SSA board approves capital budget


The Steamship Authority (SSA) board last week approved capital budget for 2011 that includes money for a new automated point-of-sale ticketing system, renewed an agreement with SeaStreak for New York to Martha’s Vineyard service and signed a contract to redesign the authority’s website.

At the boatline board’s monthly meeting held on November 23 in Woods Hole, the board approved $5.2 million capital budget that includes $1.5 million for a new reservation and ticketing system, $534,000 for four new shuttle buses, $120,000 for a HVAC upgrade to the ferry Martha’s Vineyard, $1,133,210 for pump out stations in Vineyard Haven, Woods Hole, Nantucket, and Hyannis and $250,000 for preliminary design and engineering for a new freight boat.

This summer SeaStreak carried 7,846 passengers on the New York to Vineyard route, according to a management report, and paid the boatline $17,320 in dockage fees. The company, which operates local ferry service between Manhattan and mainland terminals, asked the SSA to renew its license for 2011.

“The board approved our recommendation to grant SeaStreak’s request,” the management report of the meeting said, “especially since this service is not subject to our licensing powers and SeaStreak could simply dock its ferry at another facility on Martha’s Vineyard without paying the authority any license fees or dockage fees at all.”

The board members awarded a $225,000 contract to iMarc to redesign the boatline website that will include the development of a dedicated mobile web application. As part of its redesign process the SSA is soliciting customer comments, observations, and suggestions on its current website.