In an effort to head off a problem long before it starts, Encore Boston Harbor said late last week that it has plans to debut a special RideShare (Uber, Lyft) lot specially designed to keep such vehicles off of Lower Broadway and not waiting in the neighborhoods around Charlestown and Everett.
The lot has been proposed as part of the Encore Temporary Parking program on the opposite side of Broadway from the casino site. Specifically, it will be locate on Robin Street and will accommodate 100 vehicles.
RideShare drivers typically wait for a “beep” on their phone driving app from a potential customer in their general area. They can respond if nearby and then proceed to pick up the customer. Easy enough, but one problem that often creeps up in high-volume areas such as the TD Garden or Encore is that drivers circle the area waiting for that “beep.” That causes needless congestion, and it’s something Encore said it didn’t want to happen on Lower Broadway.
“We have worked with Uber and Lyft and the other major RideShare companies to geo-fence that lot using technology on their app,” said John Tocco of Encore Boston Harbor. “You have to go to our RideShare lot to pick up a ride at Encore. The companies are in agreement to do this. That’s how we will operate the RideShare at the site.”
Tocco said they began to understand as they started planning for the details of the traffic management plan that they needed to do something to organize RideShares so they don’t disrupt the neighborhoods.
He said it is a similar thing to what was done at Logan Airport and at the South Boston Convention Center.
“They will just be sitting in Charlestown and Everett and just waiting otherwise,” he said. “It’s much bigger than people might realize now, but it’s going to be a very big deal once we open.”
The RideShare lot is part of a bigger plan that requires a zoning change from the City Council. The Planning Board has recommended that zoning change 5-0.