Monday, July 3, 2017

Logan Airport Shuttle: 66 (Serves All Terminals, subway station, LOC, and Water Transportation Dock)

The 66 feels like Massport said, "Let's have a shuttle route that serves everything!" And thus, this long, complicated route was born. It's time for about as epic a ride as you can get where airport shuttles are concerned...

The bus earlier at Terminal A.
Nathan and I boarded at Terminal B, Stop 2, and from there the bus headed up towards Terminal C. After that stop, we made our way to Terminal E, and then headed down Service Road. This took us past a gas station, a Dunkin' Donuts, and a bunch of parking lots.

The gas station.
Now, it would be quite easy to go from here to the Water Transportation Dock directly using Hotel Drive, but Massport decided the 66 needs to also serve the Blue Line station. Thus, we continued up Service Road, mostly running past airport buildings and huge hangars. We then went under I-90, pulling into the busway for Airport Station.

A street leading towards Economy Parking.
From the station, we headed down Transportation Way, which had I-90 on one side and a park on the other. The street curved around to become Harborside Drive, and we passed the Rental Car Center (seemingly the only thing this route doesn't serve). Next, we went by various parking lots and buildings, then the street twisted south.

You can see the city!
The road took us behind Terminal A's second building (that's a real pain to get to), as well as the Logan Office Center, representing the mysterious "LOC" in the route's title. I have no idea what the LOC is, but it gets a nice shelter on one side of the street. In order to get from the LOC to the airport, passengers unfortunately have to take the 66 out to the Ferry Terminal and back. Next, we passed an "overflow parking lot," and finally, we turned into the Logan Ferry Terminal loop.

The bus in the busway.
Logan Airport Shuttle Route: 66 (Serves All Terminals, subway station, LOC, and Water Transportation Dock)

Ridership: I have to say, the 66's ridership is pretty miserable. Of the three other people who boarded, one of them went to that overflow parking lot, and the other two went to the Hyatt right next to the Ferry Terminal...which gets its own shuttle, anyway.

Pros: There's no denying that a shuttle to this part of the airport complex is necessary. Despite being pretty small, the overflow lots need a connection to the terminals in order to encourage parking in them. And no matter how infrequent or expensive the boats from the Ferry Terminal are, they still need a connection to the airport.

Cons: The low ridership is a pretty big problem, and I almost wonder if they could remove the second bus from the route to make it every 24 minutes instead of every 12. Then again, you could easily improve frequency by cutting out the deviation to the Blue Line station. It takes forever, and there are so many other buses connecting the terminal to the station - I'll bet with one bus, you could cut the loop down to about 16 minutes, which is a perfectly fine frequency for a route with as little ridership as this.

Nearby and Noteworthy: There isn't much of note on the 66's independent section, but this is the shuttle to use if you're going to the overflow lots or the ferry terminal.

Final Verdict: 6/10
The 66 seems like a necessary evil in the realm of Logan Airport shuttles. There definitely needs to be a link to the ferry terminal for the small but consistent amount of people that uses it, but the route could definitely be more efficient. Serving the Blue Line station seems like a complete waste of time, and if it was eliminated, you could get a slightly higher headway with only one bus.

Latest MBTA News: Service Updates

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