The SouthWest Advisory Planning Committee (SWAP) requested that the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) and Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) jointly analyze the existing public transit network in the subregion. The purpose of this evaluation was to identify opportunities to increase ridership and provide better connections to housing, employment, and commercial centers in the SWAP communities of Bellingham, Dover, Hopkinton, Franklin, Medway, Milford, Millis, Norfolk, Sherborn, and Wrentham.
Current SWAP transit services are limited to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) commuter rail, MetroWest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA) fixed-route service, Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA) commuter shuttle services, GATRA in-town services and their support to councils on aging, and other in-town transportation services such as veterans’ services or volunteer driver programs.
CTPS reviewed existing transit services and current commuter flows, activity centers, population, and employment patterns to determine the best potential for new or modified transit services in the SWAP subregion. Several possible transit services were identified and analyzed. The greatest potential for a modified service is the resumption of full service on MWRTA’s route from Milford to Framingham. There is also potential for additional shuttle routes connecting SWAP communities to commuter rail stations, following the example of an existing shuttle in Medway. Providing new connections between Franklin, Bellingham, and Milford would be another route or series of routes to consider for short-term implementation. Long-term expansion would consider more routes and connections between additional towns in the subregion.