An inbound train leaves South Attleboro in 2013
|Location||1315 Newport Avenue|
|Platforms||2 side platforms|
|Connections||RIPTA: 1, 35|
|Parking||568 spaces ($2.00 fee)|
|Bicycle facilities||2 spaces|
|Opened||June 20, 1990|
|Passengers (2018)||1,144 (weekday average boardings)|
South Attleboro is an MBTA Commuter Rail station in Attleboro, Massachusetts. Located underneath Newport Avenue in the South Attleboro neighborhood, it serves the Providence/Stoughton Line. It is the MBTA's southernmost station on the line in Massachusetts, located almost exactly on the border with Rhode Island. It includes a large park-and-ride lot to serve commuters from the nearby cities of Pawtucket and Central Falls.
Historically, there was no station on the site where the modern station now exists. (This is unusual; most stations opened under the MBTA have been located on the sites of former stations). The nearest stations were Hebronville, 2 miles to the east, and Pawtucket/Central Falls an equal distance to the west. Hebronville closed long before the MBTA era, while Pawtucket/Central Falls closed on February 20, 1981 when Rhode Island stopped funding commuter rail service to Providence. Commuter service returned to Providence on February 1, 1988, but the Pawtucket/Central Falls station remained closed.
The MBTA built a new station at South Attleboro to reach the Pawtucket/Central Falls market without adding a second stop in Rhode Island, which Rhode Island did not wish to pay for. The station site at Route 1A is located less than a mile east of the point where the line enters Rhode Island, and offered room for a parking lot whereas the downtown Pawtucket location did not. South Attleboro station opened on June 20, 1990, before which the southernmost station in Massachusetts was Attleboro. The area where the station is located in was once part of a Holiday Inn that was shut down to make way for the station. The former hotel is now a warehouse.
South Attleboro was the weekend terminus of the line until June 29, 2006, when Rhode Island began funding weekend service to Providence. As a high-ridership station, South Attleboro is served by all commuter trains that run between Providence and Boston.
In the 2010 Northeast Corridor Master Plan, Amtrak indicated long-term plans to add two outer station sidings and high-level platforms to South Attleboro, allowing Amtrak trains to pass stopped MBTA trains. However, the project is not considered a high priority and is not in current planning. More immediately, portions of the station are in poor condition, with two sets of stairs closed due to rust damage. Although the station has mini-high platforms for level boarding, certain ADA-required elements such as tactile platform edges are missing.
In November 2019, a full redesign of the South Attleboro station was approved by the MBTA Fiscal Management Board. The project will include renovations to stairs, elevators, a pedestrian bridge, the parking lot, and busways.
Until recently, South Attleboro had no bus connections. By federal law, bus systems like RIPTA that receive federal funds usually cannot cross state lines; thus, despite demand, RIPTA could not run directly to the station. In 2009, the agency considered building a $300,000 bus turnaround for the 77 (now 1) route just over the Rhode Island border. In 2013, RIPTA began a two-year-long systemwide reorganization that includes combining, rerouting, and simplifying numerous bus routes; one specific objective of the project was to secure federal permission to run directly to South Attleboro. As part of this, two routes now terminate directly at the station:
- 1: Eddy/Hope/Benefit (runs to T.F. Green Airport via Pawtucket and downtown Providence)
- 35: Rumford (runs to downtown Providence via Pawtucket and East Providence)
Although South Attleboro is within the GATRA service area, it has no close connections with GATRA routes. The nearest GATRA service is local bus routes 11 and 24, which run to downtown Pawtucket on Washington Street (US-1), a mile to the west.
- Central Transportation Planning Staff (2019). "2018 Commuter Rail Counts". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.
- United States Geological Survey (1890). "Attleboro & North Attleborough & Pawtucket & Providence 1890 Page 28". Atlas of Massachusetts (Prelim. Ed. 1884-1888), 1890. WardMaps LLC. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- Belcher, Jonathan. "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit.
- The NEC Master Plan Working Group (May 2010). "The Northeast Corridor Infrastructure Master Plan" (PDF). Part II: page 7. Amtrak.
- Southeastern Massachusetts Metropolitan Planning Organization and Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District (2012). "Commuter Rail" (PDF). 2012 Regional Transportation Plan. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
- "MBTA board OK's Attleboro commuter line electrification, South Attleboro Station upgrades". The Sun Chronicle. November 7, 2019.
- Barrett, Chris (24 December 2009). "RIPTA buses may stop near Mass. trains". Providence Business Journal. Archived from the original on 3 July 2014. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
- Landis, Bruce (21 May 2013). "RIPTA prepares to reorganize routes to improve service". Providence Journal. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
- "Attleboro". Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
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