SSA to Repair Storm-Damaged Wharf
Sara Brown

The Steamship Authority governors Tuesday authorized $2.5 million in repairs for the Oak Bluffs ferry terminal, which was damaged in Hurricane Sandy.

The main pier section of the Oak Bluffs terminal was damaged by rough seas and high waves during the storm. The storm damage repairs have qualified for reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the authority will be reimbursed up to 75 per cent of the cost, Steamship Authority general manager Wayne Lamson said.

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SSA Weighs Rate Hike for Autos, Parking
Sara Brown
Steamship Authority governors this week announced plans for fare increases on the Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket routes in order to compensate for rising fuel costs and other expenses in next year’s budget.

At the monthly meeting of the boat line governors Tuesday in Nantucket, a preliminary look at next year’s operating budget showed a budget shortfall of $1.5 million, according to a meeting summary.

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Summer Steamship and Airline Traffic Up
Sara Brown

As the Island starts to transition from summer crowds to autumn quiet, the Steamship Authority is reporting that traffic was up compared with last year.

“The summer was good; the traffic has been good,” Steamship Authority general manager Wayne Lamson told the Gazette this week.

June passenger traffic to the Vineyard was up by 4.7 per cent; July passenger traffic saw a decrease of 1.9 per cent; and August traffic was up by 7.2 per cent compared with 2011, according to Steamship Authority data. Passenger traffic is up 4.6 per cent for the year to date.

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Steamship Authority Will Buy Schamonchi; Deal Opens Door to New Bedford Service
Julia Wells

NANTUCKET - Placing a surprise trump card on the table in the testy and complicated match over opening up ferry service from New Bedford, Steamship Authority governors announced yesterday that they will take immediate steps to buy the ferry Schamonchi, a privatepassenger ferry that operates between New Bedford and the Vineyard.

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Boat Line Future Rests on Passenger Fast Ferries; Schamonchi Sale Is Final
Julia Wells

Steamship Authority governors unveiled an ambitious business vision for the 21st century yesterday that calls for a new emphasis on summer visitors to both Islands with more passenger service, reduced car service, streamlined high-speed ferries from distant ports and a price tag that is potentially sky-high.

And when they exhaled from that, the boat line board voted to ink a $1.75 million deal to buy the New Bedford passenger ferry Schamonchi.

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Public Hearings Open on SSA
Julia Wells

Public Hearings Open on SSA

Special Task Force Headed By Retired Judge Rudolph Kass Begins Deliberations on Future Boat Line in New Bedford

By JULIA WELLS

A special state task force charged with studying ferry and transportation problems on the Cape and Islands will hold a set of public hearings beginning next week in New Bedford, and continuing through the month of February on Nantucket, Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard.

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SSA Expects Big Financial Loss on Schamonchi Ferry Operation
Julia Wells

The surprise decision by the Steamship Authority governors last month to buy the New Bedford passenger ferry Schamonchi was pitched as a sound business decision for the public boat line, but an internal financial analysis done by the SSA shows that in fact the ferry is expected to lose large amounts of money.

The boat line board of governors voted last month to buy the Schamonchi for $1.75 million.

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Governor's Task Force Hears Nantucket Plea to Protect SSA Services
Julia Wells

NANTUCKET - - The people of Nantucket had their crack at the podium this week, turning out more than 150 strong to urge a special governor's ferry task force to protect the Steamship Authority and their lifeline.

"The rate-payers of the Islands are not responsible for reviving the economy of New Bedford. Folks, the Steamship Authority is not an entitlement program," declared Steve Tornovish, a member of the SSA financial advisory board from Nantucket.

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SSA Governors Review Sketchy Finance Report on New Service Model
Julia Wells

Amid a long list of caveats about assumptions and the need for more data, Steamship Authority treasurer Wayne Lamson told the boat line board of governors yesterday that he is in the neutral zone when it comes to the financial impacts of the new service model for future ferry operations to the two Islands.

"I feel that we should continue to explore the viability of the service model. But a lot more information needs to be gathered, and certain assumptions need to be validated," Mr. Lamson said at the monthly boat line meeting in Woods Hole yesterday.

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Kass Plan Asks Change at SSA
Julia Wells

The governor's ferry task force that recently staged a four-month crash course on the Steamship Authority has now opened the door for a major overhaul of the public boat line that has served the two Islands for 41 years.

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