How to Avoid Traffic on Cape Cod

As Memorial Day approaches, we offer some tips for avoiding traffic snarls on Cape Cod, here on Route 6 in Wellfleet. Photo by Maggie Kulbokas.

Cape Cod is a wonderful place to visit and live. As we move into summertime, it’s worthwhile to consider how to negotiate the warmer months on the road, avoiding heavy traffic and using public transportation, including MA DOT, CCRTA and our new, exciting Cape Flyer rail service. These services prioritize “green” transportation, ride-sharing, and making your visit to the Cape less challenging and more fun!

The Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority (CCRTA) is one of 15 transit companies within Massachusetts, providing public transportation since 1976 for all 15 Cape Cod communities. It owns and operates the Hyannis Transportation Center and the CCRTA Operations and Maintenance Facility in South Dennis. CCRTA oversees fixed routes, demand response routes, and seasonal routes which employ buses, trolleys, shuttle services and door-to-door rides.

DART (Dial-A-Ride Transportation) is a daily general public demand response service. DART (formerly the 'b-bus') is door-to-door, ride by appointment transportation service and available to all Cape Cod residents and visitors for any purpose.

Folks with disabilities can use the ADA Paratransit Service

Cape Flyer Rail Service

The exciting fuel, time and traffic saving rail service from the Cape to Boston and back has arrived! Provided by MBTA and MassDOT, this summer weekend passenger train runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and you can even bring your bike with you!

Affordable, with free Wi-Fi, restrooms and concession stand. Tickets available via special app (please see website) prior to boarding, or on the train. The CapeFLYER also connects to ferries to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard via Hy-Line Cruises and The Steamship Authority. CapeFLYER is handicap accessible - learn more on the CapeFLYER website.

Hyannis Area Trolley

Beginning May 24, the Hyannis Area Trolley will be available free of charge from the Hyannis Transportation Center through the center of Hyannis to the Hyannis Harbor docks. Visitors are encouraged to take advantage of this free service.  Riders may catch the trolley at any scheduled stop or flag the driver down along the way.  See the trolley's schedule and route map here.

Traffic Tips

Pick up a FAST LANE pass to avoid traffic at the tolls – this can save lots of time and fuel.

Use back roads. Know any back roads that avoid rush-hour traffic? Go ahead and take them. Idling in traffic wastes time and gas. Ask a local for their top-secret shortcut!

In multi-lane traffic, choose the "lane of least resistance" – the lane with more consistent speed and less weaving in and out. This avoids unnecessary braking and changes in speed.

Don’t block intersections and avoid left turns wherever possible. Use a right turn and circle the block and save lots of time! In hot weather, use a beaded seat cover. By letting air flow behind and underneath you, the cover works amazingly well to keep you cool and non-sticky from your seat and clothes.

Get updates on traffic and road conditions that impact travel on Massachusetts roads via the MassDOT website.

Use MassDOT traffic resources available to assist motorists.  Before you travel, check the interactive, live traffic cam.

Real time traffic conditions are available here.

We hope these resources make your trip to beautiful Cape Cod even more memorable.

About the Author

Cheryl Kain
Contributing Writer

Cheryl Kain has been a contract writer for Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health since 2006. She interviewed yoga legend Rod Stryker, and was featured on Good Morning America for how yoga changed her health and her life. She has written for The Cape Cod Times, The Cape Codder, Harwich Oracle, Cape Cod Travel Guide, and been entertainment editor for webzines EdgePtown, EdgeBoston, EdgeLosAngeles and EdgeNewYork. She recently finished her second book, a memoir. Visit www.cherylkainwrites.com.