Lawmakers look to extend commuter rail to the Cape

State rep. Dylan Fernandes.—MV Times

Local lawmakers, this week, introduced legislation to bring commuter rail service to Buzzards Bay, while also potentially bringing it as far as Falmouth in the future. 

Island Representative Dylan Fernandes, a co-sponsor of the bill, was joined by co-filer Rep. Kip Diggs, along with Reps. Steve Xiarhos, Chris Flanagan, and Barnstable Town Council President Matthew Levesque during a press conference Wednesday.  

A statement from Fernandes’ office says that the bill directs the MBTA to establish commuter rail service between Buzzards Bay and Boston within one year of passage, while also requiring a study of the infrastructure needs of establishing on-Cape commuter rail service to Falmouth, Bourne, Barnstable, Yarmouth and Sandwich. 

Fernandes’ office says that the bill requires potential route schedules to align with the commuting patterns of residents, ensuring that this route will not be another tourist rail. 

“We are at a pivotal moment for transportation on Cape Cod,” Rep. Fernandes is quoted in a release. “By revitalizing Cape commuter rail, we can expand access and opportunity for the Cape and Island residents and unlock new avenues for connectivity through the region. Cape and Islanders deserve fast, reliable transit that connects our region and workforce with the rest of the Commonwealth.”

The bill proposes using existing infrastructure on the Middleborough/Lakeville commuter-rail line and the Cape Cod Line to run passenger rail service. Currently, this route is only used for tourist summer rail on schedules that do not align with the commuting patterns of local communities.


  1. Thanks to Dylan Fernandes for pushing an obviously needed rail connection. However, Gov. Healy has to get the MBTA out of the hole it’s in, still the Romney legacy of forcing it to pay for the Big Dig. A fast year around rail connection between the Cape and Boston makes a lot of sense in the 21st century.

  2. I’m so hoping that a rail connection from Falmouth to Boston will be finished, up and running in my life time!… it’s about time we had a railroad connection!!!…..keep pushing for the rail connection Dylan and thanks.

  3. As evidence by our local buses, running around, empty most of the time, Americans do not like public transportation. This all sounds good on paper at the end of the day the Taxpayer would probably be better off just buying people cars as opposed to the huge money pit public transportation is.

    • Would the Island be better off without buses?
      890,783 passengers in 2022.
      Would the Island be better off if they drove?
      Where will they park?

      The SSA is public transportation.
      Would the taxpayer better off just buying people boats as opposed to the huge money pit that the SSA is?

  4. This is a lousy idea. The train is very slow and would require millions in upgrades to make it fast and reliable. Even if it did work, do we really want to add more Boston commuters to the Cape when the housing crisis is as bad as it is now? I hope this is DOA on the hill. Finish the bike path through Bourne (on the rails) and let people enjoy the “rails” from Woods Hole to the Canal with their bicycles.

  5. “The train is very slow” only in America, the rest of the world has embraced modernity.
    The New Bedford – Boston train is spending millions in upgrades to make it fast and reliable.
    Is that effort a waste of money?
    “Even if it did work, do we”, who is we? The people who want to live on the Island and work in Boston, and vice versa.

    Make America Great Again.
    Restore through train service from South Station to the Woods Hole ferry dock.
    Enjoy the “rails” for their original purpose.

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