Denver airport seeks alternatives to train system after summer breakdown

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — Denver International Airport is looking for new ways to move people around the airport after its trains broke down over the summer.

A mechanical failure on the DIA trains in August caused massive delays for nearly half a day. The airport is now considering alternative ways to get people from the terminal to the concourses.

“That was a big mover for us. We hadn’t experienced an incident that created the train to stop for that amount of time,” DIA spokesperson Alex Renteria said. “That was significant for us and the passengers who experienced. That’s why we are looking into concepts, ideas, solutions so that doesn’t happen again.”

The train is the only way for passengers to get from the terminal to Concourses B and C, Renteria said.

“So we are seeking from the public sector ideas to increase capacity,” Renteria said.

The airport released a Request for Information seeking alternate methods for passengers to move between the Jeppesen Terminal and the concourses.

“We are hoping to collaborate with another group to look into creative ways, beyond the ways we’ve already thought of. We’ve thought of a bridge, we’ve thought of a tunnel — there are cost limitations to all these things. They could run in the billions, so we are looking at creative ways to seek an alternative without hitting the billion-dollar mark,” Renteria said.

When the airport opened in 1995, it was designed to serve 50 million people. In 2019, about 69 million passengers passed through. In about 10 years, they expect to see 100 million passengers.

DIA travelers make suggestions

Passengers report smooth sailing on Thursday, but they all have some suggestions of how to make it even better.

Doug Jaeger is visiting Denver from Minnesota.

“Like Minneapolis, they have a moving walkway like you have out here. Just use your feet and walk. It’s not that bad,” Jaeger said.

Brandon Lindsey just flew into DIA. He said he only spent 10 minutes in the airport before catching the train to Union Station.

“I mean do they have, like, an app for that kind of stuff, that reports delays? I mean, that would probably be a pretty good idea. Something with ETAs or delays that might happen,” Lindsey suggested.

Sa’ed Al-olimat had one of the most unique suggestions.

“Imagine if you had a bunch of built people giving piggyback rides across the Denver airport. I mean, it seems like a really good workout for people. But then on top of that, it is as convenient as it gets navigating through traffic,” Al-Olimat said.

The airport responded to the travelers’ ideas.

“I love that you’re asking the public’s opinion. This is what we want … these creative ideas. We can’t design ourselves,” Renteria said.

DIA is really looking for public sector companies to submit proposals. For more information on the qualifications, deadlines and how to apply, visit this website.

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