After a historically bad April for both ridership and revenue, the Steamship Authority continued to take steps to buoy its operation Tuesday, voting to secure a $10 million line of credit and again announcing a small uptick in short-term traffic.

“At this point, even with the current traffic levels, I think we could get to Labor Day,” general manager Bob Davis told the SSA governing board.

Tuesday marked the governors’ second weekly video-conference meeting since Mr. Davis wrote a letter to Gov. Charlie Baker, saying that the boat line was bleeding cash due to the pandemic and might have to shutter operations by the end of May if it did not receive a significant cash influx.

But in the past two weeks the SSA has found a way to steady its finances, securing approximately $12 million in expedited federal grant funds that will see its operations through July.

And on Tuesday, after a nearly six-week saga of negotiation and re-drafting, the boat line finally secured a line of credit from the Martha’s Vineyard Bank that is expected to cushion the ferry operation through the fall, should ridership stay at its current levels.

At a meeting in late March, governors authorized Mr. Davis and treasurer Mark Rozum to explore a line of credit up to $10 million, anticipating a need as ferry traffic had begun plummeting.

Almost a month later, in mid-April, Mr. Rozum provided the board with an option from Cape Cod Five bank. But governors didn’t like the terms, sending Mr. Rozum back to the drawing board in an attempt to renegotiate. Meanwhile, the boat line received a second offer on the credit line from the Martha’s Vineyard Bank.

On Tuesday, Mr. Rozum said the interest rates offered in the Martha’s Vineyard Bank option were slightly better than those from Cape Cod Five, with the terms being equal. Martha’s Vineyard Bank offered a 2.66 rate with a 2.5 minimum rate, while Cape Cod Five’s rate was 2.75.

“Based on these numbers, I would recommend, apples to apples, going with MV Savings Bank,” Mr. Rozum said. “They have a lower minimum rate and a lower rate as of right now. And all terms are equal.”

Responding to a question about the process for obtaining the line of credit, Mr. Davis explained that the boat line did not initially reach out to Martha’s Vineyard Bank, but that the bank came to them with an offer.

“We did not reach out to MV Savings Bank even though we have a relationship with them because we did not want to be interfering with their abilities to provide funding to any of the Island businesses that were looking for funding at the same time,” Mr. Davis said. “They reached out to us afterward to say that wasn’t an issue, that they were capable of doing this and wanted to submit a proposal.”

Mr. Davis said the line of credit will be a last resort for the boat line. If ridership stays at the current projected levels through the summer and the SSA received no additional funding, $10 million could help get through the fall, he said.

Also Tuesday, Mr. Davis updated governors on the dismal April traffic numbers. Overall passenger traffic was running at about 16 per cent of the SSA’s expected monthly ridership, Mr. Davis said, with 160,000 fewer passengers over the course of the month. There were 125,000 fewer passengers on the Vineyard route compared with the same period last year.

Car traffic was similarly down, running at about 23 per cent of the expected numbers for April. There were 25,000 fewer vehicles overall, and 22,000 fewer on the Vineyard route. Trucks ran at about 40 per cent of expected volume, down 10,000 vehicles overall and 7,000 on the Vineyard route.

“It’s safe to say, with those decreases in traffic, we’re going to be taking at least a $5 million hit against our projected revenues for the month of April,” Mr. Davis said. He said other revenues, such as driver services (on the Nantucket route), would be down as well. “When it’s all said and done, I would expect that number to be north of $5 million,” Mr. Davis said, describing financial losses for April alone.

But more recent numbers Mr. Davis presented the board showed that ridership had ticked upward. Passenger traffic was up to 24 per cent of expected numbers this past weekend, and summer bookings showed net increases over the past week. And while May reservations are running at about half the normal levels, other months are only off in single-digit percentages.

Mr. Davis also said the hybrid freight/car/passenger ferry Woods Hole, which has been servicing the Vineyard, was sold out for the upcoming week. As a result the SSA planned to double crew the Martha’s Vineyard, allowing her to run four trips, seven days a week.

Until now the Woods Hole has been the only ferry running on weekends. Starting May 7, the Martha’s Vineyard will run on weekends as well.

“These aren’t significant movements, but those short-term trends seem to be up a little,” Mr. Davis said.

Vineyard governor James Malkin and New Bedford governor Moira Tierney asked Mr. Davis to present a more formal future business plan at the next meeting.

“My biggest concern is, how do we sustain at least bare bones transportation to both Islands?” Ms. Tierney asked Mr. Davis.

In other business, Mr. Davis called into question the promised June 22 completion date for repairs to the Oak Bluffs terminal, asking that governors agree to a limited repair process in order to make that date a possibility.

Bids for work on the pier are due May 7, but Mr. Davis said he was getting indications that the June 22 date might not fly.

The date was promised by Mr. Malkin to Oak Bluffs town leaders last month amid a political flareup over the repair project.

“We are starting to hear back from vendors that would normally be bidding on this project, and what we are hearing from them is, between the timeline of delivery of materials and the work that needs to be done, is that the June 22 date becomes problematic,” Mr. Davis said.

Director of marine operations Mark Amundsen suggested repairing about a third of the 35 pilings that need repairs, and then completing the full project in the fall or winter. Partial repairs would mean large trucks cannot come into Oak Bluffs.

“In order to make that date, that is probably the only route we have at this point,” Mr. Davis said. “It would entail that we would have to make adjustments to what’s being run into Oak Bluffs during the season once it opens.”

Mr. Davis and Mr. Amundsen did not know whether partial repairs would wind up costing more than completing the full project in June. Previous estimates put the cost of the project at $500,000.

“It wouldn’t be as efficient,” Mr. Amundsen said, speaking of doing the work in two stages. “Decking may need to be pulled up in the same location to address other issues.”

“It puts off an expense. I don’t know how much,” he added.

Mr. Davis and Mr. Amundsen said all the materials for the project had already been ordered. The part of the project potentially driving back the completion date are the piling caps, which Mr. Davis said would not arrive until June 8. He also said he was working with the Vineyard Transit Authority to provide expanded bus service between Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven during construction.

Governors agreed to the expedited fix in principle, but will wait to vote on the project until bids are opened on Monday, May 11.