Sorry Bill, Lee Ann was right

Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard
Oak Bluffs is world famous for its 19th century Methodist Campground with its gingerbread cottages arranged in concentric circles around the Tabernacle where there are concerts most evenings.  All this charm  abuts the historic Wesley Hotel in the center above.


Getting around The Vineyard without a car
MVTA does it right so why not let them show us how?

mvsign250_400My wife spent every summer as a child in Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard, and we visit at least once a year, but we have never taken our car.

We have biked every inch of this storied island, and today we often bike one way and take the remarkable Martha's Vineyard Transit Authority (MVT) buses on our return trip since they all have bike racks in front.  We always stay as the historic (and reasonably priced) Wesley Hotel which has loomed over the busy harbor there for 127 years and abuts the quaint campground with its tiny gingerbread houses.

On the Vineyard "you can get there from here" 

A few weeks ago "Barnstable Bill" Doherty extolled the virtues of our new Flex bus in a column here which asked "who says you can’t get there from here?"

He was immediately taken to task by an unhappy rider in LeeAnn's Lament which answered Bill question with a responding "I can not."

I just returned from four days in The Vineyard, and on the last day there I spent five hours using the MVTA and managed to covered every route on the island, visited every town, AND MADE EVERY CONNECTION.  The longest waits between our day-long connections was 8 and 4 minutes. The rest were direct, no-wait connections.

"Doing The Vineyard" for $3 and on time

We checked out of the wonderful old Wesley Hotel at the head of Oak Bluffs Harbor at 10:20  and decided to try to spend the day until our boat left at 5 touring the whole island, but getting back to Oak Bluffs by 3:30.

1tiviliSeniors pay half-price ($3.) for a day pass, so we started our tour from The Tivoli, or  Ocean Park, in Oak Bluffs and headed to Edgartown on MVTA Route #13 at 10:30, see the first MVTA map here.

The ride along Nantucket Sound to Edgartown is 6-½ miles and took ten minutes. Since we were headed for Menemsha in the other end of the island, we assumed there would be a wait, but  #6 bus to the West Tisbury Town Hall arrived in 8 minutes. When we arrived there in about 20 minutes, the #4 "short bus" to Menemsha was pulling up behind us.

On to Menemsha and Gay Head Light 

Guess what - they plan it that way.  Every leg of our four hour tour was timed to have the bus we were on, and any buses connecting, arrive at the same time at each way station.

2menemsha_01Here's the second map to this part of the island, and here's the third map from there to Aquinnah and the famous, red brick Gay Head Light which we added to our itinerary since the detailed schedules showed we would have no problem circumnavigating the island in the four hours allotted.

During our rides on seven separate buses, we only waited twice for the next bus; 8 minutes in Edgartown and 4 minutes in  West Tisbury.

That's how a commuter or tourism bus system CAN work - one bus doesn't leave until the next bus arrives and vice versa.

If we did that on Cape Cod LeeAnn would have no lament. 

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