Boston, MA– A day after Governor Charlie Baker announced his support for Massport's proposal to designate a single spot for all pickups and drop-offs by ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft at Logan Airport, Massport has voted to move ahead with the plan, with some modifications to the original proposal as detailed on March 21.
Governor Baker made his statement on Wednesday afternoon, saying that there are currently too many ride-hailing drivers at the airport on a daily basis. Many of the Uber and Lyft cars coming into the airport are passenger-less; likewise, many drivers are leaving the airport with an empty car after dropping off a passenger. This results in thousands of unnecessary trips by drivers without passengers, referred to as "deadheading."
Massport says that last year, there were 12 million ridesharing trips to and from the airport. Of these trips, 5 million were not carrying passengers. The proposal for a centralized drop-off location aims to clear up some of the airport congestion and reduce the number of deadheading rideshare vehicles.
Yesterday, the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) Board of Directors voted to implement the following operational changes for Transportation Network Companies (TNCs, or rideshare companies) in order to reduce traffic congestion at Logan.
Beginning in October:
- There will be a designated drop-off / pick-up spot at the Central Garage, with the exception of drop-offs between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m. This exception will allow curb drop-offs at the terminal on the Arrivals levels during this timeframe only. During other hours, passengers arriving or departing in a rideshare will need to be dropped off at, or meet their driver at, Logan's Central Parking Garage.
- Massport will not raise the pickup fee of $3.25, but will add a $3.25 drop off fee (previously non-existent) effective October 1.
- Shared Ride customers will be incentivized with a discounted fee of $1.50 per rider.
- Subject to review in six months.
Massport says: "The plan is still expected to reduce as much as 30% of the TNC deadhead vehicles, those coming to or leaving Logan without a passenger. TNC deadheads represented 5 million vehicles last year."
Uber and Lyft say that changing the system is going to make trips to and from the airport more expensive and time-consuming for travelers who will now have to schlep themselves to the Central Garage. Massport will be monitoring the impact on riders and drivers over the next six months.