On Thursday, Jan. 12, the Steamship Authority will open reservations for the summer months to the general public. Reservations can be made online for the summer season (May 16 through Oct. 15) through the Steamship Authority (SSA) website (steamshipauthority.com). After Jan. 19, the SSA will take summer reservations by phone.
The Times recently reached Robert Davis, the treasurer and comptroller of the SSA, in his office by phone. Mr. Davis has been selected to succeed general manager Wayne Lamson, who is retiring in June. On Monday, Mr. Davis was filling in for Mr. Lamson, who was out of the office. According to Mr. Davis, opening the reservation system to the general public follows the Headstart period — Jan. 5 to 11 — during which summer-season reservations are available only to Excursion and Preferred Space groups. Up to five round-trip tickets can be reserved.
In order to qualify for Excursion tickets, the Island must be your “settled place of abode,” Mr. Davis said. Your address should be on the published street list for Island towns that the SSA uses as a database for its reservation system, or you must have a certificate (obtained from a town clerk) issued for additions to the master list. In addition, Excursion ticket purchases require that you have a Massachusetts driver’s license and registration with an Island address. Excursion rates are roughly half the price paid by the general public, and the tickets are for round-trips originating on the Island.
Many of the same criteria exist for the Preferred Space group, but the primary purpose of this program is to make available spaces to Island residents who need to go to the mainland for medical and other daily-living needs at specified times and dates, according to the SSA customer handbook (available at the SSA website). The program is open to both year-round and part-time residents of the Island. Tickets must originate from the Island, and are nontransferable and nonrefundable.