Charlie Baker Backs Proposed Ridesharing Changes at Logan

The governor is willing to walk to the terminals, apparently.

A plane leaves Boston Logan Airport with the city skyline in the background

Photo via iStock/SPO123

Update: Massport on Thursday approved a compromise plan for ride-share trips at airports that will: ban curbside pickups at airport terminals; allow curbside drop-offs only between the hours of 4 a.m. and 10 a.m.; restrict all other pickups and drop-offs to a designated area at the central parking garage; and tack on a $3.25 fee for all airport trips, or $1.25 for pooled rides. The policy takes effect October 1.

Earlier: Charlie Baker has bad news for Boston jetsetters.

The governor endorsed the Massachusetts Port Authority’s plan to alleviate traffic from Uber and Lyft at Logan Wednesday.

The plan would ban ridesharing cars from the curbs directly outside terminals. Instead, passengers would be dropped off and picked up from the central parking garage—a considerable walk, especially for those who aren’t packing light. But all you early morning travelers would be in luck—curbside dropoff would still be allowed from 4 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Getting to the airport would also get pricier. A brand new $3.25 dropoff fee would make your trip to the airport hurt just that much more, though the rate drops to $1.50 for a shared ride.

Baker and Massport hope that the fees will encourage people to share rides, or ideally to ditch them altogether for public transit or the Logan Express buses.

The fees will go towards setting up the new pickup and dropoff zones and would also help offset losses from the parking spots that will be taken over for them.

The proposal, introduced by the Massport board in March and modified today (the initial pickup/dropoff fee was going to be $5), aims to break up some of the congestion at Logan and in the surrounding East Boston area.

Transportation network companies, or TNCs, have been crowding the area with empty cars going both ways—heading to Logan to pick someone up and leaving the terminal after dropping a passenger off.

“What they’re trying to do here is connect the people who are leaving the airport [with] the people who are coming to the airport,” Baker said. “And strategically I think that’s probably a good idea.”

Uber has gotten over 10,000 signatures on a petition to kill the proposal. The company also filed a public securities claim earlier this month. They say these changes would threaten their business, which relies on airport trips almost as much as it does on drunk college students to keep business booming.

Good old fashioned taxis, for those who still know how to hail one, will still be allowed to pull up directly to the terminals. Curb service will also still be available to riders with disabilities through programs like the MBTA’s Ride.