Uber doesn’t want to be kicked from curb
Hits Massport’s disruptive, unproven, expensive experiment
UBER, NOT HAPPY about a Massport proposal that would kick its drivers from the terminal curbs at Logan International Airport, is proposing a series of alternative measures the company believes would accomplish the same goal of reducing congestion at far less cost.
Each of Uber’s proposals would allow the ride-hailing app’s drivers to continue picking up or dropping off passengers near the terminal curbs. Under Massport’s proposal, all Uber and Lyft drivers would drop off and pickup at a newly created space on the first level of the central parking garage, which is about a 7 to 10 minute walk from the terminals. The drivers would also be encouraged to use the garage to Rematch – an Uber initiative that allows drivers dropping off a passenger to immediately be assigned a passenger leaving the airport.
In its proposal, Uber estimated more than half of existing drop-off and pickup combinations at Massport could be served by Rematch. But the company sees no reason to do those matches in the central parking garage (eliminating 1,000 parking spaces); it says Rematch could take place at the curb and at other locations at the airport. One optimum pickup spot would be at the departure level when airport volume shifts more toward arrivals than departures, Uber said in its proposal.
A Massport spokeswoman issued a statement saying officials are glad to hear Uber is interested in many of the authority’s proposals. But she said she didn’t think Rematch at the curb would work.
Massport recommended funding many of its anti-congestion initiatives by charging ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft a $5 fee for both pickups and drop-offs, with the fee cut in half if passengers share a ride. Ride-hailing apps are currently charged $3.25 for pickups only.
Uber’s proposal recommends a $3.25 fee for both pickups and drop-offs, but no fee at all if the ride is shared. Uber also recommended the fee be applied to taxis and limousines as well. Taxis already pay a $2.25 airport pool fee.While Massport says its data indicate ride-hailing apps are overrunning the airport, the Uber proposal blamed most of the congestion on increased airline passenger traffic at Logan – a 30 percent increase between 2014 and 2018.
Massport has indicated its board will vote on the anti-congestion proposals later this month, but Uber said airport officials should put off action and do more study. “Before substantially increasing costs and severely disrupting travel for tens of millions of passengers who use rideshare to get to or from the airport with an unproven, expensive experiment, Massport should implement and measure the impact of these proposals,” the proposal said.