Summer start to South Coast Rail looks 'unlikely' — but there's one bright spot for riders

FALL RIVER — Shannon Avery-Desmarais of Swansea told South Coast Rail Director of Community Engagement Jean Fox that she’s thrilled about commuter rail service coming to Fall River, since it allowed her to take a new position in Boston. But the job, she said, starts in July — and so far, the MBTA has been cagey about when service will start. 


“I’m wondering if I might be on a train in the fall, maybe?” she asked during Wednesday’s public meeting, held at Morton Middle School. “Or are we talking 2025?” 


“I wish I could give you an answer today,” Fox said. “I could probably tell you July is unlikely.”


Audience members who entered the meeting with questions about the consumer-level details of South Coast Rail service left with almost no answers — and a sense that the MBTA may be backing away from its previously stated timeline that trains would be rolling sometime this summer.


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