Southeast Massachusetts Regional Transportation (SMART) is a citizens task force focused singularly on transportation in the entire southeast MA region, with interest in redirecting trucks and cars to other routes instead of crossing bridges onto the Cape and funneling towards Woods Hole where the Steamship Authority tries to expand capacity. The current system is overwhelmed, from bridges to islands and all between.
SMART analysis of traffic share of Steamship Authority cars, buses, and larger trucks on Woods Hole Road (S of Oyster Pond), sum of S and N traffic count passing S of Oyster Pond Road intersection TrafficsharebySSAinSeptember2020
“There is renewed interest in a freight ferry service to Martha’s Vineyard, prompted by continuing pressure on the Steamship Authority (SSA) by residents and businesses in Falmouth/Woods Hole to remove truck traffic. If the original roll-on/roll-off facility on State Pier is deemed not suitable at this time then this redevelopment area may offer an opportunity to accommodate freight ferry service to Martha’s Vineyard and ultimately Nantucket – both of which were established as technically and financially feasible in independent studies conducted for the state and NBPA and which would produce positive job creation and other economic benefits to New Bedford and both islands. Between 20 and 30 local jobs – not counting the indirect effects of expansions by off-site suppliers documented in prior studies – would be produced as a consequence of freight ferry service to the islands.” (NEW BEDFORD WATERFRONT REDEVELOPMENT PLAN: FOCUS AREA SOUTH, Draft March 2020, page 25)
1. Will the SSA be issuing a Request for Proposals for the future NB freight service that would be open to all to submit a proposal?
2. When will Craig Johnson’s work begin? Freight service planning would have to begin at least 18-24 months before service could begin, and need not wait until the last day of State Pier repair.
3. How will Craig Johnson be compensated for his work? For example, is this a $20K/report (as was last summer’s “initial report” work) or will Mr. Johnson’s firm be brought in for more time? For what period would Mr. Johnson or his firm be under contract?
4. What if Craig Johnson’s firm wants to bid on the route itself (as Mr. Johnson or his firm may well like to)?
5. How will the SSA participate actively in identifying and securing outside funding for the estimated $3 million to 5$ million repair for the State Pier? What is the expected time frame for that process of identifying and applying for such funding? Which SSA staff will be responsible for this activity?
6. SSA staff stated at the Falmouth Board of Selectmen’s meeting on January 22, 2018 that the first run of the day from NB would be haz mat only. Does that mean that other non-fuel freight trucks could not be on that same first boat to the Vineyard from NB? Could automobiles and passengers be on that route?
7. Why is the SSA not allowing for more open parameters on the frequency of freight trips that could be made between New Bedford and Martha’s Vineyard? For example, why are only two round-trips proposed? Why is the SSA limiting the duration of the proposed service to only 40% (22 weeks) of the year?
Prepared in response to A Proposed Service Model presented by SSA staff on January 22, 2018 to the Falmouth Board of Selectmen.
Below is report prepared by Craig Johnson (August 2017)