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Should Steamship Authority Ban Unaccompanied Kids?

The Steamship Authority has never required children over 5 to be chaperoned aboard its ferries to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, but that may be changing with the introduction of a new policy.

The general manager of the has asked its board of directors to consider adopting a policy that would raise the minimum age at which children may ride the ferries unaccompanied.

According to the minutes from the board's Feb. 12 meeting,

Currently the SSA requires only that children under five years of age must be accompanied by an adult who is responsible for their care and conduct during the passage, and many other ferry operators and transportation providers have policies that require all children under the age of 12 or 13 to be accompanied by an adult.  

Although management feels that the SSA should establish a similar minimum age, the Board agreed  to first solicit feedback from customers who would be negatively impacted by the proposed change before deciding whether to establish management’s proposed policy or some other policy the Board believes is more suitable.

The Steamship Authority board next meets March 19 at 9:30 a.m. in the second floor of the Woods Hole terminal, according to the minutes.

What do you think? Would your family be affected if the SSA raises the age for unaccompanied children? Tell us in the comments.

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Aaron Bennett February 20, 2013 at 02:53 PM
This would impact many families who have one parent on and one off island, or just visits to Grandparents. Children are more capable than we give them credit for and the world is a safer place then we assume.
Cheryl Burns March 16, 2013 at 02:24 PM
Planes don't ban them, but they are escorted on and off assigned seats by staff. Perhaps a special seating area supervised by staff for the children's safety and protection. What do long distance buses do?
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) March 16, 2013 at 02:44 PM
Hey, I thought you were my bus expert! ;) Kidding aside, good question and the answer from Greyhound is quite long and detailed: http://www.greyhound.com/en/ticketsandtravel/childrentraveling.aspx
Barb Nahoumi March 17, 2013 at 01:33 PM
For their own safety, children under 12 should be accompanied by a responsible adult on the ferries.

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