Regional Transit Authority Marks CapeFlyer 10th Anniversary

Courtesy of the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority.

HYANNIS – The Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority is highlighting green initiatives as it celebrates the 10th anniversary of the CapeFLYER program.

To commemorate the anniversary the RTA is offering $10 roundtrips any day in June, with reduced $20 fares for roundtrip rides on Sundays in subsequent weekends following the month’s end.

RTA Administrator Tom Cahir said the RTA is working closely with the Town of Bourne to try to extend commuter service from Middleboro to Buzzards Bay, as well as create a Bourne rail trail that will connect with the Shining Sea path in Falmouth, allowing greater continuous bike range on the western Cape.

Complementing a rise in commuters choosing to ride on CapeFLYER trains instead of driving, the RTA has seen a rise in the use of SmartDART, the RTA’s app-based, on-demand ride-hailing service that ferries commuters to fixed routes in Barnstable, Yarmouth, and as of May 26, 2023, a section of East Falmouth that will remain in service until Labor Day.

Operating in a similar way to popular ride sharing services Uber and Lyft, the service offers affordable rides at a fixed rate of $3.00 per fare.

“I checked yesterday and there were 200 people who downloaded the app last week,” said Cahir.

“I think that is going to be a real pleasure for people to be able to get to where they need to go,” he said. “It is just like Uber and Lyft; it’s the same thing essentially except we have very well trained, safe drivers, and the cost is three dollars per transportation trip, unlike Uber and Lyft which is five times that.”

The RTA is expecting 19 electric vehicles to join its fleet as part of an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, continuing an electric expansion that the RTA says will create opportunities for high-paying jobs for Massachusetts residents.

The RTA is currently hiring and training drivers for its SmartDART service at competitive salaries and aims to expand the service to all fifteen Cape communities.

The RTA is also expected to meet with the Superintendents of Cape Cod Technical High School and Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical High School as well as President John Cox of Cape Cod Community College to discuss the introduction of a curriculum to train students to work on and maintain electric vehicles and create high paying jobs as the RTA’s electric fleet continues to expand.

“We have 140 buses in our fleet presently,” said Cahir. “We have mechanics that we need. We have a lot of people that need jobs. And with this major transition and migration over to electric from fossil fuels and reducing fossil fuel usage, there is a lot of potential jobs.”

“That’s why I’m reaching out to the schools to see if we can train these folks because that’s where everything is really going.”

The RTA is expecting a busy summer travel season on the Cape and Islands.

By, Matthew Tomlinson, NewsCenter

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