In an attempt to accommodate Islanders who have trouble getting their cars off-Island in the early fall, Steamship Authority governors agreed this week to modify next year’s fall schedule to add earlier trips.

Meeting in Woods Hole Tuesday, the governors approved a schedule that plans morning trips for the vessel Katama out of Vineyard Haven at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. rather than 7:15, 9:45 and 12:15.

The Katama will operate in the shoulder season in a manner that parallels what the MV Governor’s departure times are in the summer, said general manager Wayne C. Lamson.

The changes come in response to a standby pileup during the week of Oct. 15 this year.

“While it doesn’t increase the number of trips per day, hopefully with the trips being earlier, it will be more convenient for those who are trying get off the Island, especially those in standby,” Mr. Lamson said.

The Governor will also be available on an as-needed basis during the first days of the schedule changes after Columbus Day weekend.

“When we go down from four vessels to three vessels in one day, sometimes you run into these little issues,” Mr. Lamson said. “The way we propose to address them is to keep the Governor in Woods Hole on standby in the event it is needed.”

Vineyard governor Marc Hanover said he understood the intention behind the decision, but hoped space on the Governor could be sold to avoid congestion in the standby line.

“That week was utter chaos and what I would ask is that if all these trips get sold out, that we start selling the Governor,” he said.

Mr. Lamson said ​space on the boat would be sold if the other boats are full in the days leading up to the sailing date.

But he ​noted that the Governor, which has an open deck and rides low on the waterline, can be prone to cancellations that​ late in the season due to weather.

“We may be in a worse situation by the Governor cancelling more often,” he said.

Some of the scheduling issues will be resolved with the introduction of a new freight and passenger ferry into the fleet, which is expected by summer of 2016, Mr. Lamson added.

The deadline for construction bids on the new ferry is next Tuesday. The vessel will cost the boat line about $40 million, according to current estimates.

Mr. Lamson said Tuesday that he had extended the boat’s delivery date from April to May of 2016 in an effort to attract as many bids as possible.

The SSA ​has already received one bid, which would be opened next week, he said.

After the boat arrives, the crew must perform training exercises on board before it’s ready for service, Mr. Lamson said. He said he hoped the ferry would be operational by Memorial Day weekend of 2016.

Traffic statistics released by the boat line this week show that for the first nine months of the year, passenger traffic on the Vineyard route was up 1.1 per cent and truck traffic was up 1.3 per cent compared to the same period in 2013. Automobile traffic was up 1.2 per cent through September.

The SSA will begin taking reservations for the summer of 2015 in early January.

Islanders enrolled in the Islander preferred or Islander preferred excursion programs can begin booking their reservations starting Jan. 6 by mail or online. Online and mail ticketing will open to the general population on Jan. 13.

Reservations made by telephone begin Jan. 20.

In other business, the boat line approved an agreement with the town of Tisbury which will allow them to charge for vehicles parked at the town Park and Ride for periods longer than four days. The previous agreement allowed the town to charge for long-term parking after seven days in the lot, which is located off State Road. The Vineyard Transit Authority shuttles passengers from the lot to the ferry for no charge.

The SSA has added trips to accommodate demand during the Thanksgiving holiday. They added four extra trips on Tuesday, Nov. 25, eight on Wednesday, six on Friday and eight each on Saturday and Sunday.