Airport Parking Shuttle Comparison: Bus vs. Personal Rapid Transit

Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport is faced with a growing need for parking facilities, some of which are, or will be, located remotely from the terminal at distances too far for most passengers to walk. A comparison was made between a shuttle bus solution and a personal rapid transit (PRT) solution over a 30-year life cycle. The study investigated alternate parking facilities to meet the projected growth and the ability of the different solutions to provide adequate levels of service. It also evaluated the impact of connect times (car to terminal) on parking charges at surrounding airports. PRT connect times were found to vary from five minutes average to seven minutes maximum while the equivalent shuttle bus connect times were 12 and 17 minutes, respectively. This difference indicated a substantially higher parking charge could be justified by the PRT system, but PRT daily rates were conservatively held at only $1.00 higher than shuttle bus rates. With approximately similar life-cycle costs (capital plus operating), the net present value of the PRT solution was found to be higher than the bus solution. In addition to the significantly shorter connect times, the PRT solution provides level boarding, seated rides, reduced emissions, wheelchair accommodations and, significantly, does not add to surface congestion. For these reasons, the airport commission decided to pursue the PRT alternative. The initial PRT system serving the existing economy lot is expected to cost around $20 M. It will have 21 vehicles and 0.88 track-miles of guideway. It will include three at-grade stations in the parking lot, an elevated station at the terminal and a maintenance/storage facility. An additional station attached to Concourse B could allow deplaning passengers, with no bags to collect, a quick return to their cars—a feature not possible with shuttle buses.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: pp 63-73
  • Monograph Title: Automated People Movers and Automated Transit Systems 2016: Innovation in a Rapidly Urbanizing World

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01596986
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784479797
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Apr 11 2016 3:01PM