Should I Get an Annual Bus Pass on Martha's Vineyard?

For $100 a year, I can ride the Vineyard Transit Authority buses all over the Island. But will I get my money's worth? Your suggestions are welcome in the comments section.

Moving anywhere is a complicated process, and also an expensive one.

Registering the car, getting a new driving license, scraping up the money to put down two months' rent and a security deposit on an apartment — none of this is cheap.

So I'm on the fence about buying an annual bus pass for $100 from the Martha's Vineyard Regional Transit Authority.

I know it's a good deal if I am going to ride a lot: Regular fares are $1 a town or $7 a day, which can add up quickly.

There are some alternatives: Between the $7 day pass and the $100 annual pass, I could sample a $15 three-day pass, a $25 seven-day pass or a $40 31-day pass, according to the VTA website.

If I were 65 or older, I would probably go for the annual pass: Seniors pay half-price, if they ask for it, and $50 isn't so hard to find.

But $100? Should I do it? That's what I am wondering and hoping Island neighbors can help me answer.

It seems to me that for part of the year it's too cold to wait for a bus if you have a car here. And for another chunk of the year, the buses are crammed with tourists, summer people and all their stuff.

Still, wouldn't it be worth it not to have to drive around the Island's congested summer roads? And even in the winter, I'm seeing the buses all over the place with their cheerful pink LED message boards. They even ride on Sunday, which is a day of rest for public transit in my former community, Napa County. 

As I said: I'm on the fence, and looking to my neighbors to help me decide which way to hop.

Do you ride the VTA? Do you recommend a pass? Please share your suggestions in the comments below.

You may also be interested in:

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  • Moving to Martha’s Vineyard: Living the Dream ...and Learning to Love the Reality
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Michael West February 21, 2013 at 09:03 PM
Sample and see how you like it, see whether it works for your common destinations and gets you there in a good state of mind. You can always buy the C-note card later.
Michael McDaniel February 21, 2013 at 09:22 PM
This comment is for governor Malloy. Our children are our most valuable stock. They represent ours and their own future. You can regulate guns all you want but until you deal with the real problem it will be pointless. Dangerous weapons, guns included will always be available to any deranged or criminal peosonality no matter what laws and regulations you enact. What we really need is to stop waisting tax dollars on things like Milford's expensive new fire house and put it towards stiff penalties when sentencing criminal acts. Stop allowing plea bargains and early parole. So what about our schools? I beleive it is time to truly make them safe for our children. Ful lock down with any entrance/exit having a double passage, and metal/chemical detectors. Add retina ID and a proper armed guard at each. Sure that means money but I know any one of those greiving parents would be more than willing to ante up. Dont forget! We will be saving each time we say NO to the polititions and the pork barrel ideas they come up with! Sincerely It' time to save our future
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Hi Michael - We welcome comments, but this is far off topic for an article about bus travel on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. You would have better luck reaching the governor of Connecticut through his office in Hartford: http://www.governor.ct.gov/malloy
Thea Hansen February 23, 2013 at 05:47 PM
It's a good time of year to buy the annual pass if you think you'll use it because it expires on dec. 31' irrespective of what time of year you buy it. Going by bus may eliminate the excruciating job of finding a parking space in the summer in an acceptable amount of time. The buses will take your bike. This is HUGE! You can now enjoy so many more beachs. Many of the Land Bank beachs have limited parking, and now you KNOW you can spend some beach time ON THE BEACH rather than having to drive home again. The busn will pick you up and drop you off along the way when riding your bike has become too much. I've found the drivers to be really pleasant, helpful, and informative. the tourists and weekly vacationers who ride the bus do it too because their vacation time is better spent in town, or on the beach, than circling around for a 'spot.' when the buses first came into use, I knew of locals who stopped driving altogether in the summer in favor of using the bus. During the warmer months the buses run more frequently and there are longer buses in use as well. If convenient for you, the buses are just about the best thing that has happened here in the time you've been gone. Hitchhiking is a thing of the past.
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) February 25, 2013 at 12:21 PM
Thanks, Thea! I really appreciate the tips.
Holly Nadler March 05, 2013 at 08:25 PM
Louisa, it's even better than you think once you're 65 or older -- you can buy an annual bus pass at your local senior center for $15 sweet little bucks! I just did so right before my birthday in January, and I couldn't be happier. The schedule gets better in May (it's really spotty right now) but, seriously, unless you live down a long twisting rutted road, there's no reason in the world not to at least try to get around this island by foot, bike and/or bus. (Sorry, I'm a bit of a zealot on this topic; somebody shut me up!)


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