As the Island starts to transition from summer crowds to autumn quiet, the Steamship Authority is reporting that traffic was up compared with last year.

“The summer was good; the traffic has been good,” Steamship Authority general manager Wayne Lamson told the Gazette this week.

June passenger traffic to the Vineyard was up by 4.7 per cent; July passenger traffic saw a decrease of 1.9 per cent; and August traffic was up by 7.2 per cent compared with 2011, according to Steamship Authority data. Passenger traffic is up 4.6 per cent for the year to date.

Car traffic to the Vineyard was up by 4.6 per cent in June, down by 2.3 per cent in July and up by 6.3 per cent in August. Year to date, car traffic is also up 4.6 per cent.

Mr. Lamson noted that August 2011 traffic numbers were negatively affected by Tropical Storm Irene, but that this year’s numbers are comparable to the same time period two years ago.

He also noted that last year, July had five full weekends, a rarity that led to higher traffic numbers. “And for us, of course, the weekends are busier than during the week,” he said.

Truck traffic, however, was down overall between Woods Hole and Martha’s Vineyard. There was a 3.9 per cent decrease in June, a .9 per cent decrease in July and a .1 per cent decrease in August.

But overall, “It was steady,” Mr. Lamson said. “We didn’t have many cancellations.” There were occasional weather issues, he said, but nothing that lasted too long.

While Labor Day traffic information was not yet available, the holiday weekend seemed to be busy, he said, not the quieter weekend that was expected.

Year to date, almost 1.6 million passengers have traveled to Martha’s Vineyard on the Steamship Authority — about 23 per cent of that traffic coming in August — and almost 264,000 cars have traveled on Steamship ferries between Woods Hole and the Vineyard.

Air travel offers a more varied picture. While specific data isn’t yet available, Martha’s Vineyard Airport manager Sean Flynn said that, anecdotally, the summer offered a mixed bag compared with the previous year; operation numbers were down slightly, as were fuel sales, but commercial passenger traffic was up.

He said the numbers might be attributed to the way they are analyzed, and predicted that by the end of the fiscal year things will be more even.

Numbers were steady throughout the summer, he said, though there are different trends every year, specifically in regards to arrival and departure dates. This year, arrivals and departures were “more evenly spread across the whole entire week,” he said.

He said JetBlue and Delta flights from the airport went smoothly. “I think people enjoy having low-cost carriers here,” he said, noting that there is now more competition for flights to New York.

“The weather cooperated with us for the most part,” he said. “We didn’t see a lot of fog.” He also reported that the airport did not have many emergency response situations.

After a busy summer, Mr. Flynn said that he and his employees look forward to fishing and enjoying some downtime.