The CapeFlyer, the MBTA’s revival of the Boston-to-Cape-Cod rail tradition, has not yet begun service — it will debut this afternoon at 5:12 p.m. — but Beverly A. Scott, general manager of the MBTA, is already considering extending the service past its scheduled Labor Day closing date if it garners enough popularity.
“There is a possibility that service could be extended through October if the demand is evident,” Scott said at a MassDOT meeting Wednesday.
It seems like a cushy deal: For the cost of a tank of gas — $35 round trip, $20 one-way — skip the traffic and the bottleneck at Sagamore Bridge, which can add an additional one to two hours to a car ride onto the Cape. Instead, transportation officials are urging, enjoy a leisurely ride to Hyannis, complete with a bar car, that will take 2 hours, 40 minutes.
But Capegoers whose travels take them farther afield than Hyannis may arrive at the train station wondering: Now what?
Scott said the T has coordinated with the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority to have buses waiting at the Hyannis Transportation Center, timed to match the arrivals of each of the weekend’s three southbound trains.
There will also be waiting shuttles for ferry service to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car has an office in the train station for those seeking to drive once they arrive on the Cape. Additionally, there is space for about 30 bikes on the train.
“There’s some real thought that’s been put into this, in terms of connectivity,” Scott said last week.
But add on all those connections, and is the relative regality of the CapeFlyer worth the extra travel time?
For those who take the outbound Friday evening CapeFlyer, which leaves South Station at 5:12 p.m. and arrives in Hyannis at 7:50 p.m., there is a regional transit bus scheduled to depart from Hyannis at 8:30 p.m. headed to the outer Cape.
According to the schedule, that bus arrives in Wellfleet at 9:20 p.m. and Provincetown at 9:50 p.m. — meaning that a trip to the tip of the Cape will approach five hours for each way.
Capegoers will have to ask themselves if the desire to avoid some of that Friday-afternoon gridlock is worth that extra travel time.