Mass Conservation Law Foundation Strikes Deal with Massport

By John Lynds

The Massachusetts Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and Massport stuck a deal last week over the Port Authority’s plan to add an additional 5,000 parking spaces at Logan Airport.

If Massport is able to get the proposal permitted following  the state’s environmental process, Massport agreed to invest in plans to reduce emissions.

“Today, we’ve reached another landmark agreement to cut carbon pollution and improve public transit access in Boston,” said Rafael Mares, CLF Vice President and Director, Healthy Communities and Environmental Justice. “Massport, which owns and operates Logan Airport, has agreed to offset a large parking expansion at the airport with an impressive list of transit improvements. The agreement also commits Massport to electrifying its entire fleet of ground-service equipment – for which electric alternatives are commercially available – over the next 10 years.”

“CLF has been a great regional advocate for the health and safety of New Englanders for the past 50 years,” said Massport CEO Thomas Glynn in a statement. “Working together we thought outside the box and developed a larger strategy to reduce vehicle trips to and from the airport, a move that will benefit the surrounding communities for decades to come.”In the agreement, inked last Thursday Massport has agreed to double the number of Silver Line vehicles owned and operated by the Port Authority to a total of 16, making it more convenient to use the transit line for airport travel.

Massport will also Increase capacity on its Logan Express bus service by 10 percent as well as up the number of passengers reaching the airport in High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV) to at least 35.5 percent of total passengers by the end of 2022. Currently only 30.5 percent reach Logan using HOV. By 2027, that number must reach 40 percent;

Massport will also provide free MBTA access for certain airport employees so they can leave their cars at home and reducing the amount of vehicular trips to Logan.

Over the next 10 years Massport must gradually replace all of its ground-service equipment with electric alternatives. This commitment is a one of a kind in the country.

Massport will work to ensure that by 2027, 60 percent of taxiing for commercial aircraft will be performed by electric tugs.

Finally, Massport has agreed to outfit all of its parking facilities with electric vehicle charging stations. Likewise, all taxi, livery, and transportation network company pools at the airport will be outfitted with high-speed vehicle charging stations and made available at no cost. At the same time, staring in January of 2019, if your cab, livery vehicle, Uber, or Lyft is electric, it will be able to jump to the front of the line, second only to cars with at least three passengers. Ground transportation personnel will also encourage passengers to share rides.

Reacting to the agreement, East Boston’s AirInc., who oversees environmental mitigation for the community, said the reported terms of the agreement between the CLF and Massport fall far short of their expectations.

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