The drive between Boston and Cape Cod can be 60-plus miles of nightmare, depending on the time of day and road conditions, as surprised commuters discovered on Mother’s Day, when construction allowed only limited access to the Sagamore Bridge. That work should wind down by the end of the month, but seasonal slowdowns await. So it’s disappointing that a plan to extend weekend service on the MBTA’s Middleboro commuter rail line to Hyannis this summer has been shelved for now. The Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority’s decision to wait until next year seems reasonable, based on the need to make the service as reliable as possible at the outset. But the sooner the Cape tourist train arrives, the better.
Of the more than 230,000 commuters to the Cape every summer weekend, many don’t need cars, as they often meet up with friends or family, or head off on ferries to Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard. But right now, the only mass-transit options to the Cape are buses, which make the trek alongside all the other cars, and the popular Boston-Provincetown ferry. A train ride to Hyannis would be more convenient for many. And any travel option that takes vehicles off the roads during peak tourist season has benefits for the environment, for other drivers, and for everyone’s sanity.