BOSTON (CBS) - The Massachusetts Port Authority is getting ready to offer free transportation to Boston from Logan Airport on the MBTA Silver Line starting in June.
The three month test is part of a Massport campaign to build awareness of alternative methods of getting to Logan Airport. The proposal was discussed and approved by the Authority's Audit & Finance Committee of its Board of Directors at a regularly scheduled meeting on April 9.
The full Board of Directors is expected to approve the three month test of the program at their monthly meeting scheduled for April 26. Fare collection on inbound buses from Logan to South Station would be eliminated between June 1 to September 3.
The move comes at a time when the MBTA is increasing fares by over 20 percent starting July 1.
According to figures supplied to CBSBoston.com, Massport received over one million dollars from the MBTA in their last fiscal year. When the Silver Line service began, Massport assisted the transit authority by investing over $6 million in the purchase of new buses.
The three month test is expected to cost Massport $360,000 as their share of revenue for the service.
A separate $150,000 internet and radio advertising campaign to promote Logan Express, Blue Line and Silver Line service to Logan Airport begins Tuesday.
If the proposed free Silver Line service proves a success, some sort of voucher system from Airport Station on the MBTA Blue Line could be offered.
As part of the program, signage in the Logan Airport Terminals will be updated, GPS information would be displayed at terminal departure areas and new airport information screens installed at South Station.
Discussions have been going on between Massport and the MBTA for the past six months. Some of these talks have involved Massport also taking over the costs to run the commuter boat service to the South Shore. These negotiations are continuing.
The Silver Line carries an average of 15,100 total passengers on its weekday service. It grew at a littler less than 10 percent last year.
Bob Weiss' All Things Travel reports can be heard on WBZ NewsRadio 1030.
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