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MassDOT Capital Plan Includes $27M for Boston to Hyannis Rail

We wrote about the upcoming Boston to Hyannis passenger train service last month and now there's even more rail news. On Monday, the Department of Transportation (MassDOT) released their 21st-Century Transportation Plan (PDF) which sounds like something they should have done 12 or 13 years ago. Anyway, the transportation financing report has been endorsed by Gov. Deval Patrick and now they just need to figure out how to finance the $13B statewide capital plan over the next decade. (Here's a quickie "menu of revenue options," but an even shorter version can be summed up as increased fees and/or taxes.) The Gov. even gave the Cape a shout out in his statement,"Improving our transportation system is key to meeting our economic potential - for Cape Cod and every region of the Commonwealth." He really means the every region part since the plan, "would fund rail service from Pittsfield to New York, provide year-round train service to Hyannis, and build a commuter rail line to New Bedford and Fall River." That's right, year-round passenger rail service between Boston and Hyannis could be a reality in the not-too-distant future.

Here's where the nearly $27M would be spent:

· $20.8M in funding for Rail to Cape Cod: "This level of funding will support permanent, seasonal service on weekends between Boston and Hyannis by upgrading rail, grade crossings, interlockings, bridges, drainage, and station accessibility. The five-year capital program will allow passenger service to continue uninterrupted during the summer months to connect this key tourist destination with Boston. Future expansion to year-round or weekday service would require additional upgrades (specifically in signal systems) to support additional train movements."

· According to The Barnstable Patriot: "The plan also includes a $5.9 million increase in funding for the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority (CCRTA) in FY14, which begins July 1. The Cape Cod investments in the plan, including a major investment in median construction along Route 6 in Bourne, resurfacing Route 6A in Brewster, and implementing passenger rail service from Boston to Hyannis, are designed to ensure regional transportation equity, create jobs and expand economic opportunity."

· A map of Cape and Islands "potential projects that could be funded under the 21st Century Transportation Plan." [PDF]

· 10 Things to Know About Boston to Hyannis Rail Service [Curbed Cape Cod]
· The Way Forward: A 21st-Century Transportation Plan*PDF [MassDOT]
· MassDOT Releases 21st Century Transportation Plan [MassDOT Press Release]
· Patrick Proposes Expanding Rail Service; Revenue Options Listed [WBUR]
· Cape rail service gets boost in MassDOT capital planning [The Barnstable Patriot]