Passenger rail service will shuttle travelers from Boston to Cape Cod and back this summer, beginning weekends and hopefully expanding some time in the near future, state officials say. The service, known as CapeFLYER begins Memorial Day holiday weekend and ends on Labor Day, providing critical transportation to the younger generation increasingly foregoing cars.
$1.1 million in federal funds were spent to improve the rails on the route, which begins at South Station in Boston and ends in Hyannis. From there, travelers can board buses for travel to other Cape Cod locations.
The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce has begun advertising the service, Some of the ads target an international audience well-accustomed to the routine and convenience of train travel, according to Chamber CEO Wendy Northcross.
The drive from South Station to Hyannis normally takes 1 1/2 hours by car in the best of traffic circumstances, however during peaks travel times, the ride can extend to four hours or more as thousands of cars bottleneck at the two bridges connecting Cape Cod and the mainland. The CapeFLYER train ride is two hours and is expected to cruise past the bumper to bumper weekend traffic on Route 3.
CapeFLYER Officials say a passenger's vacation will begin the moment they board, with free WiFi, the ability to move about and stretch one's legs and the availability of snacks produced on Cape Cod in a "Buy Local" campaign. And, like all rail service, tourists will enjoy the scenery, particularly across the elevated train track that spans the Cape Cod Canal, rather than gripping the steering wheel across the narrow four-lane Sagamore Bridge.
Cape Cod merchants laud the influx of tourists without the crush of accompanying vehicular traffic and the need for parking during Cape Cod's busiest time of the year.
CapeFLYER Fast Facts
For more information, including train stops, an app for buying tickets via smart phone, and how to connect to the ferries and buses once you arrive on the Cape, click here.