SSA approves schedules, looks in-house

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Steamship Authority (SSA) ferry Woods Hole. — MV Times file photo

The Steamship Authority (SSA) met on Nantucket last week and heard an update on modifications to the ferry Woods Hole; approved the proposed spring, summer, and fall operating schedules; and discussed the search for a new general manager.

The Woods Hole “continues to be operating very well,” according to a management summary of the meeting, but has yet to be tested in high-wind conditions. Management noted the Woods Hole was designed to carry up to 10 very heavy trailer trucks, and handles differently from its other vessels.

The spring, summer, and fall operating schedules will remain essentially the same, although there will be earlier start dates and some shifting of vessels. Freight-boat arrivals and departures will also be staggered 20 minutes, rather than 15 minutes, with the larger vessels, to allow more time for traffic to disperse.

The draft budget was presented, and will be voted on when the members meet Tuesday, Oct. 18, on Martha’s Vineyard. No rate hikes are forecast.

The members also agreed with the recommendation of its search committee to first look in-house for a candidate to replace retiring general manager Wayne Lamson before conducting an external search for qualified candidates.