Islanders who ride public buses in the off season poured out their concerns and frustrations to the Vineyard Transit Authority this week over service cuts.

About 20 riders, most of whom rely on the bus as their only form of transportation, attended a consumer advisory meeting Wednesday. They said recent cutbacks in service have affected their daily lives, including making it harder to commute to and from jobs.

But a primary concern for many was the plan to eliminate Sunday service Islandwide this winter.

“Please don’t eliminate Sunday, because if you eliminate Sunday it is going to really wreak havoc for everybody,” said Sheri Thomas, who is disabled. She said no bus service would pose a challenge if she wanted to leave the house as she usually does on Sunday.

Others expressed frustration with recent changes to the Medivan service, which provides transportation to off-Island medical appointments once a week for senior citizens and people with disabilities. The service is still running, but in October the price rose from $30 to $40 for a round trip, including a ferry ticket. Also a four-person minimum is now required for the van to run.

Andrew Grant, transit systems engineer for the VTA, fielded the comments and ran the meeting.

Mr. Grant is responsible for planning the routes each season, collecting data on ridership and providing that data to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), which supplies the bulk of VTA funding.

“Usually what happens is the schedule comes out and then [riders] discuss their disappointment,” he told the gathering. “We are trying to get ahead of that.”

After hearing comments, he spoke about the primary reason for the off-season shoulder cuts, noting that ridership numbers are well down on the routes that have been cut, especially up-Island.

He said MassDOT requires a minimum of three passengers an hour to justify running a route.

He also said that for the past 20 years, especially in the early 2000s, routes were expanded in order to meet a growing demand for public transportation. That demand has been curving in the other direction for the last few years, Mr. Grant said, and route closures and cutbacks are beginning to reflect the drop.

VTA administrators have said the route cutbacks are aimed at reining in a projected budget deficit of about $1 million for the coming year.

On Wednesday Mr. Grant said he is an advocate for eliminating as few routes as possible, and that he is actively working to secure grants from state representatives and talk with MassDOT about preserving Sunday service on the Island, if possible.

At the end of the meeting, he said he would take all the comments into consideration when presenting a plan to the VTA advisory board at their meeting Friday.

That meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow in the VTA administration building at 11A street in the airport business park.