Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown today announced that the Massachusetts Port Authority has been selected for the final round of applicants to win a $75 million loan to build a one-stop shop for car rentals at Logan International Airport.
The loan, provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA), would create 1,000 jobs and relocate Logan's eight on-and off-site airport rental car companies to a single car rental facility -- consisting of a 4-level garage for 3,200 vehicles, a customer service center, and maintenance facilities -- known as a Consolidated Rental Car Facility (ConRAC.)
The ConRAC will ease traffic congestion, cut passengers' travel time, and green the airport by cutting the 99 independently operated diesel-powered shuttle buses to a single, diesel-electric hybrid fleet.
The Massachusetts Port Authority was one of 34 candidates to submit an initial application to TIFIA, a federal program providing credit assistance in the form of direct loans and loan guarantees to finance surface transportation projects of national and regional significance. Late last evening, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called Senator Kerry with news that the Massachusetts Port Authority is one of eight applicants selected to formally apply for a TIFIA loan. The "invitation to apply" is generally viewed as a formality and the Department of Transportation will now work with the Massachusetts Port Authority to finalize and disburse the loan.
"Last night Secretary LaHood called me with the news that our application has made it to the final round and the finish line is in sight. The Secretary has been great hearing me out on why this is so important for Massachusetts. The ConRAC is shovel ready and it'll create jobs, and make New England's busiest airport faster and more efficient," said Sen. Kerry. "I couldn't be more pleased to have Boston lead this kind of innovation."
"I am proud to see MassPort advance in the TIFIA loan process--to be one of eight final candidates is quite an achievement," said Sen. Brown. "It was an honor to support MassPort's competitive application when they approached me a year ago with the ConRAC project, and believe this recent advancement speaks volumes of Massachusetts' ability to create jobs and boost the local economy while also finding environmental and infrastructure solutions for Logan Airport."
"The Consolidated Rental Car Facility is an important project for Logan Airport's neighbors and customers, as well as the regional economy,'' said Ed Freni, Massachusetts Transportation Authority's Director of Aviation. "The new green bus fleet is expected to reduce bus vehicle miles by 70 percent and reduce greenhouse gas by more than 60 percent. It will improve customer service by having departing passengers dropped off on the upper level terminal curb and arriving passengers picked up on the lower level terminal curb."
Earlier this year, Senator Kerry sent a letter and spoke to Secretary LaHood to express his strong support for Massachusetts Port Authority's application.