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Logan to move ahead with car-rental center

Posted by Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor  April 22, 2011 11:41 AM

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Massachusetts Port Authority says that it is moving ahead with the construction of a consolidated car rental center at Logan International Airport, which will reduce traffic congestion at the airport and make it easier for rental-car and public-transportation customers to get right to where they need to be at the terminals.

Yesterday, the Massport board approved a $300 million budget for the project, which is part of a $1 billion capital improvement plan the agency approved in February for work at Logan, the Port of Boston, Hanscom Field, and Worcester Regional Airport. The board is expected to meet next month and approve financing for the new center, which will include bonds as well as funds from car-rental fees.

Matthew Brelis, a Massport spokesman, said that the airport has already made some preliminary changes to clear the way for construction, which is slated to be completed in 2013.

The planned four-level garage and customer service building will be located in the southwest corner of the airport property and will bring together the nine car rental companies at Logan. They currently have separate offices near where the new structure will rise around Tomahawk Drive and Jeffries Street.

For visitors to Logan, the project will accomplish two things. First, consolidating all of the offices will allow Massport to reduce the shuttle buses needed from more than 100 to 28 since all car-rental customers will be going to the same place. That should improve traffic both around the airport generally as well as at curbside near the terminals. Finally, the project will also allow the Logan to open up both the arrival and departure roadways not just to car-rental shuttles but also to those coming from the MBTA Blue Line, a boon to public transportation customers. Currently, those passengers getting onto shuttles can only do so on the ground-level arrival roadway, forcing departure passengers to have to take stairs or an escalator up to the check-in desks.

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