PLYMOUTH COUNTY– The South Coast rail link, a long talked about project to connect Boston to Fall River and New Bedford by Commuter Rail, is in its early stages of development, and the public is being invited to participate in hearings regarding a possible alternate route to those originally proposed that would take less time to design and construct. As of now, the route would use existing Stoughton Commuter Rail line tracks. Design for this route is currently 15% complete.
According to MassDOT, a series of meetings will be held this fall to update the public on the status of all elements of the South Coast rail project, and to discuss the next steps. MassDOT and the MBTA are inviting all members of the public with an interest in this project to participate as they are seeking public comment and to answer questions.
The South Coast Rail project is intended to restore commuter rail service between Boston and the Massachusetts South Coast. Service to the region ended in 1959, leaving Taunton, Fall River and New Bedford as the only major cities within 50 miles of Boston lacking transit access to Boston and other communities, according to MassDOT.
“South Coast Rail is intended to reconnect this region to jobs while spurring economic vitality and attracting new business and investments.”
The MBTA received second year funding in September 2015 to continue the development of environmental permitting and preliminary design, with a mission to reduce environmental impacts.
Hearings are all at 6:30, beginning in New Bedford on September 7, followed by Taunton on September 12, Fall River on September 14, Easton on September 15, Canton on September 19, and Middleborough on September 22.