Holiday travel and extra expenses keep shuttle companies busy - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Holiday travel and extra expenses keep shuttle companies busy

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YAKIMA, Wash.- It's that time of year when people start spending extra money and traveling for the holidays. For the Bellair Airporter Shuttle company in Yakima, high ridership is normal this year.

"We were the best kept secret in Yakima and now the secrets out and people are saying why should we pay excessive amounts for gas and parking when we can get a round trip for $78,” said Manager Warren Gay.

Shuttle Ridership is up 13 percent since last year, which is Manager Warren Gay says they added a fifth trip to and from Seattle. Business is only picking up.

“They’re convenient, a very pleasant ride, I don’t have to worry about driving, that’s always really pleasant,” said Nadine Bordeaux, a passenger.

This shuttle may look empty now but come next week company employees say they'll fill two 40 passenger shuttles, driving people around the area.

“Doubling the size of ridership prior to holidays and I'm sure it will follow through Christmas and then through New Years,” said Gay.

With so much business, Gay says passengers are now booking 30 to 45 days in advance. For some, avoiding the winter weather driving is a plus.

“It’s just been a life-saver for me cause I didn’t have to drive, I like that,” said Bordeaux.

Gay says larger shuttles will be bussing passengers next week and as long as there are enough riders, they will keep adding more shuttles throughout the holiday season.