Despite August boost, SSA traffic remains flat, as revenue jumps

A strong August performance was unable to lift Steamship Authority traffic volumes sufficiently to outpace the same eight-month record for 2012. In general, Vineyard traffic was the drag on system-wide results, while travel to and from Nantucket has jumped for passengers and freight (trucks) for the year ended August 31.

Vineyard passengers are down .8 percent for the year so far, while passengers to and from Nantucket rose 3.9 percent. For autos, neither Island performed well, the Vineyard off 1.1 percent, or 2,776 vehicles, and Nantucket down 1.7 percent, 790 cars. Freight has been the solid performer for the year to date, up 3.8 percent on Vineyard routes and 4.2 percent to and from Nantucket.

August was a big month for both islands. Passengers in August rose 3.3 percent on Vineyard routes and 3.8 percent for Nantucket. Autos increased 1.3 percent for the Vineyard and 1.1 percent for Nantucket. And, freight rose 2.1 percent on Vineyard routes and 6.7 percent to and from Nantucket. All these changes compare 2012 results with results this year for the same eight-month period.

Revenue from passengers, autos, and freight were all up for the boatline as a whole during the eight months ended August 31, compared with last year. SSA passenger revenue grew 3.1 percent, or about $600,000, for the period. Auto revenue grew 1.2 percent, or about $200,000, and freight revenue leapt 10.9 percent, or about $1.5 million.