New policies on the Peter Pan Bus Line requiring passengers to buy their tickets and book bus seats in advance are causing confusion and some grumbling among Islanders and other travelers. Before, general bus tickets could be purchased at Steamship Authority terminals and used to board any bus that had room.

The changes went into effect August 16.

“We’ve been working with the SSA for a couple years in regards to capacity management,” Peter Pan spokesman Danielle Veronesi told the Gazette. She said before the changes went into effect, the Woods Hole stop was the only Peter Pan stop that did not require advance purchase of tickets. The rest of Peter Pan’s bus stations have required advance reservations for five years. The regional transportation company offers service to cities and towns including Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

Passengers wishing to travel on the bus line must now buy their tickets in advance online, on the bus line’s mobile phone app, or in person at SSA terminals in Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs and Woods Hole. People with smart phones can show their e-ticket to the bus driver, or they can provide a driver’s license or ID to board the bus and take their seat. Bus tickets are not refundable.

Some customers have expressed concerns about the new policy, noting that ferry or flight cancellations and delays are routine issues that affect travelers to and from the Island — making it sometimes hard to know exactly which bus trip is the right one to book. Ms. Veronesi said the bus company will work with passengers who need to adjust their travel plans, and said passengers can always contact the company’s customer service department.

“We work with the SSA, so we’re very aware if they are to cancel a ferry or if there’s some sort of delay, and our customer service department is in that loop so they’ll know if a ferry gets cancelled. They are flexible to accommodate passengers for that,” she said.

The bus line’s senior director of sales Kathy Giard said they typically allow for travel adjustments within a three-day window of the original scheduled departure time.

Ms. Veronesi added that the new ticketing system will allow the bus line’s operations department to monitor demand and send more buses in real time if necessary. She said this summer saw many weekends with full buses.

“It helps us for planning,” she said. “If every bus has 54 seats, and we see our bus is selling out, it gives us more information to add more resources.”

She said passengers will be able to buy their tickets online or on the app up until boarding time, but recommended purchasing them as early as possible to guarantee seating.

SSA spokesman Sean Driscoll said a major misconception about the changes is that they are coming from the SSA.

“The change was at the request of Peter Pan,” he wrote in an email. He added that the new policy required both technical changes and staff training, and that the ticketing process has become more involved.

“The [ticket] transactions have been more interactive than in the past due to the time it takes the ticket sellers to select specific trips and additional time assisting our customers with their selections,” Mr. Driscoll said.

Ms. Veronesi said the company will continue to advertise the changes for at least a year to make sure people who visit the Island in all seasons will be informed of the new rules. The bus system is still honoring tickets purchased prior to the start date of the new policy.

“We’re going to keep educating travelers,” Ms. Veronesi said.

“We continue to enjoy a strong partnership with [Peter Pan] throughout this change,” Mr. Driscoll said.