By Bob Weiss, All Things Travel

BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation Richard Davey is putting his stamp on the Massport Board where he also serves as its Chairman.

Changes are going to take place, both inside and outside the Authority that runs Logan Airport and the cruise terminal in Boston. Some of these changes will bring Massport board meetings more in line with the agenda of the monthly meetings of the MBTA and MassDOT at the Transportation Building downtown.

Starting with the monthly meeting scheduled for February 16 at the Massport Headquarters on the airport’s Harborside Drive, there will be 30 minutes at the opening of each meeting for input from people in the community. They will be encouraged to speak for about three minutes.

Another item to be reviewed is the dollars allocated for gifts to community groups. Finally, discussions will begin on whether parking fees should be increased at Logan Airport and where this extra income might be spent.

Outside the headquarters at this month’s January 19 meeting, the first of 32 large diesel/electric hybrid buses were on display for the first time. Built in Anniston, Alabama by North American Bus Industries, the price tag for each bus is $830,000. They have 39 seats and extra luggage racks.

Bob Weiss, CBS Boston travel contributor

The new buses in the Massport fleet will replace over 100 smaller rent-a-car company vehicles now picking up passengers. This change will also mean less congestion at curbside at the airport terminals.

The new fleet will serve the consolidated rental car facility now under construction in the southwest corner of Logan that will house all of the eight companies now operating at the airport. This $300 million project is on schedule and should open in the late fall of 2013.

A couple of important subjects were not discussed at the open portion of the Massport Board meeting.

After 11 months, no new CEO has been chosen to replace Thomas Kinton who resigned. David Mackey continues to be Interim CEO as Logan posted record passenger numbers last year of 28.8 million with modest growth expected this year. Would Massport take on a portion of expenses to keep water transportation from being suspended by the MBTA to the airport and downtown Boston?

David Mackay’s report at the monthly meeting said that Massport faced a significant challenge managing its costs at the Conley cargo terminal after COSCO shipping suspended weekly Suez service between East Coast ports (including Boston), and Asia.
Two days later, “The Boston Globe” reported that 25 long shoremen union jobs would be cut at the South Boston terminal.

All Things Travel reports can now be heard every Monday at 5:55 a.m. on WBZ News Radio 1030.


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