Islanders sweltering in jammed lines of Main Street traffic and marveling at the jammed sidewalks that their slow progress gives them plenty of time to observe will be surprised to learn that Vineyard auto and passenger traffic for the first half of 2013 is off the pace of a year ago.
Cars to and from the Vineyard are down 1.7 percent, or about 2,700 vehicles, when compared with numbers for the same period in 2012, and passengers are fewer by 2.4 percent, or 21,534 travelers. The only bright spot for SSA Vineyard in 2013 travel is freight (trucks), which has risen 3 percent.
For the line as a whole, including Nantucket routes, passengers are off 1.4 percent and autos 1.9 percent. Freight is up 2.8 percent.
Measured in dollars, consolidated passenger revenue for travel to and from the two islands is up 2.2 percent. Auto revenue has risen .8 percent, and freight 9. percent. SSA fare increases account for the difference between traffic volume and revenue from traffic.
As of July 14, the decline on Vineyard routes of passenger and auto traffic continues. Passengers to and from the Vineyard are down 2.1 percent in the first two weeks of July, compared with the same period a year ago. Autos are down 1.4 percent. Freight numbers continue up signficantly campared with the year-ago numbers.