How long can growth continue for Cape Cod's ferry service?
The Steamship Authority runs ferry service to-and-from Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket—more than 3 million passengers traveled on one of its ferries in 2019. Even more are expected this year.
Recently, the ferry service has come under increased scrutiny. Some are suggesting that the continued growth of island populations is putting an unprecedented burden on the ports that serve them.
Representative Sue Moran recently filed legislation calling for a change in the structure of the Authority to give more voice to the mainland ports. Island officials decry any alteration to the governance of a service that has been called "the lifeline to the islands."
Our series examines the ferry line, the impacts of its increasing vehicle traffic, and what the service may look like in the future as growth continues.
Electric Ferries, Controlled Growth: Environmentalists Push Steamship Authority for Sustainable FutureAs ferry ridership is projected to increase year after year — and as the region grapples with the question of what a sustainable future looks like — environmentalists say the answer begins with clean energy.
Lifeline to the Islands, or Stranglehold on Cape Cod? Neighbors Say Ferries' Freight Traffic is Changing the CapeResidents who wake to noise and fumes are trying to awaken the rest of Cape Cod to something bigger. They say the Steamship Authority ferry service is shaping the mainland with ever-expanding operations exempt from local planning.
The Cape's ferry service today is overseen by a five-member board of governors and serves the ports of Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Hyannis and New Bedford. But that’s not how it began.