Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Transportation demand management, transit: Los Angeles Airport (LAX) and Logan Airport, Boston

Curbed LA has a piece, "It’s called the Crenshaw/LAX Line, but Metro’s newest train won’t actually go to the airport," about how with the opening of the Crenshaw/LAX line next year, riders can get about one mile away from the airport, but the Airport's forthcoming People Mover system won't be operational until 2023 ("Fly through the Metro station connecting LAX to light rail" and "Construction kicks off on tram that will ferry you around LAX").

While yes, it's somewhat nonsensical that LAX didn't get the People Mover project and the rail transit project on the same timeframe.

-- LAX People Mover webpage

The Airport does provide shuttle service from the existing transit station on the Green Line, Aviation/LAX, something the Curbed article doesn't really highlight, and it will shift this service to the forthcoming station, Aviation/Century, on the Crenshaw/LAX line next year.

But judging by the renderings, there's no question that the Aviation/Century Station will be a first class connection for services to the Airport.

It will have multi-modal services including an LA Metro Bike Hub.  (DK if it will also have spots for various car sharing options, it should.)

Interestingly, while the trip on the shuttle is free, you have to use a TAP card--the fare media card for LA Metro/LA County--because the trip is supposed to be linked to transit use.  This prevents people from driving to and parking on residential streets in the abutting neighborhood.

LAX Airport Metro Connector - 96th Street Transit Station from Grimshaw on Vimeo.
Visualization, LAX Airport Metro Connector - 96th Street Transit Station

Meanwhile, in Boston, Massport, the operators of Logan Airport, are going to double the pick up and drop off fee for ride hailing trips to $5--although it will be half that for Pooled trips with multiple passengers, and they are changing the pick up and drop off point in order to reduce the congestion that ride hailing trips to and from the airport have caused ("Your Uber and Lyft ride at Logan Airport may soon change," Boston Globe). From the article:
The Massachusetts Port Authority, which operates Logan Airport, on Thursday unveiled details of its plan to rein in the thousands of Uber and Lyft rides clogging its terminals and narrow roads, and a fee increase that would make its ride-hailing charge among the highest of any airport in the country.

“We have to do something,” said Edward Freni, the agency’s director of aviation, expressing exasperation about the daily traffic jams at the terminals and in East Boston. ...

Perhaps the biggest change would be to how riders get to the terminals. Today, travelers heading to Logan are dropped off right outside their terminals, while those leaving Logan are directed to dedicated pickup spots in adjacent parking lots to meet their drivers. Massport’s plan, which it has been considering for months, is to instead direct both pickups and drop-offs to the airport’s central parking garage, with an exception for riders with disabilities, who would still get curbside service.

The locations would require a walk of several minutes or so between the terminals and the garage through elevated passageways.

According to the article, ride hail trips make up 40% of trips during peak hours, and putting arrival and departure trips in the same place would make it easier for drivers to pick up new riders.

Note that a couple years ago, there was talk about putting in a moving sidewalk/better connections between the closest transit station and Logan Airport ("Automatic for the people: Logan to study if a train (or monorail) should replace shuttles at the airport," Boston Globe).

Past articles on better TDM practice for airports include:

-- "A brief comment on ground transportation at National Airport vis a vis VRE rail service," 2016
-- "Why not a bicycle hub at National Airport?: focused on capturing worker trips but open to all," 2017
-- "Revisiting stories: ground transportation at airports (DCA/Logan)," 2017
-- "Airports and public transit access: O'Hare Airport and the proposed fast connection from Downtown Chicago," 2018

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At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Richard Layman said...

For profit shuttle service launching from Duluth and Mankato to the Minneapolis St. Paul airport. (Like Logan Express but private.)

More airports should at least engage this element in their transportation planning.

While the intro rates will be $9 each way, they do anticipate the market price will be "as high as $30 or $32 based on demand."


At 5:24 PM, Blogger Edward Drozd said...


Transportation management shouldn't just be for airports. At Newark Penn Station, Raymond Plaza, a one-way street in front of the station, is a complete disaster with all of the ride-hails dropping off, picking up, and especially waiting for their riders. I rent a car from the rental place across the street when visiting my mother in NJ not really accessible from commuter rail (unless I wanted to add 1.5 hours to my trip) for only a 15-mile ride. But I need to budget at minimum 20 minutes for the final *one block* to drop off the car. There is a complete lack of management of those services, so it has become a complete disaster. I wouldn't be surprised if that isn't the case for other train stations. Short of bulldozing the Hilton across the street from the station, there isn't really a solution other than taking over some nearby parking lot. And probably should involve moving the car rental place, too.

At 6:20 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Hmm. I missed this comment before. Yes, TDM should be SOP for "stations" -- airport, train, bus, local transit.

My writings on the Silver Spring Transit Center commented on "free zones" for car share and better accommodations for commuter and inter city buses, but not rental cars.

I didn't write about the old Hertz rental center in Silver Spring, which also used a nearby county parking structure, but not with a dedicated parking area, and it was a madhouse.

I should have written about car rental accommodations at the SSTC. The only problem with this stuff is how do you "force" car rental companies to participate without providing lower rents. I have no problem with the lower rents, but typically a government agency will get criticized for providing lower rents to "nasty" for profit firms, especially in high in demand areas.

... in the past I've commented on how this should be set up in future iterations of Union Station too, how the wayfinding signage in the area inadequately addresses rental vehicles, etc.

So yes, this is a big issue.

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