In light of persistent traffic problems in downtown Vineyard Haven, the town is asking the Steamship Authority to look at alternative sites for the Island’s main ferry terminal.

In a letter dated Feb. 20, town administrator John W. Grande asked the boat line to “investigate the potential of relocating the Steamship Authority terminal at Water street outside of downtown Vineyard Haven.”

The Steamship Authority board of governors discussed the letter at a meeting this week in Woods Hole. The board agreed to look to discuss the issue but the Steamship Authority is not yet committing to a study.

The ferry terminal, which has been located at the same site since the mid-19th century, has long contributed to congestion at Five Corners and neighboring streets. During peak season, the lines of cars boarding and exiting the ferry grow long and choke the roadways.

In an effort to resolve these issues, the town considered relocating the terminal in the 1980s and again in 1990 but never took action. Planners with the Martha’s Vineyard Commission had looked at a site near the Tisbury drawbridge, which they said would cut down on traffic on State Road and help resolve issues at Five Corners intersection.

At a meeting in early February, Tisbury selectmen discussed previous feasibility studies and the benefits of a new long term planning study.

“It’s an idea that really needs consideration,” said selectman Jonathan V. Snyder.

Selectman Tristan Israel said he supported the study, but thought moving the terminal would be a very expensive project.

“I don’t really have any reservation about it per se, except for the permitting and costs,” he said.

Speaking to the Gazette Wednesday, Mr. Lamson said he was somewhat surprised by the request, but curious to review previous studies.

“Before I make a recommendation to our board, I think we have to get more information from the town as to what they are looking at,” he said.

In the meantime, the boat line is working to implement a short-term fix for vehicle congestion. In plans unveiled earlier this month, the boat line proposed a new vehicle ticketing lane and booth for the busy season. The reconfiguration, which is expected to cost $160,000 and will involve the removal of a streetside rain shelter and three drop-off parking spaces, will begin in early April.

In other Steamship Authority business, the board voted to contribute $10,000 to a pilot park-and-ride shuttle in Oak Bluffs. The free bus service, provided by the Vineyard Transit Authority, will shuttle passengers between Ocean Park and a parking lot near the town hall between June 20 and Sept. 1.

The total cost of the service is estimated at $39,000. The VTA expects the state to reimburse 70 per cent of the cost.

The boat line’s treasurer/comptroller Bob Davis reported to the board that the Steamship Authority ended 2014 with a net operating income of $7.7 million, which is about $4.6 million higher than anticipated. According to a meeting summary, Mr. Davis told the board that the difference can be attributed to higher than expected revenues, with almost $3.8 million coming from increased traffic levels in 2013. While maintenance fees were almost $2 million more than budgeted, Mr. Davis said, vessel fuel expenses were $1.2 million less than budgeted.

Mr. Lamson told the Gazette that excess revenue is set aside at the end of each month, as regulated by the authority’s enabling act, so the money does not stay in the operating budget.

“There are a number of transfers made throughout the year,” Mr. Lamson said. The money goes into the sinking fund, the reserve fund, and the replacement fund, which is used for projects instead of having to issue bonds and paying interest. Projects funded through the replacement fund include the Oak Bluffs terminal reconstruction and ferry refurbishments.