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(E. Sandwich, MA)
Question: We're taking our daughter and her friend and our family to Martha's Vinyard for her 14th birthday. How do we get to South Beach by bus leaving from Oak Bluffs.
Also, we are a military family - retired. Are there any discounts for military for the Ferry from Falmouth?
Dee's Reply: Hi Sue -
What a great birthday treat for your daughter!
Thankfully, Martha's Vineyard has a really good, easy-to-use, and very inexpensive on-island transportation system.
Bus to South Beach
To go from Oak Bluffs to South Beach, pick up a Vineyard Transit Authority ("VTA") Route #13 bus at the Ocean Park stop. The #13 will take you to the Church Street stop in Edgartown. At the Church Street stop, transfer to the Route #8 bus, which will take you out to South Beach.
Fares are exceedingly reasonable - cheap, actually! Only $1 per person, per town, each way. "Per town" includes the town where you get on the bus, the town where you get off, and every town you pass through along the way. (If my math is on-track, that'd be $4 per person, round trip from OB to South Beach.)
A few things you might want to know:
1. The VTA buses have electronic fare boxes, and the drivers can't make change. So it's a good idea to have dollar bills and loose change with you to pay the exact fare.
2. If you want to do a little touring around the island before or after your beach time, a VTA day pass might be more economical for you than the per town fare. A 1-day pass is $7 per person, and it's good for the entire day.
3. Half-price fares and passes are available for seniors (65 and over) and persons with disabilities. If anyone in your family qualifies, be sure to ask for the discount!
For more info about the buses, routes, schedules, etc., you can check out the VTA's website at www.vineyardtransit.com.
Military Discounts on the Ferry
You didn't say which ferry you're planning to take - the Island Queen ferry from Falmouth Harbor, or the Steamship Authority ferry from Woods Hole.
Of the two choices, the Steamship Authority is the only one offering a military discount. ($8.50 round trip vs. the regular adult fare of $16 round trip.) Active-duty military and Reserve Unit members can take advantage of the discount if they have proper ID and meet a few other requirements that you'll find on the SA's website at www.steamshipauthority.com.
I hope this info helps. If there's anything else I might be able to help you with as you plan your Martha's Vineyard getaway, feel free to ask.
Please pass along to your daughter my very best wishes for a wonderful 14th birthday!!
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