Updated Saturday, March 21, 2:25 pm*
The Steamship Authority is going to be making fewer trips to the Island as a result a drop in ridership, according to a media advisory issued by spokesman Sean Driscoll.
Schedule changes are also being made on the Nantucket route. The changes go into effect Sunday.
The drop in service is a result of people being told to stay home in an effort to mitigate the spread of novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.
SSA leadership has made it clear that it won’t curtail service completely unless it’s ordered to by state or federal authorities, because of the lifeline it provides. The one caveat has been if SSA crew become ill, but that’s not the case with the schedule reduction.
“The schedules are in response to a noted decline in passenger and vehicular traffic on board its vessels this week, as well as in anticipation of lowered demand for the foreseeable future,” the advisory states. “This modified schedule currently runs through April 2, 2020, but could be extended or further modified as circumstances warrant.”
Driscoll wrote in a text message that customers will be contacted by the reservation office about the changes. “We are moving them to other boats,” he wrote.
The new schedule is available at steamshipauthority.com/schedules and is listed below
8:15 AM (HAZARDOUS CARGO TRIP – NO WALK-ON PASSENGERS)
Daily departures from Vineyard Haven will now be at the following times:
12:00 PM (HAZARDOUS CARGO TRIP – NO WALK-ON PASSENGERS)
Customers who were scheduled to travel on a trip that has been removed from the schedule will be contacted by the reservation office to reschedule, or they can go to www.steamshipauthority.com or call 508-477-8600 from 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM to rebook.
*updated to include schedule