The Steamship Authority's Board of Governors voted to approve a series of rate increases Tuesday to cover escalating maintenance costs, training expenses, and insurance premiums.
The plan endorsed by the board during its meeting Tuesday morning on Martha's Vineyard focuses the rate increases on non-resident travel during the peak season. For the Nantucket route, that includes raising the standard fare for vehicles by $15 per trip Monday through Thursday, and by $25 per trip on the weekends during the peak season from May 15 to September 14 . Rates for vehicles and trucks over 20 feet will increase by 4 percent, and the cost of a 10-ride coupon book was hiked to $66. Those changes will generate approximately $3.17 million in additional operating revenue in 2024.
Passenger fares, along with excursion vehicle trips for year-round residents, remain unchanged, along with daily parking rates.
Steamship Authority treasurer Mark Rozum first outlined the plan last month 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 rate adjustments mark the second year in a row that the board has voted to increase rates on some elements of its services.