Metro, Boston

Massport Rejects Uber’s Suggestion for Airport Pick-Up

The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) has rejected a suggestion from Uber, which said it can use technology to match riders with drivers more quickly, limiting the congestion seen in Logan Airport terminals, in order to prevent the pick-up and drop-off locations from being moved to the central parking garage, according to The Boston Globe.

Uber’s proposal comes after Massport announced two weeks ago that locations for rideshare vehicles could move from curbside to the first floor of the central parking garage in Logan.

The more central location would reduce not only congestion, but also the number of rideshare drivers who end up leaving the airport without a passenger, Massport said. Last year, there were 5 million “empty rides” in and out of Logan, meaning that nobody was picked up or dropped off.

Uber has said that it can ensure that the matching technology is faster, as drivers would be paired with a new passenger as soon as they drop one off.

“From our perspective, rather than go down the path of an expensive, likely inconvenient . . . experiment, we should at least try some of these things we’re suggesting that don’t require any investment and have been proven to work at airports around the world,” said Josh Gold, an Uber public policy manager, according to The Boston Globe. “And if it doesn’t work, let’s go back to the drawing board and try something else. But why skip the step?”

Massport said that if this were true, it would have been implemented years ago. Still, John Pranckevicius, Massport’s acting chief executive, said that Massport and Uber would continue to discuss possible changes before the proposal goes to a formal vote sometime this month.

Massport’s proposal would also increase the pick-up fee from $3.25 to $5, with a discount for any rider ordering an Uber of Lyft pool. Instead of instituting a higher fee, Massport should apply the same $3.25 fee to drop-offs and pools should have no fee attached, Uber said.

Featured Image by Maggie DiPatri / Heights Editor

April 9, 2019