South Coast Rail Service Plan – Final Report

South Coast Rail (SCR) is the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Commuter Rail extension to Fall River and New Bedford. The extension, which is planned to open in 2023, will connect the South Coast region of Massachusetts to Boston via rail transit. The Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA), which provides bus service in the South Coast, conducted this South Coast Rail Service Plan (SCRSP) to identify different ways to connect SRTA service-area residents with planned SCR stations via local bus service. This plan includes a market analysis, an outreach summary, cost estimates, and Title VI analyses for three potential scenarios of SRTA service connecting to SCR. These three scenarios were shared with the public for feedback and then underwent cost estimation and Title VI analysis. The three scenarios are:

  • Scenario 1: Tripper Service and Expanded Operating Hours on Select Routes—Existing routes offer special trips (called ‘trippers’) to meet SCR trains, and service spans on select routes are expanded to ensure people can get to and from early and late SCR trains via a transfer at SRTA bus terminals.
  • Scenario 2: New Connector Routes—Three new bus routes that connect high-density neighborhoods with SCR stations.
  • Scenario 3: New Microtransit Zones—Three new microtransit zones that connect high-density neighborhoods with SCR stations.