Increases in passenger fares and popular excursion rates for Island residents are among a set of proposed rate changes for the Steamship Authority, which is faced with a budget shortfall for the coming year.

But the boat line will reconsider the fare changes after some questioned raising the excursion rate, general manager Wayne Lamson told the Gazette Thursday.

At the Steamship Authority board of governors meeting Tuesday on Nantucket, management recommended fare increases to make up for an estimated $1.9 million budget gap in the coming year.

The governors will vote on the budget and fare changes at their next meeting, scheduled to take place on Oct. 21 on the Vineyard. The budget year begins Jan. 1.

If proposed changes are approved, round-trip automobile excursion fares will go up by $2, Mr. Lamson said. Reduced excursion fares and preferred spaces on ferries are available to Island residents who meet certain residency requirements. Excursion rates for year-round residents are currently $61 from Sept. 15 through May 15 and $92 in the summer. The round-trip fare includes two adults and two children.

Under the proposed new fare schedule, adult passenger fares would increase by fifty cents for a one-way trip, from $8 to $8.50, including embarkation fees. Other passenger fares would go up by a prorated amount.

Mr. Lamson said that when the passenger fares are increased, excursion fares are also revisited. “Whenever you increase the passenger fares or the regular auto fares then it also involves how much do the excursion fares have to increase,” he said. “Because if not then it gets to a lower and lower percentage of what the regular fares are and what it costs to provide the service.”

He continued: “We look at the excursion rate as a percentage of what it would cost at the regular rate — what does a car cost round trip with two adults and two children, how does the excursion rate compare to that other rate. It’s a low percentage of the regular fare.”

But he said questions were raised at the last port council meeting. “We did get some push back on the excursion rates,” Mr. Lamson said. He said some members of the port council suggested increasing the regular automobile rate paid by nonresidents instead. “So we’re going to look into that,” Mr. Lamson said. The port council meets again on Wednesday, Oct. 1, in Hyannis.

Mr. Lamson said management will look at whether the $2 excursion fare increase is necessary or whether the amount can be reduced or pulled from somewhere else. Steamship Authority staff will make a recommendation, he said, and it will be up to the governors to vote on the final proposal at the October meeting.

Other rate increases are on the table. The cost of parking at one of the boat line’s offsite Falmouth parking lots would also go up to $15 per day in the summer and $13 per day in the off-season.

The Nantucket route would also see higher rates under the plan, with Nantucket car excursion rates going up $5 and passenger fares increasing by $1.

The fare changes are tied to a projected budget shortfall. According to a preliminary draft of the 2015 budget outlined in a meeting summary, the boat line’s operating expenses next year are expected to surpass $89 million, treasurer/comptroller Bob Davis said, about a four per cent increase over estimated 2014 expenses. Mr. Davis said the increases can be attributed to rising fuel, health care and pension costs and planned maintenance for four ferries.

According to the meeting summary, a 27 per cent increase in pension expenses, a 5.2 per cent increase in health care costs and a 2.5 per cent rise in vessel fuel costs are anticipated.

Maintenance expenses are expected to go up by more than 10 per cent next year. The ferries Nantucket, Katama, Gay Head and Island Home are all scheduled for drydock maintenance and repairs, which are required twice every five years.

Without fare increases, operating revenues are projected to rise by about .3 per cent, leading to the shortfall of about $1.9 million. Rate increases for the Vineyard route will make up $1.4 million of that amount, and the additional $500,000 will come from increases for the Nantucket route.

Automobile rates for the Vineyard were increased in 2013, going up by $1 each way, and round-trip excursion rates were increased by $2. The passenger rate was last increased in January 2011. Last year, rates went up for parking spots and some trucks.

In other business Tuesday on Nantucket, the board discussed relocating the general offices, which will be the first step in the reconstruction of the Woods Hole terminal, Mr. Lamson said. The boat line has also issued invitations for bids to construct the new passenger/freight ferry Woods Hole. Bids are due back by mid November and governors hope to award the contract in December.

The SSA is also beginning construction of a new parking facility on Thomas B. Landers Road in Falmouth; Mr. Lamson said they hoped to complete construction and have the parking lot open by summer 2015.

An earlier version of this story reported that excursion fares would increase by $4, which was the amount reported by the Steamship Authority in a summary of Tuesday's board of governors meeting. The amount was later corrected to $2 by the Steamship Authority general manager.