The long-awaited redesign of the Steamship Authority’s website could be up and running by this summer. 

Though delayed several times, the new website is currently undergoing internal testing and is expected to be available for the public in June, Steamship Authority leadership said at their Tuesday meeting of the ferry line’s advisory Port Council. 

The Steamship Authority said its new website will be easier to use, resulting in faster booking and better functionality. Only a small list of outstanding items, including load testing and making sure reservations can be canceled and changed, are left to straighten out before its launch. 

Next month, the Steamship Authority expects to start testing live credit cards on the site, before a limited beta version of it will go online in mid-May. By June, the full beta version could be available for all travelers. 

“These dates I’m putting up are certainly subject to change, whether it’s postponed further or promoted sooner than anticipated,” said Stephen Colman, the Steamship Authority’s information technology director. “We are that close in the project that it can go either way.”

The ferry service hired a consultant in early 2022 for what was initially believed to be a year-long project. But the project hit several snags, including with switching credit card processors and with the reservations system, pushing the website launch back more than a year.

After Tuesday’s report from Mr. Colman, Tisbury port council member John Cahill wondered if it wasn’t best to put off the new website until after the summer’s busy season. 

Mr. Colman said the idea warranted discussion, but the project had some momentum now. 

“I think the vendors would like to move this forward, I think the Steamship would like to move this forward,” he said. 

Steamship officials said the website was within its current budget, which was last reported at about $2.8 million. 

Separately, the Steamship Authority is planning to put out a request for proposals for an overhaul of its IT systems, including the replacement of the reservation system, with an eye for the new system to roll out in 2026.