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editorial

Taxi woes hit home at Logan Airport

Logan Airport has added parking, expanded access to the Blue Line and Silver Line, built a glistening new car-rental center, and created new incentives for flyers to travel to and from the airport by Logan Express bus. But for some passengers, particularly business travelers on tight schedules, a taxi is the only option. That often requires a substantial wait.

Taxis are in short supply, and the process of getting them loaded can be frustratingly slow. Massport recognizes the problem, but as executive director Tom Glynn notes, at some periods there aren’t enough cabs at Logan because there aren’t enough cabs in Boston. On the average weekday, about 6,000 cab rides originate at the airport, and about 6,500 on weekends. In a city that has only 1,825 cabs all told, that means shortages. Simply put, the city needs more cabs. That’s the fault of the city’s outmoded medallion system, not Massport.

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In other areas, Logan has made progress. At Terminal B, the airport has devoted 24 spaces in the ground floor of the nearby parking garage to taxi-waiting space. More needs to be done, however, particularly at Terminal E, where international flights arrive. One recent Sunday night, the long line of weary people waiting for cabs snaked back on itself several times, leading to a pedestrian traffic jam and general confusion about how and where to queue up. When new batches of cabs arrived, the one-vehicle-wide cab line meant that getting passengers on their way took a frustratingly long time.

The Massport chief says Logan is exploring various ways to make the cab system at the international terminal work better, including having cabs load two abreast. A talented public manager, Glynn has long had a good reputation on customer-convenience issues. That’s only been enhanced by his work at Logan. But when it comes to taxis, the airport remains somewhat less than customer friendly.

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