Steamship Authority Fast Ferry Clash Erupts in Outburst of Personal Attacks

In a barrage of invective and noisy statements to the press, New
Bedford city officials lashed out at the Steamship Authority governors
from Falmouth and Nantucket this week for their vote to kill a pilot
high-speed ferry project between New Bedford and the Vineyard.

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

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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Fast Ferry: Few Facts, Much Propaganda

From the very start it had all the markings of a political campaign
- go heavy on the sales pitch, work the numbers to make them fit
the pitch and filibuster to silence anyone who questioned the

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

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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SSA Ferry Plan Absent Money

Last week's report calling for high-speed ferry service
between New Bedford and the Vineyard was submitted without any financial
information, and the acting general manager of the Steamship Authority
said yesterday that he will now have to step in to finish the crucial
financial piece of the report.

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

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


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.

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

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.

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SSA Problems and Rate Hikes

SSA Problems and Rate Hikes


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.

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Kass Plan Asks Change at SSA

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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SSA Governor Starts New Job

Kathryn Roessel Begins First Term Amid Aggressive Selectmen's Campaign to Overthrow Her With Political Maneuvers

In a quiet ceremony on the second floor of the Edgartown courthouse yesterday, Kathryn A. Roessel was sworn in as the new Vineyard Steamship Authority governor.

The appointment came amid a fresh wave of back-corridor politics, both on the Vineyard and on Beacon Hill, aimed at some kind of coup to overthrow Ms. Roessel by fast-tracking a piece of stalled legislation that would overhaul the SSA board of governors.

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