June 6, 2012- The city of Boston is trying to lower the number of cars on its roadways and the number of cars travelling to and from its international airport. Logan International Airport is set to become the first major U.S. airport to offer free ground transportation to and from the city’s center, in an attempt to cut the number of vehicles on the road and alleviate a shortage in parking at the northeast passenger hub.
The pilot program is set to last three months and starts today. It will waive the current fee of $2 on the Silver Line bus routes that take arriving passengers to South Station in downtown Boston from the country’s 19th busiest airport. The parking shortage has been an ongoing problem and attempts have been made to alleviate the problem by weaning passengers away from driving to Logan.
The airport is located in a marshy area of land across the Boston Harbor from the downtown skyline. Its annual passenger traffic has increased from 15 million in 1980 to nearly 29 million in 2011. Environmental laws do not allow for the construction of more parking garages at the airport.
Parking fees at the airport were increased in March to up $27 per day. In comparison, fees for suburban lots that offer direct bus service to and from the airport were cut to $7 per day in an effort to lower the traffic and parking congestion.