Airport (MBTA station)
An outbound Blue line train at Airport Station in 2014
|Location||Intersection of Airport access road and Porter Street, East Boston, MA|
|Owned by||Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority|
|Platforms||2 side platforms|
|Opened||January 5, 1952|
|Rebuilt||June 3, 2004|
|Passengers (2013)||7,429 (weekday average boardings)|
Airport Station is a rapid transit station on the MBTA Blue Line, located under the interchange between Interstate 90 and Massachusetts Route 1A in East Boston, Massachusetts. It acts as one of two mass transit connections to the nearby Logan International Airport, as well as serving local residents in East Boston. At Airport Station, trains switch from the third rail power used in the East Boston Tunnel to overhead wires used on the surface line to Revere. The original brick station built in 1952 was replaced by a modern station with steel and glass canopies in 2004.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) opened the first phase of the Revere Extension on January 5, 1952, with new stations at Airport, Wood Island, and Orient Heights. This phase connected the East Boston Tunnel at Maverick to the Boston, Revere Beach and Lynn narrow gauge right of way between Wood Island and Orient Heights. For a short distance that includes Airport station, this connecting line follows a right of way, now the East Boston Greenway, that was once used by the Grand Junction Railroad and the Eastern Railroad.
The surface-level Blue Line stations deteriorated over several decades as a result of the salt air found on the North Shore. The station was modernized in 1968 as part of a $9 million systemwide station improvement program. In April 2000, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority began construction on a $23 million project to replace the 1952-built station. The new station, located approximately 500 feet east of the old station due to Big Dig relocation of highway ramps, opened June 3, 2004. It is fully handicapped accessible, with the platforms connected by a pedestrian bridge with elevators and has longer platforms than the previous station in order to accommodate 6-car trains (which began operation in 2008). The station includes several features to serve airport travelers, including luggage slides wider escalators and elevators to accommodate travelers with luggage, and monitors with flight information.
Until 2005, Airport Station was the primary transit service from Boston to the airport. As part of Big Dig environmental mitigation, the state was mandated to run Silver Line service to the airport terminals. Full-time service from South Station began on June 1, 2005. This SL1 service has replaced the transfer at Airport station for many travelers, although the station still sees substantial airport traffic.
Airport Station was a proposed stop on the MBTA's proposed Urban Ring Project. The Urban Ring was to be a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Line designed to connect the current MBTA Lines to reduce strain on the downtown stations. The project is currently shelved due to the MBTA's financial difficulties.
One portion of the Urban Ring is being constructed as a branch of the Silver Line to Chelsea. The new branch will separate from the SL1 route before Logan Airport; it will stop at Airport station then run over a haul road and a new busway constructed on a former section of the Grand Junction Railroad. The service is scheduled to begin operation in late 2016.
In October 2015, Massport released plans for a major expansion of Terminal E which would include a pedestrian bridge directly to the station. With half a mile between the terminal and the station, the moving walkways for the connection would be among the longest in the world.
Massport operates free shuttle bus service between Airport Station and the arrivals levels of Logan's airline terminals. Shuttle bus service operates seven days per week. All shuttle buses are wheelchair lift-equipped for handicapped accessibility. These services are:
- 22 Services terminals A & B, Airport Station, and Rental Car Center (7AM-10PM)
- 33 Services terminals C & E, Airport Station, and Rental Car Center (7AM-10PM)
- 55 Services all terminals, Airport Station, and Rental Car Center (early morning and late evening off-peak hours)
- 66 Services all terminals, water shuttle dock and Airport Station
The only MBTA Bus route that stops at the station is the early-morning 171 Dudley Station - Logan Airport via Andrew Station route. Several routes (the 171, 448, 449, 459), plus the Silver Line BRT's SL1 branch, run directly to the airport terminals. The future Silver Line SL6 branch to Chelsea will stop at the station.
|Side platform, doors will open on the right|
|Southbound||← Blue Line toward Bowdoin or Government Center (Maverick)|
|Northbound||→ Blue Line toward Wonderland (Wood Island) →|
The station serves the East Boston neighborhood in addition to the airport, with an entrance on the west side to Breman Street via Breman Street Park. The East Boston Greenway passes through the park and bicycle parking is provided at the Breman Street entrance. The Airport Station includes a no-fare passageway from that entrance to the east side of the station where the Massport shuttle buses stop. A path from the east side leads to the East Boston Memorial Stadium and to the Rental Car Center, where there is also bicycle parking.
- Belcher, Jonathan (22 March 2014). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF) (14 ed.). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- Fourth Annual Report (Covering the period October 1, 1967 - October 31, 1968) of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 1968. p. 23 – via Internet Archive.
- "Urban Ring Phase 2 FACT SHEET" (PDF). January 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
- "Governor Patrick Announces MBTA Silver Line Expansion". Commonwealth Conversations: Transportation. Massachusetts Department of Transportation. 30 October 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
- Vanasse Hangen Brustlin (October 2015). "Environmental Notification Form: Terminal E Modernization Project" (PDF). Massachusetts Port Authority. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
- Rocheleau, Matt (19 November 2015). "Planned Logan moving walkway could break world record". Boston Globe. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
- "On-Airport Shuttle". Massport. Retrieved 2014-08-20.
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