Airport SSA office on boatline agenda Tuesday in Tisbury

File photo by Susan Safford

Steamship Authority (SSA) members will discuss the future of the Martha’s Vineyard reservations office at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport, when they meet at 9:30 am, Tuesday, in the Katharine Cornell Memorial Theatre in Vineyard Haven.

Boatline members are also expected to vote on the 2012 winter and spring schedules. The 2012 Vineyard schedules will remain mostly the same. The winter schedule starts one day later and ends three days later than in 2011. It begins on January 4 and ends on April 17. Also, the 7:30 pm departure from Martha’s Vineyard will change to 7:15 pm.

The new owners of the building that houses the SSA airport reservation office have said that the boatline’s lease will not be extended past January 31, 2012. Island Professional Realty Trust LLC, the new owners of the building, have other plans for it.

“As a result, we now have to evaluate the benefits versus the costs of continuing to have a reservations office at another location on the Island, in light of fewer reservation transactions being handled in person each year,” Wayne Lamson, SSA general manager, wrote in the management report for the June meeting of the members.

According to the report, the reservations office handled 17,910 counter transactions in 2010, compared to 30,166 in 2006 and 47,333 in 2001.

The reservations office costs the boatline about $300,000 annually. That figure includes the salaries and wages of as many as six full-time employees ($218,000) and lease payments of $23,304.