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Logan Airport Uber and Lyft changes set to take effect in October

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Massport cites congestion and quality of life in changing drop-offs and pickups as well as adding fees

The back windshield of a car making its way through a downtown, and there’s a U sticker on the windshield. Boston Globe via Getty Images

The board of the Massachusetts Port Authority voted April 25 to move pickups at Logan Airport for Uber, Lyft, and other app-hailed rides to the transportation hub’s Central Parking Garage.

The new regulation takes effect October 1. Until then, Uber et al will still be able to pick up curbside at terminals. The terminals are each several minutes’ walk from the Central Parking Garage.

As for drop-offs, the Massport board voted to allow those outside terminals on the Arrivals level from 4 to 10 a.m., noting that such a timeframe works since most activity at the airport then involves departing flights and the Silver Line and other mass transit isn’t generally available until 5:30 a.m.

The board, too, voted to keep the pickup surcharge for app-hailed rides at $3.25 (one of the lowest in the nation for major airports)—but to add a drop-off fee of $3.25 per trip. Shared rides will be subject to a discounted $1.50 fee.

Massport expects to review the new plan six months after its scheduled debut in October.

It says the changes were necessary to reduce congestion at the airport. A release from the agency noted that it has already seen a 29 percent increase in app-hailed rides at Logan through March 2019. At that pace, the agency expects as many as 15 million such rides to and from Logan this year, up from 12 million in 2018.

App-hails represent 30 percent of the transportation to and from the airport, Massport said, while conventional taxis represent 5 percent.

“The increasing congestion is negatively impacting the airport roadway, the tunnels, and Rte. 1A,” Massport Chairman Lew Evangelidis said in a statement. “This is the best plan for the longterm sustainability of Logan Airport, by reducing the traffic for all airport passengers, as well as the residents of our surrounding communities.”

Indeed, some East Boston residents have cheered the regulations, though they wished that Massport had gone further and moved all drop-offs to the Central Park Garage as well. Meanwhile, Uber and Lyft have decried the changes as unfair and have said they will cause logistical headaches.

For its part, Massport says the new pickup point will be state-of-the-art—including with improved wifi, handicap accessibility, and protection from the elements—and the agency is even out with a snazzy rendering.

What’s more, Massport says it is sacrificing 1,000 revenue-generating parking spots to make the new location happen.