The South Coast of Massachusetts (sometimes stylized Southcoast) is the region of southeastern Massachusetts consisting of southern Bristol and Plymouth counties bordering Buzzards Bay, and includes the cities of Fall River, New Bedford, the southeastern tip of East Taunton and nearby towns. The term is recent, dating to the 1990s, and sometimes confused with the South Shore (a region southeast of Boston that includes eastern Norfolk and Plymouth counties, and does not overlap with the South Coast).
There are eleven Massachusetts municipals that are almost always included in the South Coast (total population: 306,588). Two Rhode Island towns may also be included.
The "South Coast" label was born as a public relations effort to counteract the perceived stigma of former terms like "Greater Fall River," "Greater New Bedford," or "New Bedford-Fall River," which conjured images, in many Massachusetts residents' minds, of depressed mill towns with run-down buildings and high unemployment. Local boosters, including The Standard-Times newspaper, began using the term in the mid-1990s in an effort to attract business to an area with "the Cape's climate," "better infrastructure" and "relatively low land prices," according to Standard-Times publisher William Kennedy.
The major highways through the area are Interstate 195 (from Providence to Wareham, Massachusetts) and U.S. Route 6, which is the older route connecting Providence to Cape Cod. Highway access to Boston is provided by Route 24 and Route 79, both of which end in Fall River, and Route 140 which connects New Bedford to Route 24 in Taunton. Limited public transportation is provided by the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority, and the Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority. There is a proposal by the MBTA to connect Fall River and New Bedford to Boston through Taunton via commuter rail, but it does not yet have fully committed funding. As of 2019, Fall River, New Bedford, and Taunton are the only cities in Massachusetts within 60 miles of Boston, not to have rail service to Boston. Preliminary construction has taken place on the corridor. Freight service to Fall River is the main beneficiary of the South Coast Rail project at this current time. Capacity constraints at South Station are also delaying the project. The North-South Rail Link study by MassDOT will have an answer to the capacity issue by the spring of 2018.
The term "South Coast" reportedly began with weather forecasts by Todd Gross on WHDH-TV in Boston. New Bedford's local daily newspaper, The Standard-Times, picked it up in the late 1990s, and other media have followed suit, albeit not without some protest by longtime area residents who protested the manufactured name.
Other newspapers serving the area include The Herald News of Fall River; "The Standard Times" with an online entertainment subsidiary "southcoasttoday.com" of New Bedford; the Taunton Daily Gazette ; The Providence Journal ; and, for regional coverage, The Boston Globe and Boston Herald . Much of the broadcast media in the area is local to metropolitan Providence and Boston.
Radio stations include ethnic WHTB/1400-Fall River, news/talk/sports WBSM/1420-New Bedford, news/talk/sports WSAR/1480-Fall River, religious ethnic WFHL/88.1-New Bedford, K-Love WTKL/91.1-North Dartmouth, Portuguese-language WJFD-FM/97.3-New Bedford, country WCTK/98.1-New Bedford, top 40/dance WFHN/107.1-Fairhaven, and public radio news WNPN/89.3-Newport, RI.
Television stations include ABC affiliate WLNE-TV/49 (PSIP 6)-New Bedford & CW affiliate WLWC/22 (PSIP 28)-New Bedford.
The lifestyle publication of the area is @socomagazine a glossy, full color monthly magazine created in 2005 by local business people.
Bristol County is a county in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As of the 2010 census, the population was 548,285. The county seat is Taunton. Some governmental functions are performed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, others by the county, and others by local towns and cities. See administrative divisions of Massachusetts. The property deed records are kept in Taunton, Attleboro, Fall River, and New Bedford.
Dartmouth is a coastal town in Bristol County, Massachusetts. Old Dartmouth was the first area of Southeastern Massachusetts to be settled by Europeans, primarily English. Dartmouth is part of New England's farm coast, which consists of a chain of historic coastal villages, vineyards, and farms. June 8, 2014 marked the 350th year of Dartmouth's incorporation as a town. It is also part of the Massachusetts South Coast. The local weekly newspapers are The Dartmouth/Westport Chronicle and Dartmouth Week.
Fairhaven is a town in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States. It is located on the South Coast of Massachusetts where the Acushnet River flows into Buzzards Bay, an arm of the Atlantic Ocean. The town shares a harbor with the city of New Bedford, a place well known for its whaling and fishing heritage; consequently, Fairhaven's history, economy, and culture are closely aligned with those of its larger neighbor. The population of Fairhaven was 15,873 at the time of the 2010 census and estimated at 16,078 in mid-2016.
Fall River is a city in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States. The City of Fall River's population was 88,857 at the 2010 census, making it the tenth-largest city in the state. Located along the eastern shore of Mount Hope Bay at the mouth of the Taunton River, the city became famous during the 19th century as the leading textile manufacturing center in the United States. While the textile industry has long since moved on, its impact on the city's culture and landscape remains to this day. Fall River's official motto is "We'll Try", dating back to the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1843. It is also nicknamed the "Scholarship City" because Irving Fradkin founded Dollars for Scholars there in 1958. In 2017, mayor Jasiel Correia introduced the "Make It Here" slogan as part of a citywide rebranding effort.
New Bedford is a city in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 95,072, making it the sixth-largest city in Massachusetts. New Bedford is nicknamed "The Whaling City" because it was one of the world's most important whaling ports in the nineteenth century, along with Nantucket, Massachusetts, and New London, Connecticut. New Bedford, Fall River and Taunton are the three largest cities in the South Coast region of Massachusetts. The city is known for its fishing fleet and accompanying seafood industry, as well as for its high concentration of Portuguese Americans.
Swansea is a town in Bristol County in southeastern Massachusetts. It is located at the mouth of the Taunton River, just west of Fall River, 47 miles (76 km) south of Boston, and 12 miles (19 km) southeast of Providence, Rhode Island. The population was 15,865 at the 2010 census.
The Narragansett Council of the Boy Scouts of America serves all of the state of Rhode Island and some of Massachusetts and Connecticut. Its several camps include Camp Yawgoog and Camp Cachalot.
Scouting in Rhode Island has a long history, from the 1910s to the present day, serving thousands of youth in programs that suit the environment in which they live.
Greater Boston is the metropolitan region of New England encompassing the municipality of Boston, the capital of the U.S. state of Massachusetts and the most populous city in New England, as well as its surrounding areas. The region forms the northern arc of the US northeast megalopolis and as such, Greater Boston can be described either as a metropolitan statistical area (MSA), or as a broader combined statistical area (CSA). The MSA consists of most of the eastern third of Massachusetts, excluding the South Coast region and Cape Cod; while the CSA additionally includes the municipalities of Providence, Rhode Island, Manchester, Worcester, Massachusetts, as well as the South Coast region and Cape Cod in Massachusetts. While the small footprint of the city of Boston itself only contains an estimated 685,094, the urbanization has extended well into surrounding areas; the CSA is one of two in Massachusetts, the only other being Greater Springfield. Greater Boston is the only CSA-form statistical area in New England which crosses into three states.
Interstate 195 (I-195) is an Interstate Highway running a combined 44.23 miles (71.18 km) in the U.S. states of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. It travels from a junction with I-95 in Providence, Rhode Island, east to a junction with I-495 and Route 25 in Wareham, Massachusetts. It runs east–west and passes through the cities of Fall River, Massachusetts, and New Bedford, Massachusetts. The portion of I-195 in East Providence is also known as the East Providence Expressway.
The Old Colony Railroad (OC) was a major railroad system, mainly covering southeastern Massachusetts and parts of Rhode Island, which operated from 1845 to 1893. Old Colony trains ran from Boston to points such as Plymouth, Fall River, New Bedford, Newport, Providence, Fitchburg, Lowell and Cape Cod. For many years the Old Colony Railroad Company also operated steamboat and ferry lines, including those of the Fall River Line with express train service from Boston to its wharf in Fall River where passengers boarded luxury liners to New York City. The company also briefly operated a railroad line on Martha's Vineyard, as well as the freight-only Union Freight Railroad in Boston. The OC was named after the "Old Colony", the nickname for the Plymouth Colony.
The Standard-Times, based in New Bedford, Massachusetts, is the largest of three daily newspapers covering the South Coast of Massachusetts, along with The Herald News of Fall River and Taunton Daily Gazette of Taunton, Massachusetts.
Southeastern Massachusetts consists of those portions of Massachusetts located along Buzzards Bay, including the cities of New Bedford and Fall River and their respective suburbs. Despite the location of Cape Cod and the islands to its south, which are the southeasternmost parts of the state, they are not always grouped in this designation. At its broadest definition, it includes all of Massachusetts south of Boston and southeast of Worcester.
The smaller of the two main newspapers in Massachusetts' South Coast, The Herald News is a daily newspaper based in Fall River, Massachusetts. Its coverage area includes Fall River and the nearby towns of Dighton, Freetown, Somerset, Swansea and Westport, Massachusetts; and Little Compton and Tiverton, Rhode Island.
U.S. Route 6 (US 6) in Massachusetts is a 117.95 mi (189.83 km) long portion of the cross-country highway connecting Providence, Rhode Island to Fall River, New Bedford, and Cape Cod. In the Fall River and New Bedford areas, US 6 is a secondary highway paralleling Interstate 195. On Cape Cod, US 6 is the primary highway interconnecting the towns of the area, similar to U.S. Route 1 in the Florida Keys. The expressway section in this area is also known as the Mid-Cape Highway. The route is also alternatively signed as the "Grand Army of the Republic Highway."
The Fairhaven Branch Railroad was a short-line railroad in Massachusetts. It ran from West Wareham on the Cape Cod main line of the Old Colony Railroad, southwest to Fairhaven, a town across the Acushnet River from New Bedford.
The Providence metropolitan area is a region extending into eight counties in two states, and is the 38th largest metropolitan area in the United States. Anchored by the city of Providence, Rhode Island, it has an estimated population of 1,622,520, exceeding that of Rhode Island by slightly over 60%. The area covers almost all of Rhode Island. Thirty-eight of the 39 municipalities in the state are included. Only Westerly is not. The Providence Metropolitan Statistical Area also extends into southern Massachusetts with an average population density of 2300 per mi2. Its Gross Metropolitan Product is the country's 42nd largest at $64.7 billion, just above the Gross State Product of the entire state of Hawaii. Since 2006, the Providence metropolitan area has been officially included in the Greater Boston Combined Statistical Area (CSA), the sixth-largest CSA in the country, with over eight million residents.
Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA) is a public transport authority in Bristol County and Plymouth County, Massachusetts. It serves 10 municipalities in Massachusetts' South Coast region: Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Fall River, Freetown, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Somerset, Swansea, and Westport. Fixed-route bus services are offered to serve the cities of Fall River and New Bedford.
The SAILS Library Network, formerly Southeastern Automated Integrated Library Services, is a non-profit library consortium of 72 member libraries in 40 communities located throughout Southeastern Massachusetts. SAILS was founded in 1995 to link the ABLE and SEAL library networks, which were later dissolved into SAILS in 2000. The network provides library patrons with access to check out and return items at member libraries, interlibrary loans through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners' Commonwealth Catalog, mobile app access, and access to electronic collections. Member libraries are provided customized online catalog services, digital collections storage, internet and telecommunications services, email and Google Apps accounts for library staff, access to SirsiDynix software, and staff training.
The Southeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, sometimes called "SEMLEC," is a regional mutual aid facilitator formed by thirty police agencies in southeastern Massachusetts. It pools resources to provide SWAT, mobile operations, search and rescue, dive teams, color guards, and other units throughout the area.