Another, cheaper bus service to airports?

Plymouth & Brockton bus lines would like to provide service to Logan and T.F. Green from the SSA's Woods Hole terminal.

Plymouth & Brockton bus lines would like to provide service from the Steamship Authority terminal in Woods Hole to Logan Airport in Boston and T.F. Green Airport in Providence, but the company’s owner John Cogliano says he’s been stonewalled in his attempts to get general manager Robert Davis’s attention.

That despite Cogliano’s contention that he will offer round-trip service from Woods Hole to Logan that is $11 cheaper than Peter Pan bus line, which operates a service that picks up at the Woods Hole terminal.

“This is a deliberate scheme to delay,” Cogliano told The Times Monday — providing some emails that went unreturned from Davis. (These emails were sent prior to the June 2 ransomware attack.)

Cogliano first approached the SSA in March of 2020, but with a plan to go from Woods Hole to T.F. Green Airport. When he attempted to tweak the license agreement on the spot to offer Logan service, the issue was tabled when Falmouth’s representative Kathryn Wilson questioned the amount of congestion it would create and wanted to know how the Falmouth Economic Development & Industrial Corp. would handle the issue

Cogliano contends more bus service will reduce the number of vehicles in Woods Hole since people will have another option besides driving to the airport.

After that initial meeting COVID-19 hit, travel plummeted, and P&B shut down.

Fast forward to April of 2021 and Cogliano emailed Davis about coming back before the board. There are several emails that went unanswered before Davis told him that the issue would have to go before the Port Council first and then go before the full board again.

When The Times asked to talk to Davis earlier this week — he’s been unavailable — Cogliano received an email from the SSA’s legal counsel Terence Kenneally and was informed the issue would be on the board’s upcoming agenda on Tuesday. Sean Driscoll, in a text message, confirmed that the board will be updated on P&B’s request, but said there may not be a vote since an updated license agreement has not been submitted by P&B.

“The Steamship Authority received a proposal from Plymouth & Brockton to run service from our Woods Hole terminal to T.F. Green in early 2020. At the March board meeting, Mr. Cogliano indicated he also wished to run service to Boston Logan Airport as well. The board declined to act at that time given the uncertainty over the service and out of a desire for a review of his request by the Falmouth EDIC. The COVID-19 pandemic subsequently became the focus of our operations, and Plymouth and Brockton temporarily halted service,” Driscoll wrote in an email responding to a question The Times hoped to address to Davis. “The Steamship Authority has not, to date, received an updated request from Plymouth and Brockton. Under the Marine Transportation Act, the Authority controls access to its terminals and must have specifics in hand, such as proposed arrival and departure times, prior to considering the request. We additionally have other logistical considerations to contend with, including the already established arrival times of the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority and Peter Pan at the terminal, as well as our limited space due to the ongoing Woods Hole Terminal Reconstruction Project. When a sufficiently detailed request to establish service is received, we will review it in due course and determine the appropriate course of action.”

On Friday, Cogliano updated The Times with his proposed schedule, which has seven roundtrips to Logan and two roundtrips to T.F. Green.

Cogliano said he has permission from Falmouth EDIC to use the Falmouth train station (also used by Peter Pan) as a stop. He said it’s being held in escrow awaiting the SSA’s decision.

Cogliano, who once served the state as Secretary of Transportation, said it would be unlawful for the SSA to allow one bus service and not another — essentially setting up a monopoly. Beyond that, he’s providing a cheaper alternative for Islanders to get to and from the airports.

“It’s against the public good,” Cogliano said. “They should provide as many options as possible … They’re loyalty should not be to one particular bus company.”


  1. Yes, Yes, and Yes again! I hope the MV Times readership will do all it can to encourage the P&B Bus line to compete with the expensive and unreliable Peter Pan Bus line.

    P & B Bus line would be great, reliable competition , and if they can promise good service without the hassles of reservations and additional fees for missed reservation times, that would be far better than what Peter Pan offers.

    It should go without saying that the islanders need a reliable and constant source of transportation to Boston, especially where so many of us have Dr and hospital appointments in the Boston area.

    Please take a moment to email or write a letter to our MA representatives so as to add some clout to this much needed service that P&B is willing to offer! Thanks!

    • Donna– thank you for bringing up the reservations thing with Peter Pan. I don’t use the bus much, as I usually travel with others when flying. The car gets more cost effective of course.
      But I agree, The PP policy about reservations etc is really out of line and the obvious result of their monopoly.
      No surprise the steamship managers are dragging their feet–The only change they want is increased ticket prices.

      • I absolutely agree with you all about needing an additional bus line that will be cheaper and have more runs then the ones available through Peter Pan! It is essential that this is allowed! Why is the SSA dragging their feet!

  2. Let the free market work! This is how it is supposed to be in the United States. Competition helps innovate and in many cases lowers costs for consumers. Monopolies are bad for the country. Let’s get a few companies, not just two! Boston eventually provided cheaper buses to NYC and Peter Pan was forced to make their prices reasonable. I think it’s something like $30 to go to Boston, which is out of this world. In Europe, which is certainly an economic equal, you can take a train from Paris to Rome for just a little more. Bob Davis, report to planet Earth!

  3. We really need more options! Islanders are struggling with options. Hundreds dollars spent with Uber to reach Boston or Woods Hole, because Peter Pan schedule is not enough for the necessity. Competition is always amazing, because forces the companies to delivery a better service and usually the prices down.

  4. One more bus is not going to make a difference in traffic. Competition is good for the public. The SSA is supposed to be serving the public.

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