Quick action by SSA on one issue

Binnie Ravitch speaks out during Tuesday's meeting with the Steamship Authority. The issue has already been addressed. - Gabrielle Mannino

When Binnie Ravitch spoke out at Tuesday’s sometimes contentious meeting with the Steamship Authority, her comments about the ferry service’s reservation system were met with wild applause.

They were also met, apparently, with quick action.

Ravitch complained about the drop down menu preferences on the Steamship Authority’s website.

“For years I have been begging the Steamship Authority to please change the online dropdown that starts with Woods Hole to Martha’s Vineyard,” she said.

Ravitch requested the SSA’s IT department set that preference to blank so the person has to make a choice.

“That’s a small example but it has to do with the customer and communication,” Ravitch said during the meeting.

On Thursday, The Times received word from Fred Condon of Edgartown that the reservation system had been changed.

“The drop down menu on the SSA website, which had always assumed that people that had Island addresses would be leaving from Woods Hole has been changed,” he wrote. “It now requires that a departure location is selected.”

Condon reminded The Times that it was one of the many things brought up at the meeting.

“Can’t tell you how many times I showed up at the boat only to be told that my trip had been made in reverse,” Condon wrote.

Robert Davis, general manager, confirmed the change by email. “Yes we made that change so it is now a drop down to select the route,” he wrote. “We also made some improvements in how the travel advisories display as well as the current conditions.”

Ravitch had not yet seen the change when contacted by The Times.

“Oh my God, that is fantastic,” she said.

Ravitch said she should have taken her own advice a long time ago when she used to tell customers at her bank that didn’t get satisfaction to take it to the bank president. “You have to go right to the top,” she said. “I’m thrilled they made this change.”

The quick action by the SSA demonstrates that officials were listening to the frustrations and concerns raised during the two-hour session, which ultimately had the SSA board voting for a full independent review of the ferry line’s issues.

“I’m encouraged,” Condon wrote.