In the mid-‘90s Amsterdam Airport Schiphol decided to improve the quality of its’ 10,000 space long term parking lot P3. Part of the plan was the implementation of the ParkShuttle pilot-project to improve the service to airline-passengers and to support Schiphol’s brand image. The pilot was sited within to the parking facility itself, with a connection directly to the terminal foreseen as a possible expansion.
In 1997 four ParkShuttles were installed, each accommodating 8 seated passengers, 2 standing and luggage. At any time three ParkShuttles are in operation, while one vehicle is charged. When there are no transit requests, the vehicles space themselves to ensure minimal waiting times at each stop. When necessary the vehicle charging can be made available by manual override for additional capacity.
Surveys showed great passenger satisfaction and the system proved very reliable. With the pilot set up for 3 years usage, the system needed to be replaced in 2004 after 7 years of operation. Installation of the 2nd generation ParkShuttle was seriously considered, but uncertainty in regard to future plans and the development of passenger traffic meant a positive decision could not be taken at that time.
During the pilot the ParkShuttle transported passengers from the shuttle stops near their cars to the main stop near the passenger lounge. The track consisted of two loops of 1km, each with 3 stations. Each loop had several crossings for automobile traffic (which were equipped with barriers and traffic lights) and pedestrians (which were equipped with audible alarms). From the passenger lounge buses provided transportation towards the passenger terminals. The service was available 24/7, free of charge.