Pittsburgh International Airport’s upgraded parking shuttle service will cut wait times in half by operating two routes instead of one.
The changes take effect July 1. The maximum amount of time travelers will now have to wait for a shuttle – 10 minutes, at most – at a shelter or the curb is much lower than the current 20 minutes if they just missed the bus.
The quicker trips are the result of creating two shuttle routes instead of one bus driving the entire circuit through the extended and long-term parking lots. The two routes will be designated by colors.
Black and gold, obviously.
All shuttles still go to the terminal, but passengers should note whether their stops are on the black or gold route.
If returning passengers forget which route takes them closest to their cars, they can check maps recently installed at the terminal curb outside doors 2 and 6, and on the airport’s website, www.flypittsburgh.com/parking, as well as on the FlyPittsburgh app.
With the upgrades, travelers will have shorter wait times at parking shelters and the curb. (Photo by Beth Hollerich)
GPS technology will show passengers the location of the shuttles in real time, much like Uber, and how long they have to wait. Screens have been installed in the newly renovated parking shelters, which have been renumbered to match the closest parking area. (The parking shelter in 15C, for example, will be numbered 15C.) Electronic screens have also been installed at the terminal curb.
“This is all about improving the customer experience,” said Kim Kitko, vice president of business development, who is overseeing the upgrades. “We want to get people on their way as quickly and efficiently as possible. Nobody wants to be at a parking shelter not knowing how long until the next shuttle.”
But wait, there’s more.
In August, the shuttles themselves will be equipped with the same flight information screens as those inside the terminal, to give customers the most up-to-date information on their flights. Additionally, all of the shuttles have a new low floor with no steps inside the shuttle, making it easier to load luggage and other bags.
“I think it’s great that the airport is making parking access quicker,” said Pino Certa, 55, of Aspinwall, Pennsylvania, who was traveling Monday. “This is our first time taking the shuttle. We usually walk, but with heavy luggage a faster bus will be very helpful.”
Parking is no small matter, Kitko said. Parking lot revenue makes up the largest segment of non-aeronautical revenue for the airport, projected in 2019 to bring in about 28 percent of total operating revenue.
“Our parking customers are really important to airport success and we want to ensure they have a superior customer experience,” Kitko said. “We want to give the passenger as much information as possible.”
(Staff writer Noah Moore contributed to this story.)