Transportation on Martha's Vineyard faces special challenges.
As an island, it is only accessible by boat or air.
As a summer resort, there is a nearly five-fold fluctuation in the number of
people on the Island, with seasonal patterns leading to congestion, safety problems
and straining of infrastructure capacities.
As a predominantly rural area, the low-density land use pattern encourages
high automobile use and makes it more challenging to offer alternative means of
As a locality of unique environmental, scenic, and historic qualities, there
is ongoing concern about the impact of transportation on these important features
of the Vineyard.
As one of the Commonwealth's thirteen regional planning agencies, the Martha's
Vineyard Commission coordinates transportation planning on Martha's Vineyard through
an agreement with MassHighway. Transportation is also an important factor considered
when projects are reviewed by the MVC as Developments of Regional Impact.
TRANSPORTATION ON MARTHA'S VINEYARD
The transportation system of Dukes County is made up of the following components.
About 2.5 million passenger trips are made to and from the Island each year,
about 90% on the Steamship
Authority ferries operating from Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs.
There are several private passenger ferries linking the Vineyard and Gosnold to
various mainland ports. The MV Chamber
of Commerce maintains up-to-date information and links to these services.
The Martha's Vineyard Airport
handles about 300,000 passenger [wgv1]trips each year. There are also two smaller
airstrips on the Island.
There are 177 miles of public, paved roads on the Vineyard, none more than
two lanes wide. There are no traffic lights or parking meters on the Island. Traffic
can be quite congested in Down-Island towns during the summer.
BUSES AND TAXIS
The Martha's Vineyard
Transit Authority runs an Island-wide, year-round bus service. There are many
taxi companies operating out of the three Down-Island towns.
BICYCLES AND PEDESTRIANS
There is an extensive network of bicycle paths and routes that offers an alternative
to car use.
ONGOING PLANNING WORK
The Commission works under the direction of the Committee of Signatories and
in collaboration with the Joint Transportation Committee to carry out a comprehensive,
cooperative, and continuing ("3C") transportation planning process that
is responsive to local needs. This planning is carried out in the framework of
the TransportEquityAct [document not yet available online] for the 21st Century
(TEA-21) and the 1990 CleanAirActAmends [document not yet available online] (CAAA).
The UPWP FFY 2014 (UPWorkProgram 279K) (UPWP) is a contractual agreement
that outlines transportation planning activities to be undertaken by the Commission
with funding from federal and state agencies.
The Commission collects a variety of transportation data and maintains an active
database. Click on the names below for PDF versions of the following inventories.
- Traffic Counts (TrafficVolumeCounts 47K)
- PED Meeting Agenda 2011_01_19 (AccidentData 56K)
- SSA Ferry Traffic Reports (FerryTrafficReports 28K)
- EnplaneInfo [document not yet available online]
- TransitRidership [document not yet available online]
- CensusTransportPlanPkg [document not yet available online]
The Commission has prepared a computerized Travel Demand Modeling (TravelDemandModeling 14K) that models traffic flows on major Island Roads based on socio-economic data.
WHO'S WHO OF ISLAND TRANSPORTATION PLANNING
Transportation Planning in Dukes County is the responsibility of a Committee
of Signatories that is advised by a Joint Transportation Committee.
COMMITTEE OF SIGNATORIES
The Commission and its three partnersthe Executive
Office of Transportation and Construction, MassHighway,
and the Martha's Vineyard
Regional Transit Authorityact as a Committee of Signatories (the equivalent
of a Metropolitan Planning Organization in urban areas) that oversees transportation
planning in Dukes County.
JOINT TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
The Joint Transportation Committee (JTC) advises the Committee of Signatories.
The JTC's members widely represent Island interests to ensure a balanced consideration
of transportation issues. Two key documents guide the public's role in transportation
- A MOU (MemoUnderstanding 110K) defines the "3C" process,
the responsibilities of the decision-makers and the roles of the Joint Transportation
- The Agenda JTC - 2014-03-19 (JTCAgenda 30K) is the JTC's bylaw.
REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLAN
The Regional Transportation Plan looks 25 years ahead and frames long and short-term
strategies that will result in the development of an integrated multimodal regional
Updated every four years, the latest plan includes socio-economic, environmental, and other land-use-related considerations that influence the Island's transportation network. By analyzing the existing and future conditions of the region's transportation system, the Plan identifies needs, recommends further study and suggests for possible solutions.
A copy of the current 2011 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) (RegionTransportPlan 7.2M) is available
in the Resource Center of this web site.
TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) lists regional transportation
projects for Dukes County for the next five years (based on the federal fiscal
year of October 1 to September 30).
All transportation projects funded by federal and state agencies must be included.
The list is constrained by available funding sources and must satisfy air quality
conformity guidelines. The projects appearing in the current TIP were selected
from a variety of sources, including the previous TIP as well as project listings
provided by MHD, the Regional Transit Authority, and JTC members representing
their towns and organizations.
The following criteria are used to select and prioritize projects.
- Promote greater roadway, bicycle and pedestrian safety.
- Favor the use of alternative modes of transportation, other than the private
- Reduce traffic congestion with physical improvements, particularly at the
most problematic locations.
- Respect and reinforce the scenic, historic and natural values of the Vineyard.
- Preserve existing road and bridge infrastructure.
A copy of the current Draft TIP Amendment (TransportImprovePlan 1.3M) is available
in the Resource Center of this web site.
Planner (Transportation), 508-693-3453 x16, firstname.lastname@example.org.