New Bedford Whale’s Tooth Lot: Ferry or South Coast Rail Parking?
With South Coast Rail all but certain to chug into New Bedford next year, there are several questions in search of answers. We are doing our best to find those answers.
I recently wrote an article explaining the current status of the rail project and the various phases of bringing commuter rail to New Bedford from Boston. The piece is complete with photos and diagrams to make it easy to imagine how all of this will work.
We recently detailed the referendum election required by Massachusetts General Law for New Bedford to become a Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) district. Officials in Fall River must also provide voters an opportunity to decide whether to join the MBTA.
Both communities must study the pros and cons of becoming MBTA districts before voting. It seems the issues are relatively cut and dry. After all, we've been debating this project for decades.
There is an outstanding issue to be resolved concerning the so-called "New Bedford" train station, one of two stations to be built in the city. The other train station, the "Church Sreet" station, is currently under construction on Church Street.
The "New Bedford" station will be near the Whale's Tooth Parking Lot east of Route 18. The Whale's Tooth lot is seasonal (open from April to October) with a free shuttle to the fast ferry terminal.
When the "New Bedford" station opens nearby, will rail or ferry customers have use of the Whale's Tooth lot?
"Ferry and MBTA riders will use the Whale's Tooth lot," said city spokesperson Michael Lawrence. "Additional parking options during potential overflow periods, such as July and August, include the Elm Street parking garage."
Lawrence added, "The City is also exploring other potential parking opportunities."
What those "potential parking opportunities" might include is anybody's guess at this point.