The Steamship Authority aired a plan this week to raise rates in 2020 to cover increased expenses — including multiple new hires and computerized management systems — resulting from last year’s comprehensive review of operations by outside consultants.

Preliminary fare hikes were discussed at the monthly meeting of the boat line port council in Falmouth on Wednesday. In a first for the SSA, the proposal calls for charging higher fares during peak travel times on summer weekends.

Under the draft rate schedule, standard automobile fares on the Vineyard route would jump $4 each way from April through October — and $19 on summer weekends.

“The basic idea is that we’re trying to tie the proposed rate adjustments to peak pricing,” SSA general manager Robert Davis told the port council, an advisory board with members appointed from each port town.

The increases are due to be discussed by SSA governors at their monthly meeting on Nantucket next Tuesday. A vote will not take place until the October meeting on Martha’s Vineyard.

In the draft 2020 plan, one-way standard auto fares, currently $81 each way for vehicles less than 17 feet in length and $91 for those 17 feet and longer, would go up to $100 and $110 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 15 to Sept. 14 On other days, the increased rate is $85 and $95.

If the draft proposal is approved by the boat line board of governors next month, on Jan. 1, 2020, standard fares off-season will increase by $11.50 each way — from $43.50 to $55 and $53.50 to $65. Round-trip excursion fares, which offer discounted passage for Islanders who qualify, will also go up $5 across the board. The cost of a 10-ride pass will rise from $730 to $850.

Freight rates are slated for identical increases, based on vehicle lengths. Trucks 65 feet and longer face a 10 per cent fare hike.

The proposed rate sheet makes no changes to daily parking fees, but raises the cost of annual parking permits by $50, to $1,150 in Woods Hole and $700 in Falmouth.

No increase is proposed for passenger fares and bike/board rates would remain at $4 each way, $8 for tandem and trailer bikes.

There’s also no change to the $12.50 charge for loads extended beyond a vehicle’s bumper.

On the Nantucket route, $5 increases are proposed for one-way standard and round-trip excursion fares. With a one-way vehicle trip currently at $225 in season, this represents a much smaller hike than the Vineyard’s. That is because Nantucket’s service is profitable by more than $3 million, while the Vineyard route has been flat, Mr. Davis told the port council.

“The Vineyard route ends up being subsidized in this case by the Nantucket route,” so rate increases will fall largely on Vineyard travelers, the general manager said.

When they meet on Nantucket Tuesday, boat line governors also will take their first collective look at a draft mission statement the port council reviewed this week.

Developed in response to one of the recommendations in the report released by consultants at HMS/Glosten late last year, the sentence-long statement is intended to guide the boat line’s strategic planning.

The SSA has had a mission statement for years, but it has not been widely circulated. It reads:

“The vision of the Steamship Authority is to provide excellent customer services through a safe, convenient and efficient transportation system while responding to changing needs and market demands as well as community concerns within a work environment that promotes quality performance and recognition of our employees.”

The statement does not mention the two Islands that the SSA is chartered to serve in its enabling legislation. Readers “would never know it was a ferry line,” SSA communications director Sean Driscoll told the port council.

The new draft mission statement was crafted after considering public comments, gathered by email and in open forums held on both Islands and in Hyannis and Falmouth.

Mr. Driscoll said he had logged 250 unique suggestions. Six core principles recurred in the public comments, he said. Listed alphabetically, they are: community concerns, convenience, customer service, efficiency, safety and quality.

The new draft mission statement reads: “Our mission is to operate a safe, efficient, and reliable transportation system for the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket in an environment committed to sustainability, accessibility, and community engagement.”

Sustainability was one of the most frequently-sounded notes in public comments, Mr. Driscoll said. Accessibility means not only physical access to boat line services, but transparency in SSA dealings as well, he added.

Port council members voted to accept the draft for further work. After governors look over the wording next week, the public comment period will be reopened. Mr. Driscoll said the governors will take up the comments and the draft together at their Nov. 19 meeting in Falmouth.

“Then the real work begins,” he said.