Foxborough Pilot Commuter Rail Service

The Partnership has followed and engaged in the discussion on potential commuter rail service to Foxborough since the 2010 MBTA study on the service’s feasibility, while also providing regional perspective and outreach on the subsequent study conducted by VHB.  We provided background on these issues to Foxborough’s Board of Selectmen during the consideration of potential service in the fall of 2014, provided our support for the pilot during their recent deliberations, and are working with municipal staff and supporters on the pilot.

This proposed public/private pilot service is limited in its time and scope, allowing for a unique opportunity to evaluate its impact and success at increasing overall ridership on the Fairmount Commuter Rail Line.  Extending weekday service on an existing Line to Foxborough Station, on MassDOT owned infrastructure, holds the potential for a real return on investment for the Commonwealth. The Foxborough Pilot would more effectively utilize existing infrastructure such as the Framingham Secondary Line while relieving capacity and parking constraints at the stations surrounding Foxborough.  Additionally, this proposed service would be a public private partnership benefiting the MBTA and the riders, as well as residents, employers, commuters, and taxpayers of Foxborough and the 495/MetroWest region.

Such weekday commuter service would provide a tremendous benefit to Foxborough residents commuting to other parts of the Commonwealth, as well as opening up new employment opportunities for riders on the Fairmount Line, given the strong Foxborough employment base. The service’s probable impact on the local and regional economy is demonstrated by the strong support from the Foxborough Economic Development Committee (EDC) and in the Foxborough Master Plan.  Weekday commuter rail service would connect Foxborough and its largest employers to the Boston-area labor pool, as well as boost development efforts along nearby US Route 1.

UPDATE!

At their bi-monthly meeting on August 14, 2017, the Fiscal Management Control Board of the MBTA voted four to one in favor of approving the Foxborough Pilot Program. Starting at a date to be determined in Spring 2019, commuter rail trains will begin running to the Foxborough station full time. Eight trains which are currently servicing the Fairmont Line will have Foxborough added to their routes as well as one train currently servicing the Franklin Line. Projections indicate that these extensions will not have a negative impact on existing service on either line. The Pilot Program will run for approximately eleven and a half months, at which point the FMCB will evaluate the service and make a determination on whether to make the service permanent.

The addition of full-time commuter rail service to Foxborough is expected to spur economic development in the town and surrounding communities. The service will allow greater opportunities both for workers commuting into Boston as well as employers looking to attract Boston-area residents. The large number of parking spaces available at Gillete Stadium will also provide an alternative to those existing commuter rail users struggling with over-crowding at nearby stations. Finally, the Foxborough Pilot Program will serve as an invaluable test for the MBTA as they evaluate Commuter Rail Service in Massachusetts.

 

495/MetroWest Partnership's Recent Advocacy for this project:

Letter to Foxborough Board of Selectmen

Letter to MBTA Fiscal Management Control Board

 

Pilot Service Press Coverage:

Boston Globe

The Sun Chronicle

The Patch

 

Other Links:

MassDOT Presentation

FMCB Foxborough Q&A

Foxborough Commuter Rail Pilot Program Fact Sheet

Petition to Support Commuter Rail Service to Foxborough

2010 MBTA Feasibility Study

 

Map of Commuter Rail Lines in the 495/MetroWest Region
(Dashed Line for connection to Foxborough)

 
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