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Passengers Might Not Like Uber, Lyft Changes At Logan Airport

BOSTON (CBS) - People who use Uber and Lyft to get to Logan Airport might not like Massport's plan to reduce traffic congestion there.

Right now, ride sharing services can drop you off and pick you up at your terminal. But under Massport's proposal all of those pick ups and drop offs would be moved to the ground floor of the airport's central garage. That would mean passengers would have to do much more walking with their luggage to get to their terminal.

Massport said there are benefits though.

"By moving these operations into the garage, it will be easier for a (ride sharing) driver dropping off a passenger to match with a waiting pick up passenger," spokesperson Bernice Freedman said in a statement. "Passengers will have a shorter wait time to be picked up, in a weather-protected area (unlike the current set up), and will have the option to take a Massport-discounted shared ride, such as uberPOOL and Lyft Line."

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Freedman said Uber and Lyft drivers would also have shorter wait times between customers and have less traffic at the airport.

At least one Lyft driver agreed. "Just the overall volume of the amount of cars that are processed through this lot, it's just totally under-sized," said Tom Burns.

Customer Ben Nguyen said, "It's probably better for traffic that there aren't that many cars in front of the terminal." But, it "will be a real inconvenience for anyone who tries to take an Uber," he added.

Massport said ride sharing services "generated 12 million total vehicle trips to/from Logan in 2018," but only 7 million of those involved passenger drop-offs or pick-ups. The remaining 5 million trips did not carrying any passengers, the agency said, noting it's that kind of traffic congestion they're trying to get rid of at the airport and in the nearby tunnels and Route 1A.

"As we continue our conversations with MassPort, we are hopeful that we can reach shared goals of ensuring that the rideshare experience at Boston Logan can be affordable and hassle-free," Lyft spokesperson Campbell Matthews said in a statement to WBZ-TV Friday. "We look forward to additional discussions to find the best solution for drivers, riders, and officials at the airport."

Massport is also looking at changing fees for Uber and Lyft, as well as parking rates at Logan. It also wants to increase the number of riders on the Logan Express bus program from 1.8 million a year to 4 million annually.

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