Bourne’s Continued MBTA Membership Questioned by Group


BOURNE –  A Bourne group has expressed concerns over the town’s membership with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

Peter Fisher, a member of the Bourne Republican Town Committee, outlined the issues some residents have with the agency.

For years, Fisher and resident Bill Stafford have repeated their concerns over Bourne’s MBTA membership with the Town. 

“Our concern is that we, as taxpayers, are paying at least $40,000–and possibly more–per year as a membership fee to the MBTA, which has no plans to bring service to Bourne,” Fisher said.

He went on to argue that plans up to 2040 for the MBTA do not include Bourne services, and that a pilot program was denied due to the $200,000 per month price to bring rail service to Buzzards Bay.

He said that was intended to rejuvenate development in the area.

Fisher detailed efforts made in 2015 by current Assistant Town Administrator Glenn Cannon to alert the town’s Transportation Advisory Committee of the risks associated with an MBTA membership when the Mass Department of Transportation was “not in an expansionist mode.”

“Members of the Transportation Advisory Committee were aware of the warnings, but ignored and continued with their mission,” Fisher said.

After the committee’s recommendation, ballot question voters approved MBTA membership in May of 2015.

Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority (CCRTA) Administrator Tom Cahir said permits have been secured to build a Middleborough/Lakeville station, which would be a part of Cape Cod rail services.

Cahir also said MBTA membership is required to receive commuter rail services, and that Bourne’s current MBTA assessment is $40,000 after CCRTA offsets. The MBTA assessment will be fully offset by the CCRTA assessment in the future with services expanded in Buzzards Bay.

Judith Froman, chairman of the board, said all aspects would be considered before bringing the topic back up at a meeting in the future.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.
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