Editors, Vineyard Gazette;

Questions for the Steamship Authority leadership:

1. The legislature created the SSA to ensure transportation of goods and people to the Islands. If the SSA is the Islands’ lifeline, why are there limits on the number of islander rate cars on each trip? Why does the excursion rate go up in the summer?

2. The U.S. Climate goals include getting the country to net zero emissions by 2050. In order to reach that goal, all transportation systems will need to change to renewable fuels. Why isn’t the SSA doing long-term planning that will include electric vessels and solar and wind production? Building/purchasing boats that don’t fit the country’s climate goals is wasteful on many levels.

3. As part of that same climate strategy, the U.S. expects all buildings to have net zero emissions by 2050. Why, then, is leadership moving forward with a $70 million (and more) terminal that will need to be retrofitted or replaced to meet the country’s goals?

4. As the SSA continues to contribute to global warming, sea levels are rising. The new docks and planned terminal are in jeopardy. Why isn’t this project delayed as Woods Hole develops its mitigation plans?

5. Why hasn’t the SSA hired the promised chief operating officer?

6. Why doesn’t the SSA work with the Martha’s Vineyard Commission to determine a sustainable number of private autos allowed on-Island? The commission’s mission statement includes a goal to “protect and enhance the Islands’ environment, economy, character, and social fabric.” Auto traffic is part of that. The SSA’s model of bringing over as many cars as they can is not sustainable. We are close to summer gridlock. Why doesn’t the SSA see itself as part of the community?

7. Why isn’t the SSA website also in Portuguese and Spanish? Why aren’t safety announcements made in more than one language?

Joy Robinson-Lynch

West Tisbury