495/MetroWest Corridor Partnership, Inc.

495/MetroWest Suburban Edge Community Commission

The 495/ MetroWest Suburban Edge Community Commission was established by the Legislature in Section 233 of Chapter165 of the Session Laws of 2015. The commission will study development challenges experienced by edge communities, including transportation, water, cellular, and energy infrastructure, transit services, residential development, reuse of former industrial facilities and historic mills, brownfields reclamation, downtown redevelopment and other such constraints. The commission will then develop policy responses and recommendations to ensure that edge communities can participate in state development initiatives and benefit from state resources. The commission will focus its investigation and study on the 35 municipalities served by the 495/MetroWest Corridor Partnership, Inc. and develop a pilot program to address the issues to be studied and investigated by the commission.

 

MetroWest Daily News Coverage - 7/18/16

 

 

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)

 
 

Transportation Nightmares 2014

Following a successful nomination process in 2004, which identified the 495/MetroWest region's top transportation priorities and resulted in several studies and plans, new transit options, construction projects, and infrastructure improvements in the region, the 495/MetroWest Partnership again partnered with the MetroWest Daily News to identify the top ten Transportation Nightmares in the 495/MetroWest region. 

If you missed the reveal of the new Nightmares list,  be sure to check out the new interactive site and be part of the Partnership's advocacy for transportation investments in the region.  The Partnership thanks VHB for creating and hosting the site which includes interactive maps, updates on the 2004 Nightmares, and links to the MetroWest Daily News coverage!

The Partnership also thanks readers, residents, and employers for participating in the public nomination process, helping to focus the Partnership's advocacy efforts on the projects important to the residents and regional economy in 495/MetroWest!

READ MORE on the new Nightmares site!

 

 

Ten Years of Collaboration ~ Decades of Results

The 495/MetroWest Partnership is celebrating its tenth year with a look back on all that has been accomplished while looking forward to continuing our work strengthening the 495/MetroWest region's economy.  

Please take the time to review our Ten Year Report and do not hesitate to let us know how we can work with your business, organization, or community to ensure continued prosperity for the 495/MetroWest region for decades to come!


495/MetroWest Partnership's Ten Year Report


We could not accomplish what we do without the leadership of our Board of Directors, whose broad public and private representation epitomizes our collaborative work on behalf of the region.  Thanks to all of our Directors, Officers and volunteers, as well as our investors and municipal partners, who make our success possible!

 
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