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Boston Logan Considers “Drop off Fee”

Traffic increase prompts interest in charging flyers’ rides to airport.

Flyers asking a friend or family member to drop them off at Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) could be forced to pay them back in cash instead of a favor, depending on the results of a Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) study. The Boston Globe reports the airport operator will study adding a fee to drivers passing through the airport, similar to those paid by taxi, limousine and rideshare drivers.

The study is kicking off at the urging of Boston’s Conservation Law Foundation, who claim drivers are adding to growing problems near the airport. Data from Massport suggests that over 20,000 vehicles transit through BOS daily to pick up or drop off passengers. As a result, the environmental group claims the additional traffic creates more pollution and hazards to both flyers and drivers.

Although the fee would be new at BOS, the concept of charging fees to transiting cars is not new. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) charges drivers who spend less than eight minutes at the airport a $4 fee, in order to discourage those trying to use the airport as a highway bypass. Additionally, at least 12 airports in the United Kingdom also charge tolls for cars dropping off and picking up passengers.

“I believe that a pick-up and drop-off charge for private automobiles will be the next major charge for US airports,” Ray Mundy, professor of transportation for the University of Missouri St. Louis, told the Boston Globe. “The rationale is to encourage more and more people to use high occupancy vehicles and public transportation.”

The study is estimated to be complete by 2019. In exchange, the Conservation Law Foundation will not challenge a new 5,000 parking space complex at the airport – which Massport officials say could help reduce the traffic issue by encouraging flyers to park at the airport.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

Comments are Closed.
spartacus September 5, 2017

You already get hosed paying the toll for Ted Williams tunnel. This is b.s. Unlike DFW, there is no toll road you're avoiding by passing by Logan.

starflyer September 1, 2017

Oh, the poor level of journalism we get these days. Fake news, outright lies, incomplete information, etc. Simply publish anything controversial to grab eyeballs for ads. Why does this article not mention where the $4 fee would go?

starflyer September 1, 2017

I've rarely if ever seen any official enforcing the no standing rules curbside at the terminals. Why add a fee to behavior the airport is actively encouraging?

dliesse August 31, 2017

I can't speak to Logan specifically, but I'm sure the problems there are the same as just about anywhere else in this country. 1. IF public transportation is available in the first place, it probably goes downtown and nowhere else. 2. Public transportation is generally not equipped to handle travelers and their luggage. Let me speak specifically to Chicago and Seattle, the two areas where I have the most recent experience (traveled extensively from ORD for 18 years, now live south of SEA). In Chicago, the CTA can get you between either airport and downtown. Metra's north line can help those in a small set of northern suburbs, but there is no weekend service and almost no service outside of rush hour. PACE, the suburban bus system, has a couple of routes to ORD. The vast majority of the population, though, does not live anywhere where public transportation is anything resembling an option. And, as I mentioned, the trains and buses are not equipped for anyone traveling with luggage. In Seattle, the light rail is fine for people on its limited route. There's usually sufficient space, but the train is out of operation far too often to be trusted (largely because of idiots in their cars who don't understand the concept of trains having the right of way, but that's a rant for another time). There are a limited number of bus lines, including a single Sound Transit route from the south and another that serves the airport on its way from Burien to the east side; a handful of Metro routes serving the city and Burien plus a non-express RapidRide from Federal Way; and nothing else. Anyone living on the east side of the Kent Valley has NO public transportation option (at least that doesn't involve at least three buses). I would suggest to airports that they don't even consider such charges until their are viable options for at least the majority of their passengers.

dhdickson August 31, 2017

Actually, I've used the Logan Express multiple times to get from suburbs to BOS. Not as traffic-independent as a train, but still a reasonable solution, and $7/day parking.