Boston for business on a regular basis.
In May 2015, Town residents voted to invite the MBTA to extend commuter rail from the Lakeville/Middleborough stop to Buzzards Bay See Post: Town Votes to Join MBTA, Extending Commuter Rail to Bourne’s Downtown. The 18 mile extension to the line, sometimes called the Old Colony line, would use a currently underutilized state asset — all the infrastructure is in place.
The vote followed careful study of the pros and cons of commuter rail. In the winter and spring of 2015, Bourne’s Transportation Advisory Committee worked with the planning staff at the Cape Cod Commission to study various aspects of a proposed commuter rail extension, developing answers to such questions as: What might the ridership numbers be? Where would people park? What would be the impact on traffic in Bourne’s Downtown? What would be the impact on the Town’s budget? In April 2015, the study report was submitted to the Bourne Board of Selectmen which endorsed the concept of bringing commuter rail to Buzzards Bay. The report is available here: Buzzards Bay Commuter Rail Local Impact Report 2015
The Committee also developed a fact sheet concerning the possibility of having commuter service in Buzzards Bay. It is available here: Commuter Rail Q & A