Donna Blythe-Shaw, a former union representative for Boston taxi drivers who still advocates on their behalf, said the taxi pool at Logan Airport has become increasingly busy in recent years.
As more riders have turned to ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft, taxi drivers have gravitated to the airport for fares, she said.
“There’s no work at the streets anymore,” Blythe-Shaw said. “All the steady work is at the airport.”
As a result, the parking lot where cab drivers wait for work is regularly overcrowded, she said.
When cab drivers pull into the lot, they are issued a number in the order they arrived, Blythe-Shaw said. When a driver’s number is called by dispatchers at the terminals, the drivers rush to pick up their fare.
Many cab drivers work long hours — in some cases 16-hour shifts —
“This could have just been a very exhausted cab driver,” she said.
Neither the Boston Police Department’s Hackney Carriage Unit, which regulates taxis, nor Massport, which oversees Logan, track how many hours drivers log.
“There’s no monitoring,” she said. “It’s a public safety issue.”
Drivers are often “overextended and working late hours and extra hours.”
Boston Police Lieutenant Thomas Lema, who oversees the department’s hackney unit, declined to comment specifically about the crash, saying the investigation was being handled by the State Police.
But Lema noted that serious accidents involving cabs are “completely irregular.”
“Most accidents [involving taxis] are usually minor,” he said.