Steamship Authority may offer trucks summer discounts for later travel

The Steamship Authority is meeting Tuesday in Oak Bluffs and one of the items on the agenda is giving freight haulers an incentive to take later trips in the summer months. —Stacey Rupolo

In an effort to appease Falmouth residents complaining about early-morning noise, the Steamship Authority is proposing a discount for freight shippers willing to take later ferries to Martha’s Vineyard from Woods Hole.

The proposed 2018 ferry schedule for the Woods Hole to Martha’s Vineyard run will be up for consideration when the board comes to Oak Bluffs at 9:30 am Tuesday, Oct. 17, at the Oak Bluffs Public Library.

Under the proposal, freight shippers who make reservations “for larger trucks not to travel early in the morning during the summer months” will be given a discount, according to a draft of the SSA agenda item. Discounts would be for trucks 40 feet or more in length, which would receive the same one-way fare for 3-space trucks — namely, $154.50, the agenda item states. The bigger the truck, the more the discount.

Discounted fares would be available only for travel Mondays through Thursdays and trucks “would not be allowed to travel on a standby basis,” the agenda item states.

Along with the proposed discounts, truck drivers would be instructed “not to exceed the speed limit on any roads in Falmouth or go over 35 mph, the agenda item states.


  1. Interesting, so we are going send the semi trucks into Five Corners, one of the busiest intersections on the island, when traffic is at its peak in the summer to appease a few Woods Hole residents? This seems crazy to me. Can you imagine all the large trucks trying to take a right to head up island and having to swing wide when traffic is already backed up, as it often is at Five Corners?! I do not understand these Woods Hole residents; if you want to live someplace quite you should not live on the only road running to the ferry terminal and woods hole generally. It’s a public road and if trucks want to drive down it at 5 in the morning there is nothing you can do about it except regulate the noise from their brakes; it’s not like this is a residential neighborhood. Traffic is bad enough for all of us traveling through VH and to make it worse just so these people can sleep a little later seems very short sighted. I do not know why the SSA is even bothering trying to appease these unreasonable people. I’m very sorry you choose to live on a busy road, but I do not think that warrants a change to the ferry schedules or added traffic for the island during the busiest time of year in one of the busiest locations.

    • a little later? you realize we’re talking about 4:30am. you really think that’s unreasonable?

      Traffic problems on the island are already bad, and a few trucks aren’t going to be noticed. Stopping this proposal isn’t going to change the direction the island is going in. Islanders have a serious problem to address, which is totally different from the problems facing people in Woods Hole. Which is in fact a residential community.

      I’m not sure I agree with what’s being proposed, but I definitely disagree with your misrepresentations.

  2. Residential community is very different than residential neighborhood, so I think you are misrepresenting what I said. The road to the ferry is main throughfair for all traffic to Martha’s Vineyard and Woods Hole Center, which is very different than a residential side street.

    Traffic problems on the island really only exist at three main intersections, five corners, the intersection of Edgartown-VH Road and State Road, and the triangle, so again I think you are the one misrepresenting the situation by saying traffic on the island is already bad. Two of these intersections will be made much worse by large trucks needing to cut into oncoming traffic during peak summer traffic.

    If you do not want the noise, move off the main road and onto a side street, it’s that simple. The reason homes on main roads have a lower value than those on side streets is because of the traffic and noise you must endure. The island traffic should not be disrupted just because some Woods Hole residents don’t want to accept the fact that they live on a main throughfare, and with that comes noise at hours outside the norm for a side street.

  3. This proposal needs to be put DIW fast. This helps no one.
    I don’t think the road to the ferry in woods hole has changed recently. The trucks have gotten bigger and louder and so have the residents there – I wouldn’t want to live on that road either, so that why I didn’t buy a house there…

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