Inn owners will pay more this summer for their patrons to visit Chilmark beaches as the town institutes several changes aimed at easing summer traffic at Lucy Vincent Beach.

The beach committee has been looking at changing how beach permits are provided to guests at town inns since last November. While the details are still taking shape, inn owners met with the beach committee this week to outline several changes. Besides inn owners paying more for beach permits for guests, other measures include getting rid of a rule preventing inn guests from parking at the beach between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and requiring guests staying at Menemsha Inn cottages to purchase their own permits at town hall.

Members of the beach committee said parking at Lucy Vincent, a popular south shore spot, has been more of an ordeal in recent years, especially as Squibnocket Beach to the west recedes and loses popularity with the summer crowd. At least once last summer, a long line of cars extended down Lucy Vincent Beach Road.

This summer will serve as a trial period for proposed changes, with more permanent changes implemented next year.

In 2011, the beach committee started allowing Chilmark inns to provide temporary beach permits for their patrons to park at the beach. As a result, fewer people have been using public transportation to get from the inns to the beach. The Vineyard Transit Authority is scaling back its Chilmark service this summer, including eliminating service between Lucy Vincent and Chilmark inns.

Inn owners who attended the meeting Tuesday said they did not anticipate much resistance to the new policies. Sarah Nixon, owner of the Menemsha Inn and the Beach Plum Inn, said some of her guests have been visiting for decades and are accustomed to the changes. “We have done every incarnation over the years,” she said.

“We understand life is changing,” said Julie Flanders, owner of the Captain Flanders Inn.

Beach committee chairman Kristin Maloney emphasized that there will be “no drastic changes” this summer, and the policies will be revisited in the fall. She emphasized that all inn guests will still get walk-on passes.

One goal this summer will be to keep better track of how many vehicles use the beach parking lots. The Lucy Vincent Beach parking lot has room for about 180 cars; the lot at Squibnocket Beach allows about 40 cars.

The committee will also work on helping the inns educate visitors about how to get to the beach without driving. Mrs. Nixon said about 30 per cent of her patrons do not bring their cars to the Vineyard; Ms. Flanders said about 40 per cent of her patrons prefer to walk or bike. The committee will likely revisit the issue of bus service next year.

“There is no way to alleviate the problem of parking unless people take the bus,” Ms. Maloney said.

Committee member Clarissa Allen said that buses going to Lucy Vincent ended up not being very user-friendly because people boarding at the inns had to wait on the side of the road. She also pointed out the relatively high cost of the service: last year the beach bus cost Chilmark about $50,000 and often ran empty.

Selectman Warren Doty, who attended the meeting along with selectman Jonathan Mayhew, suggested looking into a small VTA shuttle that could serve the inns and beaches every hour. Ms. Flanders said her guests would welcome that option if it met their needs.