Denver International Airport next week will change up its long-term parking options to meet demand during the busy holiday season while its shuttle bus contractor continues to face a driver shortage.
Starting Nov. 19, DIA will fully reopen the Pikes Peak shuttle lot, which this fall has allowed entry only on Fridays and Saturdays. When it’s full, the airport will open the nearby Mt. Elbert shuttle lot as a backup, according to a DIA news release.
To free up enough bus drivers, DIA will close down the East Economy lot, which is located beyond the parking garages on the terminal’s east side. Its entry gates will close just after midnight Monday morning.
The temporary solution — expected to last until Jan. 6 — is inelegant, but the moves come after DIA has grappled with surging passenger traffic that’s resulted in nearly full garages and lots at some points. More passengers will be able to park in the shuttle lots for $8 a day, roughly half the cost of the economy lots, and DIA says those lots’ availability will result in a net increase of 12,000 spaces.
But DIA urges those who park in the Pikes Peak lot to allow 45 minutes to get to the terminal, since buses will come less frequently than normal. Public transportation, taxis and ride-hailing apps remain options, too.
“As we prepare for an increase of passenger traffic during the holidays, we have made some adjustments to open the shuttle lots despite still facing a shortage in bus drivers,” airport CEO Phil Washington said in the news release. “By doing so, we will have more parking spaces available during the holidays at a more cost-effective price point.”
CBS Denver reported Thursday that DIA has granted partial refunds to dozens of travelers who complained recently about paying more than they expected because of limited parking availability. They included several who racked up more than a week of $28-a-day charges by unexpectedly parking in DIA’s close-in garages.
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