Chappy Ferry may get vehicle rate increase

A public hearing has been set for a vehicle fare increase for the Chappy Ferry. — Gabrielle Mannino

Updated Apr 24

Vehicles may have to pay $1 more to cross Edgartown Harbor on the Chappy Ferry.

At the board’s meeting Monday, Edgartown selectmen set a public hearing date regarding the potential increase for the Chappy Ferry vehicle cash fare from $12 to $13 at the request of owners Peter Wells and Sally Snipes. The hearing is set for Monday, May 6, at 4:10 pm in Edgartown Town Hall. The proposed rate increase is for vehicle traffic only, not foot traffic.

Wells told The Times the proposed rate increase is due to a decline in passenger fares. Over the past two years, vehicle volume has fallen 25 percent and foot traffic volume has fallen 35 percent.

The last increase came in 2008, when Wells requested foot traffic round-trips be increased from $3 to $4, and from $10 to $12 for vehicle round-trips.

In other business, a request from Bad Martha Farmer’s Brewery to extend live music days from two to four days per week in July and August was pushed to May 13 due to abutter complaints.

Bad Martha general manager Josh Flanders asked for the increase so he could start booking performers for the upcoming season.

Selectmen Arthur Smadbeck and Margaret Serpa said Bad Martha has a special license, but was not sold to the town as a bar. Selectman Mike Donaroma was absent at Monday’s meeting.

“We’ve had complaints. This has been an ongoing problem there since the opening of it,” Smadbeck said. “I like entertainment and beer as much as anybody, but we have to do it correctly.”

Selectmen also received a letter from Gigi Condlin, who lives on Pinehurst Road, detailing her concerns about noise, traffic, and the encroachment of commercial zoning near her residential property.

The issue was continued to the board’s May 13 meeting at 4 pm.

Updated to add comment from Peter Wells. — Ed.


  1. How come the exclusive rights to operate this service does not go out to bid? I understand years ago a former owner took over the financial responsibility to maintain the ramps from the town, but other than a few barges, what ‘right’ has been established that gets this sold from owner to owner rather than going out to bid?

  2. I love beer and music and Bad Martha’s but it is already pushing the bounds of credulity as a “tasting room” and retail outlet. Let’s keep it as it is and not stir up opposition.

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