Travelers Descend on Cape Cod for Holiday Weekend

The sign at the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce welcomes visitors.

The sign at the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce welcomes visitors.

HYANNIS – The unofficial start of summer has arrived on Cape Cod, bringing with it with thousands of visitors to the region.

At the ferry docks in Hyannis, travelers began arriving early in the morning, looking to get a jump start on their Memorial Day weekend trips to the islands.

“[Nantucket] is just a place for us to escape and leave our worries behind,” said Connecticut resident Lisa Morell Webb, who was travelling to the island in advance of the annual Figawi race.

“It’s just beautiful,” Morell Webb added.

Mechanical problems on the M/V Governor forced the Steamship Authority to cancel two morning runs between Woods Hole and Vineyard Haven.

The Steamship Authority is reporting a five percent increase so far in reservations for the summer.

In total, AAA predicts more than 38 million Americans will travel during the Memorial Day Weekend holiday, which is the second-highest travel volume on record, and the highest since 2005.

Nearly 90 percent of travelers will do so by car, which can be attributed to the lowest gas prices in 11 years.

“We are enjoying and benefitting from right now the lowest gasoline prices in 11 years headed into Memorial Day weekend and there’s no doubt that’s driving a lot of traffic,” Massachusetts spokesperson for AAA Northeast Mary Maguire said.

The latest AAA survey indicates that on average a gallon of gas in Massachusetts is $2.25, down 41 cents from this time last year.

With the number of drivers increasing this year, AAA expects to see a decrease in other forms of transportation, such as train travel. But Cape Cod will be immune from that decrease, with Memorial Day marking the return of the Cape Flyer train.

The seasonal Boston to Hyannis route is entering its fourth year of service, and was made permanent by state officials in 2014. Transportation officials are expecting more than 1,000 people to use the Cape Flyer over the weekend.

The first train departs South Station Friday at 5:50 p.m.

This year marks the first in a partnership between the Cape Flyer and the popular ride-sharing app Uber. Passengers will be able to connect with Uber at both the Buzzards Bay and Hyannis stations to continue on to their final destinations.

“They have been successful in various regions of the country and obviously it’s another opportunity for people to get to their final destination sort of quickly when they get onto the Cape,” said Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority Administrator Tom Cahir.

Uber is offering Cape Flyer customers a free first ride up to $25 dollars with the promotional code CAPEFLYER.

“That’s an incentive for people to utilize this new service,” Cahir said. “We’re pleased and think it is going to work nicely.”

The morning commute on Cape Cod’s roadways went smoothly, with no major backups or accidents to report. State Transportation officials are anticipating the heaviest volume Friday between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.


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