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Massport unveils new Rental Car Center at Boston Logan

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Diesel powered shuttle buses eliminated from the airport roadway and replaced with fuel efficient clean hybrid buses

BOSTON – The Massachusetts Port Authority today unveiled the new $310 million Rental Car Center at Boston Logan International Airport.  The 120,000 square foot customer service center and four level garage will have space for all nine rental car companies -- Advantage, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty -- that have operating agreements with Logan to work in one common building.

The RCC includes a new unified shuttle bus system operated by Massport.  On Sept. 25, diesel powered rental car buses will be eliminated entirely from the airport roadway as bus traffic drops from about 100 buses per hour to 28 fuel efficient clean hybrid buses. As a result, shuttle bus vehicle miles are expected to drop by 70 percent with an accompanying 35% decline in airport-related emissions.  Another environmental benefit is all rental car companies with operating agreements at Logan will now be on airport, reducing traffic and emissions on Route 1A. Enterprise and Thrifty have now moved on to the airport.

"Building a safe, healthy, and sustainable transportation system is a priority of Governor Patrick and critical to everything we do at MassDOT," said MassDOT Transportation Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. "This new Rental Car Center and fuel efficient clean hybrid buses fit perfectly with those broader environmental goals."

The new bus system brings customer service benefits because departing passengers will be dropped off on the upper level of their airline’s terminal where they can then proceed directly to ticketing, baggage drop and security.  Shuttle buses will pick up arriving passengers on the lower level of each terminal before taking them to the RCC or MBTA Airport Blue Line Station. The new shuttle system is expected to reduce terminal curbside congestion by making bus loading and unloading simpler and quicker. Starting Sept. 25, passengers taking the Blue Line to the airport will notice that the first stop on the shuttle will be at the RCC to pick up rental car customers.

“The opening of the RCC is an opportunity to improve customer service and get passengers to their destinations faster,” said Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn.  “It also allows for the opportunity to rationalize the terminal curb assignments benefiting customers and neighbors with an integrated bus service.”

In advance of the opening of the RCC, Massport introduced new color-coded signage in the terminals to direct passengers to new terminal curb assignments.  As part of the curb changes to promote high occupancy vehicle use, stops for the Silver Line and Blue Line shuttle buses are now closer together and in the middle of the terminal curb. Overhead countdown clocks tell passengers when the next bus is arriving.  Digital signage inside the terminals, already in place in Terminal C and parts of B, and to be rolled out airport-wide in the months to come, tell passengers when the next bus is and where to pick it up. New color-coded signage will direct passengers to the transportation mode they desire. Some 20 extra staff in brightly colored “Ask Me’’ shirts are stationed in the terminals and on the curbs to assist passengers.

To improve customer service and monitor roadway and curb activity, a new Operations Center in the RCC has the ability through a series of video displays to track roadway traffic, passenger demand along the terminal curbs and taxi queues as well Logan Express routes and MBTA Silver Line buses on the airport roadway.

The RCC was designed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.  The new facility features 616 solar panels on the roof of the garage providing 150 kilo watts of power.  The LEED rating system offers certification levels for new construction that correspond to green design categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality. Achieving LEED certification demonstrates that a building project is truly green. Along with rental car operations, the RCC also has a community meeting room for East Boston residents.

Boston Logan, 15 minutes from the intersection of Route 128 and I-90 and five minutes from downtown Boston, serves as the gateway to the New England region and offers nonstop service to 75 domestic and 34 international destinations and in 2012 handled 29.3 million passengers. Boston Logan is served by two public transit lines and is the Air Line Pilot Association’s Airport of the Year for 2008 because of its commitment to safety. Over the past decade, the airport spent $4.5 billion on a modernization program that includes new terminals, public transportation access, parking facilities, roadways and airport concessions, and has been transformed into a world-class 21st Century facility.  The airport generates $7 billion in total economic impact each year.

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The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) owns and operates Boston Logan International Airport, public terminals in the Port of Boston, Hanscom Field and Worcester Regional Airport. Massport is a financially self-sustaining public authority whose premier transportation facilities generate more than $8 billion annually, and enhance and enable economic growth and vitality in New England. No state tax dollars are used to fund operations or capital improvements at Massport facilities.  For more information please visit