Cape Cod gets its first train and with it boost to summer tourism
Going to Cape Cod is synonymous with legendary traffic jams, and now Boston to Cape Cod summer tourists have an option, and a great one.
A group of people waiting for a train is nothing exciting.
But Friday night was different, as about 100 people gathered at the Hyannis Transportation Center for the arrival of the first official CapeFLYER trip from Boston to Hyannis.
After a trial run last week, the train now runs weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day, with the goal of giving day-trippers or residents a hassle-free way to get to the Cape or Boston and avoid troublesome bridge traffic.
Some 225 passengers were on the maiden voyage, and most had a positive experience.
“It was phenomenal,” said Nick Maloney, of Boston. His ride was a bit longer than expected, but he took advantage of refreshments served on the train, which he said helped “dull the pain” of a longer ride.
The train has a bike car with racks for 28 bicycles, as well as a snack bar serving alcoholic beverages, sodas and sandwiches.
It can hold up to 1,100 passengers on weekends, with fewer on Fridays.
Introduced by the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority with help from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and the state Department of Transportation, tickets are $20 oneway and $35 roundtrip.
“It was really good. I was quite surprised,” transit authority Administrator Thomas Cahir said of the inaugural ride. After asking a number of the passengers what they thought of the ride, he said they were “overwhelmingly pleased.”
Friday’s trains are scheduled to depart at 5:12 p.m. from South Station in Boston and arrive at 7:50 p.m. in Hyannis. Last night’s train arrived at about 8:15 p.m.
“It will be the slowest ride,” said Cahir of the initial trip. The train was delayed by a speed restriction near Wareham and an “enthusiastic crowd” gathered at Buzzards Bay.
Running late for a ferry, Alex Olsen, 27, of Boston, called his ride “decent,” but he was in a rush to catch a boat. “That’s insane! Now we may have to get a hotel,” he said.
Taking a bus up to Boston and the train back, Ellen Scott, 64, of Eastham, said the ride felt about as long as the bus.
“It was great, lots of fun,” she said. “I think it’ll be great for the Cape.” ___