Steamship Authority Planning Rate Hikes During Peak Season

Jason Graziadei •

Ferries in Fog GH
Steamship ferries in the fog. Photo by Greg Hinson |

Rates to ride aboard the Steamship Authority’s vessels to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard look like they will be rising once again next year.

The Steamship’s Board of Governor’s is considering rate increases to cover escalating maintenance costs, training expenses, and insurance premiums.

The plan, unveiled Tuesday during the Steamship Authority Board of Governors meeting on Nantucket, includes raising the standard fare for vehicles by $15 per trip Monday through Thursday, and by $25 per trip Friday through Sunday, during the peak season from May 15 to September 14th. Rates for vehicles and trucks over 20 feet would increase by 4 percent, and the cost of a 10-ride coupon book would rise to $66. Those changes would generate approximately $3.17 million in additional operating revenue in 2024.

Passenger fares, along with excursion vehicle trips for year-round residents, would remain unchanged, along with daily parking rates.

Steamship Authority treasurer Mark Rozum outlined the plan Tuesday to the Steamship Board of Governors and emphasized that maintenance costs driven by the need for vessel dry dock and terminal upkeep were forecasted to increase by $3.1 million, or 13.3 percent. Training costs to build the Steamship’s staff of licensed officers were expected to rise by $350,000, or 48 percent.

“Keeping the price increases away from the island residents I think is helpful,” said Steamship Authority board member James Malkin.

Rozum said the Nantucket route would be responsible for generating 42.4 percent of the additional revenue needed, while the Vineyard would account for 57.6 percent.

The Steamship Authority will hold a series of informational sessions about the proposed rate adjustments and solicit feedback before the Board of Governors votes on the fare increases next month.

If approved, it would mark the second year in a row that the board has voted to increase rates on some elements of its services.

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