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Logan starts rolling out centralized ride-share area on Monday

WBZ summarizes the changes at Logan that start Monday, when Terminal A and C passengers will have to get themselves to Central Parking to get an Uber or Lyft ride. B and E start Nov. 4, and all drop-offs will have be done at the central garage by Dec. 9.

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I'm still looking for Terminal D

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requires a time machine.

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Yes, Terminal E.

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While i'm not thrilled about having to walk a bit more to get to and from the central dropoff point, it has to be better than the (literally) 30 minutes I've waited some evenings for an uber to get through the 1/2 mile of effectively completely stopped traffic at some terminals. This is the system they have at the Las Vegas airport and it worked quite well... i just hope that the powers that be don't figure out some way to pooch the implementation of it.

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I flew through Las Vegas last month and found the ride share pick-up area so choked with waiting passengers that it was physically impossible to walk to the pickup area without begging people who were wedged shoulder to shoulder to move out of the way, to which they reasonably responded that there was no way to move. And for at least two major carriers there was no cell service in the pickup area so you could not receive the text telling you what stall your driver was in, without running back into the terminal. Once in the car It was another 10 minutes getting out of the pickup area.

Reasonable idea but crappy implementation.

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Thanks for this info - Admittedly, I did land in vegas in the middle of a weekday and it wasn't all that busy, so it sounds like my experience that time was different than yours.

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As a driver, I agree with this concern. The volume is too high to have all pickups AND dropoffs in one location. I don't think there's any way they'll be able to keep things moving enough to not have wait times just as long as presently.

I do really like the idea of being able to drop somebody off and immediately get a pickup without having to drive all the way across the airport and back though.

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I take Boston Express Coach buses that run directly from Logan to the South Station Bus Terminal and vice versa. WHY ON EARTH DOESN'T MASSPORT HAVE A LOGAN EXPRESS BUS BETWEEN SOUTH AND LOGAN!!! Why the heck do we have a bus that makes a huge U-turn on I-90 to reach Back Bay instead!? Why is Massport proposing a North Station Logan Express bus but not a South Station Logan Express bus!? Why are South Station riders forced onto a sardine can Silver Line city bus instead of a coach bus!? Uber & Lyft love the Silver Line Logan route - because everyone around South opts for Uber & Lyft instead of the Silver Line!

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I assume they are not going to have a shuttle or anything take people to that central location.

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I suspect you're right.

What's the vertical clearance inside central parking? Tall enough for an SUV or a tow truck, but I doubt it's enough for a bus.

As I said in another comment, they're probably going to have to allow Uber/Lyft to provide curbside service for passengers who have HC hangtags (good luck validating ones from out of state) or who are being served by Uber under their RIDE paratransit contract for the T.
They'll need to work out details of how to verify/permit those cases without undue delay or ADA violations.

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From the Globe article:

"The plan to reduce traffic congestion at Logan, where Uber and Lyft accounted for 12 million vehicles in 2018, will mean more walking to and from Central Parking. But the plan includes an exemption for people with disabilities, who will be able to bypass the garage and continue to be picked up and dropped off curbside by Uber and Lyft. Passengers with disabilities, such as the blind, deaf, and those with other physical and cognitive handicaps, will be able to declare themselves disabled on the Uber and Lyft apps when they request a ride, Mehigan said. Such “self-identification,” she said, will allow drivers to avoid the pickup and dropoff restrictions."

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Yes, it's fairly easy for the customer to identify themselves as disabled to Uber or Lyft. That isn't the problem I was talking about, though (which leads to a different problem*)

What I was talking about was How will app drivers be able to go curbside as identifiable app-ride vehicles without being waved off by a trooper or having to go through an explanation? If they're arriving with a passenger who brought their own hangtag - great, easy. If they're Uber arriving for a RIDE dropoff or pickup - easy, just program the APP to show they're running a paratransit fare. If they're arriving with a passenger but no hangtag and no RIDE booking, how much effort at verification/control? If they're arriving for pickup - no passenger, no hangtag, no RIDE booking - how does trooper let them in?

* The different problem is the possibility of app drivers refusing/canceling bookings for disabled passengers. It's an existing issue. Some of these drivers can't seem to wrap their brains around the idea that they've put their vehicle out there as a public accommodation and it's illegal to refuse someone on the basis of being disabled or having a service animal. This happens even with the RIDE option, and means a tiresome complaint-reporting process.

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It's a three minutes walk, as times by Boston Globe. Why do you need a shuttle for that?

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To not have a mobility problem or not travel with anyone who does.

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Exactly.

A quick look at Google maps and playing with the measuring tool shows you could easily have between a fifth and a quarter of mile to walk between the nearest corner of central parking and the furthest check-in desk in A or E. For some people, that's ten minutes or more of walking (plus standing waiting for the elevator) plus pain and risk of falling, instead of getting out of a car curbside in front of a door that's only a hundred feet from your check-in desk.

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What's the difference between you getting droped offf by an Uber vs getting droped off by a taxi or by your spouse? Why distinguish between them?

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There is a hard cap on the number of taxis that can be in the airport, so the congestion they cause is very manageable.

Spouses/parents who drop off/pick up at the terminal generally come in and leave, so they do not cause long-lasting congestion.

Ride shares come in, drop off, and then frequently circle around the airport until they get another fare before they leave. The congestion they cause is durable. There's also no limit on the number of ride share vehicles; the problems they cause can just keep getting worse.

Different kinds of traffic are different.

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Ride shares come in, drop off, and then frequently circle around the airport until they get another fare before they leave.

That's not how it works. The app WILL NOT match drivers with another trip until they are within the waiting lot. It won't even put you in the queue until you're in the lot. A driver could circle around the airport forever, they'd never get another trip.

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You're describing how it works now, treating different kinds of traffic differently. The question was about why ride sharing should be treated differently. Ride shares circling the airport endlessly is absolutely how it used to work, and part of why changes had to be made.

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It seems that there are four modes of passenger pickup at an airport:

  1. Taxis queue for passengers and passengers queue for taxis. Front passenger on the passenger queue gets into the front taxi at the taxi queue
  2. Bus or shuttle pulls through and picks up waiting passengers at a designated stop.
  3. Driver parks, walks into terminal, collects passenger, returns to vehicle
  4. Driver arrives to pick up a specific passenger; passenger walks out to pick-up spot; driver and passenger see each other; passenger gets into car and they leave

It makes sense from a traffic engineering perspective to treat the four cases differently. What doesn’t make sense to me is treating pick-up by a Lyft driver differently than pick-up by the passenger’s friend / spouse etc. Do they not have exactly the same use profile?

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Friend pickups probably account for the smallest number of pickups so they don't clutter things up as much. Ride Share keeps growing and since you don't talk to the driver directly (like you would a friend) it takes longer to match the rider with the driver.

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I think ride-share pickup is quicker. Generally with friend pickups, it's a challenge to coordinate time and place. With rideshare, both sides are using GPS to track each other.

What would speed things up is if Logan created numbered 'spots' along the curb for rideshare pickups, and worked with Uber/Lyft to get their platforms to sort drivers and passengers into those spots.

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One friend pickup has exactly the same impact on traffic as one TNC pickup, does it not?

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The percentage of riders coming or leaving the airport via friends and family is tiny compared to the number of people coming via other means.

One can envision a day in which all private vehicle drops-offs are in common areas and flyers need to take a shuttle bus, walk, or public transport to the terminal.

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The percentage of riders coming or leaving the airport via friends and family is tiny compared to the number of people coming via other means.

You haven't explained why that is relevant. A passenger arriving via Uber is indistinguishable, from a traffic engineering perspective, from a passenger arriving via private car. There is no valid policy objective met by treating them differently.

The percentage of riders coming to or leaving the airport via red cars is tiny compared to the number of people coming via all other color cars. Would you think it reasonable for red cars to be allowed to pick up and drop off at the terminal itself, while all other color cars were required to pick up and drop off at an inconvenient central location?

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It's easy and fair to apply rules to all ride share trips. The apps can enforce it. And this policy will quickly reduce traffic at the terminal curb which is the goal.

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It's easy and fair to apply rules to all ride share trips.

why is it fair that if I hire a taxi, or my neighbor, or a limo company to go to the airport, I can get dropped right at the terminal, but if I hire a TNC company I'm required to be dropped off in an inconvenient central location.

I seriously don't understand the argument; I'm not being deliberately obtuse here.

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It's fair in that it's easy to make rules for one type of transportation, enforce that uniformity, and it will make a substantial difference in the real problem of too much traffic at the curb.

Perhaps not fair in that how you get dropped off matters by what service you use, however, the rider has control over what they use. Ask a friend for a lift if you don't want to walk a few hundred feet.

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It's fair in that it's easy to make rules for one type of transportation, enforce that uniformity, and it will make a substantial difference in the real problem of too much traffic at the curb.

Equally easy to make a rule saying "only red cars allowed at the curb." Super easy to enforce: the patrolling officer can tell by glancing at a whole line of cars if any don't belong there. And it would make a huge difference in the real problem of too much traffic at the curb. Are you for it?

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You have a choice of what service you use to get to the airport. You don't have a choice what color car is used.

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You have a choice of what service you use to get to the airport. You don't have a choice what color car is used.

Last time I bought a car, one of the questions was, "what color would you like?" You have complete control over what color car you own.

My point is that the details of the business relationship between the driver of the car and the passenger of the car have absolutely no bearing whatsoever on the car's impact on traffic, and that allowing some cars to proceed to a convenient drop-off location and requiring others to go to an inconvenient central location based on that relationship is just as arbitrary and as unrelated to any legitimate policy objective as directing cars based on their color.

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Silly argument that not even you could really believe. This would not be "super easy to enforce"; how many additional cops would we need? What's the definition of "red"? And it would make very little difference "in the real problem of too much traffic at the curb", since your whole idea is to make red cars move after they are already at the curb. You're not reducing curb traffic, you're just making it turn over more quickly.

The restrictions on ride hailing apps are enforced by the technology that directs the cars in the first place. These vehicles will no longer be at the terminal curb at all. If all red cars had an app that would tell them where to go, and they'd basically stop working if the driver went elsewhere, then red cars could be regulated in a similar way. There is no single point of control for red cars.

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One can envision a day in which all private vehicle drops-offs are in common areas and flyers need to take a shuttle bus, walk, or public transport to the terminal.

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Oh, yes, easily!

It's that way (to a degree) at some airports now. Atlanta, I think, and maybe Denver? Between-terminal movements, anyway, are by underground people-mover between terminal buildings. All the "before security" stages are at a different point of the grounds (a different stop on the people-mover)

It helps that those are relatively recently-constructed airports, of course.
Still, I could imagine that working at other. older airports. Newark and JFK built above-ground monorails. Not very large capacity or fast (at least not Newark's, which I think is approaching end of shelf life) but connects terminals to transit hub, rental car center, remote parking... I don't recall Newark having much pickup/dropoff functionality to the station locations, but I haven't flown Newark recently and trends & priorities change. I'm sure they could build an offramp/onramp connecting a station to the monorail, or extend the monorail to an off-airport "kiss&ride station"

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Not really the same profile.

Friend/family drops you off and leaves the airport. Or comes in to pick you up and leaves the airport. Not much dwell time/space involved (depending on the timing of pickup)

Rideshare drops someone off. Might leave, might wait in the general area to see if they get a pickup booking. Might wait not only to get a pickup booking, but can also wait a little longer screening for a destination that suits their needs (until the app company pushes back and says "hey, you're passing up too many fares, we're putting you to the bottom of the list").

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  1. My wife drives me to the airport and drops me off
  2. My next door neighbor drives me to the airport and drops me off
  3. I pay my next door neighbor $25 to drive me to the airport and drop me off
  4. I hail a taxi, who takes me to the airport and drops me off
  5. I hail Lyft/Uber, who takes me to the airport and drops me off
  6. I call a private limousine company and hire a limousine, who takes me to the airport and drops me off

Under the proposed new rules, in exactly one of these scenarios, the driver is forbidden from dropping me curbside at the terminal, and is instead required to drop me at an inconvenient central location.

Is there any valid policy reason, other than to deliberately make the TNC services less competitive, to enforce this distinction?

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Yes. The observed impact from TNCs is much greater than that of spouses/neighbors and limos, and taxis are capped and forced to wait in designated cab stands. Since TNCs are not a legally-protected class of driver, governments are free to regulate them as they wish. You can pretend this real-world data doesn't exist and then feign confusion, but exist it does.

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agreed. and the Term B pickup area is one of the best organized ride share pickups in the US that i've seen. Terminal C however..ugh.

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Are they still letting the silver line use the access ramp? I work across from South Station and the last time I tried to take the silver line to the airport at like 2pm it took 45 minutes due to traffic. I swore I'd just uber next time since all modes sit in the same traffic anyway! So I'm hoping they're doing this in conjunction with lessening congestion for public transportation options. Otherwise WTF are we even doing here.

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If you are sitting in traffic regardless wouldn’t you rather it be for free like on the silver line? I do definitely agree that they need to improve the silver line though.

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I'd rather get taken directly to my terminal, which was the presumed advantage with a rideshare. Terminal E can take another 10-15 minutes to get to, for instance, when you take stopping and loading/unloading passengers and luggage into account.

Obviously this new rideshare procedure changes things a bit but really, the focus should be on making public transportation a more efficient/desirable option than just shunting the rideshares to a central location.

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Cars don't drive in a giant figure 8 around the Seaport halfway back to where they started. Nor do they take 20 minutes to show up when you transfer from a different car halfway through your journey. There's no way a car could be slower than the world's slowest bus.

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Close down one lane of traffic each way and make them bike lanes.

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You're almost there with your sarcasm! There really should be a dedicated silver line lane.

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.... is to make one lane Silver Line only, split the other lane into one bike lane and one pedestrian lane then ban all private cars and ride shares.

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From Terminal E to the Blue line is only a 10 minute walk, on a sidewalk (just comparing walking times to the Central garage). Why in the world would one want to take an Uber or Lyft for 5+ times the cost of public transport?

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On the other hand, why would one want to take the T if it takes 5 times the travel time? Maybe closer to 3x. Still, though... if you're not in Terminal E, maybe you're looking at a shuttle bus -> Blue -> Green or Orange two-transfer ride home. And walking from the station to your house might take a while. And maybe you get unlucky and have to wait 9 minutes for a train on both the subway legs of your trip.

There are plenty of use cases for ride-hailing apps at the airport -- unfortunately, while I'm thankful Logan is so close to town, it's still a real pain to get to your terminal in many, many cases.

Of course I don't see what's so bad about using the old-fashioned taxis when I'm leaving Logan, relative to everything else.

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Because in my case, and I suspect this is true for many people, getting to the blue line involves 1-2 transfers from other lines/modes of transport and takes a long time.

To get to the airport from where I live using public transportation I have to either A) take the B line to Park Street, switch to another line that goes to Gov't Center, go to Gov't Center, and transfer to the blue line or B) walk 15-20 minutes down a hill lugging my suitcases behind me to the C or D lines, take the train to Gov't Center, and switch to the blue line. Either process takes about 90-120 minutes (on a good day.)

Whereas if I take a Lyft, it's 20-30 minutes to Logan. To me the money is well worth it in exchange for a savings in time and physical effort.

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Bc it’s reliable

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.... reliable or even safe?

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if your plane arrives after 11pm or so, or departs before 7am -- a good chunk of flights.

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When using a TNC. Bags go in the trunk and you get dropped in front of your destination. On the T, you're probably lugging your bags through stations to change trains and then you're also carrying them from some T stop to your destination. Not to mention that the steps on some Green Line cars are inconvenient when traveling with luggage (although this is much better in recent years with more low-floor cars).

Also, that crossing of Service Rd. in front of the station is pretty dangerous. There's a traffic light but it's always flashing and the cars/buses/trucks go like bats out of Hell on that stretch.

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1) First reason that comes to mind is that the traveler's destination may not be well served by public transport.

2) If you've been travelling for a long time, you just might want to get to your final destination quickly, and in many cases, Uber/Lyft will be faster than the T.

3) Travelling on the T with luggage isn't the greatest. I don't own a car and rely on the T, but I'll take a rideshare to or from the airport because I usually have my kid with me, and depending on the length of the trip, I may not have enough hands to manage luggage, carseat (needed for the plane and destinations that don't have public transit) and a two year old.

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I don't understand. If this is about time and not cost, then why not just take a traditional taxi cab? They're still right there at the terminals, in the cab stands where they've always been. You don't even need to hail them on an app; you just walk up to the one in front and get in.

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Then this would work.

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The Blue Line used to avoid some of the Silver Line nonsense. But then Massport screwed up the shuttle by adding the Rental Car Center stop.

Hey Massport: FIX THE DAMN BLUE LINE SHUTTLES! Run a separate route from the T station to the terminals without wasting 15 minutes at the Rental Car Center!

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I've never understood this. Going via the RCC is out of the way already, and then the bus always sits there for an interminably long time. And every time I've ever ridden it, it's gone via the lower level, meaning it has to sit through that signal, instead of the upper level which bypasses it.

This would be such an easy fix, but no one seems to even consider it!

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Possible bugs/questions:

(Assuming these will eventually be a pickup/dropoff area near each pedestrian bridge access)

1. Are they going to push handicapped parking away from the bridge access points (making those people navigate through pickup/dropoff traffic) or move the pickup/dropoff further away?

2. Will they confine this to a single level of parking structure (presumably bridge level)? How will that be enforced? How will they keep an app driver from going up to drop their fare at the elevator one level up instead of being in line 20 car-lengths back on bridge level?

3. What will net loss of parking be?

4. Can parking structure be modified to have separate access/egress ramps for app ride and parking? Will app ride traffic be using pay lanes at the regular exits?

5. What about dropoff/pickup for handicapped passengers - either those traveling in a private vehicle with a RMV hangtag or those in UBER on Ride Paratransit service? Will they be allowed to use curbside or be forced to navigate to/from central parking structure?

6. What will maximum allowed dwell time for app vehicles in central structure? Will they be required to leave airport grounds before returning?

7. How much extra foot traffic will this mean? That is - how many people now getting picked up or dropped off curbside at Arrival or Departure levels now have to get to/from bridge level? Thinking of Terminals A and E especially - there's only one elevator, one stair, one or two escalators at the end of the building?

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