SSA Begins to Consider Fleet Replacement, Woods Hole Terminal Overhaul
Sara Brown

From new ferries to a terminal overhaul in Woods Hole, the Steamship Authority will be embarking on some major capital planning and spending projects in the coming years.

At the monthly boat line meeting in Hyannis this week, the SSA governors took a look at planning for two major projects: the replacement of aging vessels and reconstruction of the terminal at Woods Hole.

Read More

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.

Read More

SSA Approves Automobile Fare Increase
Sara Brown

Steamship Authority governors this week approved an operating budget for the coming year that includes slight fare increases for automobiles to and from the Vineyard.

Meeting Tuesday in Woods Hole, the board approved a budget with operating expenses of more than $83 million, a 4.1 per cent increase over estimated total operating costs for 2012.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Island Leaders Act to Block Decisions on Fast Ferry Service to New Bedford
Julia Wells

Island Leaders Act to Block Decisions on Fast Ferry Service to New Bedford

By JULIA WELLS and JOSHUA SABATINI

In an unexpected move that marks a new turn in the road for the Steamship Authority, the All-Island Selectmen's Association voted without dissent this week to tell the Vineyard boat line governor to put the brakes on plans for high-speed ferry service between New Bedford and the Vineyard.

Read More

Boat Line Figures Show Traffic to Island Up for July, August and Down for Year
Julia Wells

Overall traffic on Steamship Authority ferries is either flat or down slightly for the year, but in fact peak-season summer traffic on ferries to the Vineyard - both passenger and automobile traffic - has been healthy.

Also, the patchwork of parking lots in Falmouth and Bourne that are used to service boat line ferries to the Vineyard were never completely filled this summer, raising some question about the recent statements by the boat line general manager about the need to shift passenger traffic to New Bedford.

Read More

SSA Problems and Rate Hikes
Julia Wells

SSA Problems and Rate Hikes

By JULIA WELLS

Steamship Authority governors will be asked this morning to consider a mid-season fare hike, as the boat line faces escalating costs from legal bills, rising debt and projected operating losses on the new ferry run between New Bedford and the Vineyard this summer.

The proposed fare hike is set for discussion only; no vote is planned until next month. If it is approved, passenger fares and the popular auto excursion fares for Island residents will all go up.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Pages