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Steamship Authority proposes higher fares for Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket ferries

Crowds disembark a ferry from Woods Hole at Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard.Christiana Botic for The Boston Globe

Taking the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket will soon become more expensive if new rate hikes proposed by the Steamship Authority are approved.

The price increases would generate an estimated $7.8 million in additional revenue — approximately $4.4 million from the Martha’s Vineyard route and $3.4 million from the Nantucket route, Steamship Authority officials said in a statement.

The new rates would go into effect Jan. 3, according to a proposal posted on the agency’s website.

The authority is expecting “no material change [to its operating budget] other than maintenance expenses, depreciation, and interest costs,” Steamship Authority Treasurer Mark Rozum said during a Zoom informational meeting for the proposed 2023 operating budget Monday evening. A new chief operating officer position is also included in next year’s budget, he said.


Fuel costs are a “big driver” of budget increases, Rozum said.

“Looking at where we budgeted last year, we were at $2.37 a gallon and we’re budgeting up to $3.93 a gallon for 2023,” Rozum said. This totals about $5.6 million, roughly a 69 percent increase, he said.

On the Martha’s Vineyard route, adult passenger tickets would rise 50 cents (from $9 to $9.50), and children and senior tickets would be raised by 25 cents (from $4.50 to $4.75). The cost of 10-ride commuter books would increase $4 for adults (from $82 to $86) and by $2.50 for seniors and children, while the 46-ride book would increase $9. The prices for one-way standard fare vehicles on the Martha’s Vineyard route would be increased by 5.1 to 8.7 percent.

Steamship authority officials have also proposed raising excursion fares by $1 and the cost of 10-ride automobile coupon books by $45 (from $910 to $955), as well as an 8 percent rate increase for all vehicles longer than 20 feet.


The cost of year-round parking permits at the Woods Hole and Palmer Avenue lots would climb by $50, seasonal permits would cost $25 more, and daily parking rates from May 15 to Oct. 31 would go up by $1 under the plan.

On the Nantucket route, the cost of traditional passenger tickets would be raised $1 for adults (from $19 to $20) and 50 cents for children and seniors (from $9.50 to $10). The cost of 10-ride commuter books would go up $8 for adults and $5 for children and seniors. High-speed ferry tickets would cost an additional $3 for adults, $1.50 for children, and $2.25 for seniors. Same day high-speed tickets round-trip tickets would cost an additional $2.50 for each direction for adults; an additional $1.75 for seniors, and an extra $1 for children.

The cost of 10-ride high-speed tickets would go up by $25 per book for adults, $17 for seniors, and $15 for children. The prices for one-way standard fare vehicles on the Nantucket route would increase between 5.4 and 7.3 percent.

Also on the Nantucket route, excursion fares would go up $2 and the cost of the six-ride automobile coupon book would go up $66. Year-round parking permits for Hyannis would increase by $50, seasonal permits by $25, and daily parking rates from May 15 to Oct. 31 would be raised by $1.

Comments from Monday’s meeting and a similar meeting held Friday will be taken into consideration, Steamship Authority General Manager Robert Davis said during the meeting. They will be seeking approval for the 2023 proposed budget and the rate adjustments in the coming weeks, he said.


Emily Sweeney can be reached at emily.sweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney and on Instagram @emilysweeney22. Breanne Kovatch can be reached at breanne.kovatch@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @breannekovatch.