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Driving to Logan won’t cost you an extra fee, Massport decides

Drivers already pay highway tolls to get to Logan International Airport. Massport won’t add on its own fee, the agency decided.
Drivers already pay highway tolls to get to Logan International Airport. Massport won’t add on its own fee, the agency decided.(Pat Greenhouse/Globe staff/file)

Not that there was ever much likelihood of it, but Thomas Glynn wants to make clear his agency has no plans to charge a fee to drive to Logan Airport.

The head of the Massachusetts Port Authority, which operates Logan, told state transportation officials Monday that his agency will not be moving forward on the airport fee idea.

Last year Massport reluctantly agreed to study the proposal as part of a deal with an environmental group over new parking spaces at Logan.

At the time, Glynn said he was skeptical of the proposal, noting that many people who drive to the airport pay a toll to leave via the harbor tunnels, and that an added fee for the airport could seem unfair.

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On Monday, Glynn told directors of the state’s transportation department that while some international cities have airport fees, the only airport in the United States with one is Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, which is about seven times larger than Logan and not an ideal comparison for a fee.

“It hasn’t ever really caught on in the US,” Glynn said. “I don’t think there’s any particular appetite at the moment to go forward with it.”

The Conservation Law Foundation pushed for a study of the fee in exchange for not contesting Massport’s plan to add up to 5,000 new parking spaces at the airport.

CLF vice president Rafael Mares noted Massport was not required to enact a fee, and that other aspects of the agreement, such as eventually doubling Silver Line service at the airport, are “more important” for solving airport congestion, Mares said.

The idea of an access fee at Logan drew national attention and a blizzard of mostly negative online comments.

But it surfaced as other proposals for so-called congestion pricing — charging drivers to access crowded areas — emerge in the United States as a way to fight traffic and fund transit systems.

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New York and Seattle, for example, are each considering congestion charges.

Massachusetts and Boston officials have expressed little interest in them, though the advocacy group Transportation for Massachusetts recently proposed discounting tolls during off-peak hours to encourage less rush-hour driving.


Adam Vaccaro can be reached at adam.vaccaro@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamtvaccaro.