The Vineyard Transit Authority is to be applauded as it makes the transition to electric buses, backed by generous state grants and at no burden to Island taxpayers. Amid rising concern about climate change, fewer diesel fumes spewing into the air are a small but important step toward moving away from Island dependence on fossil fuels.

But the regional transit authority’s plan to build a new electric bus charging station and redesign the terminal at Church street in downtown Edgartown could benefit from a careful second look and more thorough public airing.

The plan seemed to come out of nowhere when it surfaced last week before the town selectmen. A public hearing was required because as part of the new bus terminal and charging station on Church street, the VTA wants to remove most of the shade trees at the site. Otherwise the public might not have known about the plan at all.

After the shade tree hearing, the selectmen decided to require the VTA to keep a large old linden tree at the site. They have agreed to allow the removal of three other trees, pending a detailed plan for replacing them, possibly elsewhere in town.

Taking down shade trees to make way for an electric bus charging station is an obvious environmental contradiction in itself. And while the VTA will build a pergola at the site to make up for the loss of tree canopy, it’s hard not to cringe at the image of the leafy, sun-dappled area around the visitor center, right in the heart of the downtown historic district, transformed to an urban-like setting with more hardscape.

But there are even larger issues to consider as downtown Edgartown with its narrow streets, most of them laid out in the days when horse and buggy were the main mode of transportation, becomes increasingly congested with summer traffic, including bus traffic. Today the downtown village is a main hub for the VTA, including the well-traveled number 13 bus that runs between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown all year long, the South Beach bus that runs in the summer, buses that run routes to the airport and many others.

Will the electric bus charging station add more stress on downtown infrastructure? And is Church street really the best place for it? These are valid concerns, and it’s not clear whether alternatives were considered.

After the Gazette published a story last week about the shade tree hearing and new bus terminal plan, a large number of readers reacted with alarm and dismay. Many thoughtful and comments were posted online, including one from Tim Boland, director of the Polly Hill Arboretum a respected Vineyard arborist.

We urge the VTA advisory board and selectmen to read them and consider soliciting a second opinion on the plan, perhaps from the capable transportation planners at the Martha’s Vineyard Commission. This is after all why we have the MVC.

If the plan is worth doing, it’s worth getting it right.