Runners, runners everywhere and not a cab to take

Long line at Logan

Owen Williams was among the hundreds of people in a world-class line for non-existent cabs at one Logan terminal around 1 a.m. today.

"Nice welcome for marathoners," adds Catboston, also in the line.

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    Possible Answer

    Were there arrivals at other terminals? Perhaps all available cabs in the pool had been dispatched to those places.

    Also, the availability of cabs at Logan is almost wholly dependent upon the individual driver's initiative. Barring having had a fare to the airport, and then deciding to go into the pool to await a call for a return fare, those cabbies in the pool have to have made a conscious decision to deadhead to Logan and take their chances in the pool, rather than cruise the streets or occupy a cab stand. Given the time, it's doubtful many fares were headed TO Logan, so it's possible that a significant number of cabbies decided that looking for folks exiting bars was a more profitable venture.

    It's also possible that there was some sort of communications breakdown between the terminal and the pool, and the pool was unaware of the huge amount of passengers waiting. Another possibility is that the dispatcher at the pool sent the cabs to the wrong terminal.

    Just some possibilities I thought of off the top of my head. I'm willing to allow for them being totally unreasonable.

    Suldog
    http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

    There is a twitter account to

    There is a twitter account to announce the taxi dispatch situation at Logan: https://twitter.com/LoganTaxi

    Check their statuses from last night:

    "4/10 @ 9:15 PM. There are 227 cabs in the pool. Wait time is about 35 to 40 minutes. Code yellow."

    "4/10 @ 10:00 PM. There are 202 cabs in the pool. Wait time is about 35 to 40 minutes. Code yellow."

    "4/10 @ 11:00 PM. There are 70 cabs in the pool. Wait time is about 20 minutes. Code yellow."

    "4/11 @ 1:00 A.M. There are 0 cabs in the pool. No wait. Code Green. We need cabs."

    "4/10 @ 2:00 AM. There are NO cabs in the pool. On ROTATION......NEED CABS!!!"

    "4/10 @ 2:40 AM. Airport is a wrap with the exception of (5) flights....(A)...(B2) & (C)....Thank You!"

    "4/11 @ 6:25 AM. There are about 130 cabs in the pool. Wait time is about 25 minutes. Code Yellow."

    Major Reason

    No public transit options at this hour.

    That is the real problem. There really isn't much if any reason that at least the Silver Line can't operate at the hours that Logan does. Given the concentrations of Hotels in the city, I don't see why the Silver Line can't swing to Copley as well.

    Not like they have the "only one track" excuse to play here. Perhaps the T should try this for the week of the Marathon, Labor Day Weekend and/or other high cab-to-hotel nights that can easily be predicted.

    If Baltimore and Seattle can

    If Baltimore and Seattle can have 24 hour bus service to the airport, why can't we?

    The reason is it's the T.

    The union contract provides double pay after 2 AM. That, and overnight service just isn't what they do.

    Maybe Massport could take over the SL1. The Massport shuttles run all night.

    Subway?

    I've said this before, but: London's subway [just one example] shuts down the same time as the MBTA. And on weekends it starts service at something like 7AM!Yes, it does have bus service, some overnight. The NYC MTA is rare for having a 24/7 operating subway.

    The problem is $. And the very costly union contracts. Providing overnight service to the airport [for example] outside of the MBTA would probably be fought by T unions. They would demand they be solely responsible for providing this service and get their double time pay.

    I think Boston could certainly use and should have off hours, overnight bus service on various routes.

    No it's not, unless we start

    No it's not, unless we start charging double fares for any other T bus or train that has trouble meeting the cost-recovery standard. Keep in mind that this would be a trip downtown with no connections to anywhere else, unless you're proposing a complete late-night bus network.

    Nobody asked me as a passenger if I thought it was a good idea to provide double pay after 2 AM. NYC has a night-pay differential of a few percent. I suspect we're unique in this regard among big-city transit systems, especially the ones that actually provide 24-hour bus service.

    If T employees won't work for less than double pay at those hours, find some unemployed poor people and train them to drive buses. Then other poor people will be able to get home from their late-night jobs without hitchhiking through the Callahan.

    For any flights leaving Logan before 7am,

    which is a popular time for air travel, you're SOL if you want or need to take public transportation. For the time you're supposed to arrive before the flight for check-in, security, etc., there are no good options except to ask a friend for a ride or to take an expensive cab/Uber/limo/town car. A check of the MBTA trip planner shows that it is impossible to take the T from South Boston to arrive at Logan before 5:55 am.

    Sub-standard service from a

    Sub-standard service from a oligopoly with complete regulatory capture, and that also aggressively pursues eliminating competitors like Uber? Unthinkable!

    Uber should buy some of the in-terminal panel ads, so as you get off the plane you can install the app and call a car.

    The Red Coat Marathon

    For those who are into the obstacle-course sorts of marathons that are popping up here and there, I think we could market a history-themed, 24 hour event:

    Runners layer in leather boots and wool cloaks. They leave the airport at 2am by duckboat.

    After transiting the Charles River Dam, they are ferried to within 10 yards of shore and handed a replica 18th century weapon and told to swim/wade to shore near the Lechmere Canal.

    They then make their way through the streets of East Cambridge, Somerville, Medford, Arlington, Lexington in wet clothes. Instead of food stations, citizens will be encouraged to hurl pots of water to simulate chamber pots and toss past pull-date fruit in their direction.

    The first major rest break is in Lexington. This one is mandatory, as townspeople will get to block their progress. They will get to use the battle green until random shots ring out, which is their cue to quickly file out toward Concord in an orderly manner.

    The second rest break is in Concord. There will be a bonfire to warm them up, but to signal people in other areas to come out and raise the difficulty level of their return.

    Swamp chase around Merritt's Corner.

    BB Gun free-for-all in Arlington Heights. AT this point, an official will make some of the early arrivals pick an atrocity card. They will be expected to spend up to 30 minutes breaking into houses and dragging out the people who live there and sit on them until time is up. This will give an extra shift of harassers time to arrive via Rt. 60. and chase them back to Cambridge.

    When they arrive at Cambridge Galleria, the duck boat will be waiting ... 10 yards off shore.

    Lodging isn't 26 miles away

    The runners don't stay in Hopkinton. They get shuttled out in morning. There aren't rnought rooms and they wouldn't want to be shuttled back there after race. Only to get back to Boston. To fly out again.

    Not many cities do

    That doesn't mean that they shouldn't ... or we shouldn't.

    I'm getting in to SFO not long before BART goes to sleep at midnight. It shuts down between midnight and 4am.

    Boston does, however, have concentrated areas of hotels that could be linked onto the Silver Line late at night. Situations like this - where it can be predicted that there will be a lot of demand - would be a good test track.

    It does but

    The 397 bus anon referred to is a SamTrans bus (San Mateo) not a Muni bus, and quite possibly one of the slowest buses in the region, it crawls up the peninsula. After waiting up to an hour for it, it would take another hour to arrive at Van Ness, where you could pick up a Night Owl Muni bus. Assuming you are going to SF.

    Based on my own experience of arriving at SFO at 2 a.m. I suspect that most people would just use a taxi or a pre-arranged shared ride van (which is what I did). Actually, the shared ride vans are extremely popular out of SFO at all hours, because BART is not terribly useful for many travelers. BART to SFO was one of the big transit mistakes of the region (one of many).

    The geography is different over there though; Logan airport is so much closer to Boston.