Originally created 12/15/04

Airport shuttle widens service



A newly opened Augusta shuttle company is expanding its service to include Columbia Metropolitan Airport, in addition to stops at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

It's good news for the increasing number of local people who fly out of South Carolina's capital, but potential bad news for Augusta Regional Airport, who would rather see people fly than drive to another flight connection.

Ron Scantin and Derrick Odland, the co-owners of Elite Shuttle Services, said the company started offering rides to Columbia because there was a need for it.

"Columbia's just growing," Mr. Scantlin said. "They have 25 new gates and a new runway in the works."

Both owners are expecting a mixture of leisure and business travelers will use the service to Columbia.

For the time being, Mr. Odland said customers can call and request a time that they want to go to the South Carolina airport. In coming months they will set a regular schedule, like the one in use for Atlanta's airport.

A one-way ticket to Columbia's airport will cost $35, while a round-trip ticket will be $60.

The addition will make Elite the only area shuttle with service to Columbia.

E-Z Ride of Augusta, located on Belair-Frontage Road, offers transportation to Atlanta's airport three or four times a day. Co-owner Aladren Fadel has said he has no plans to expand shuttle service to other airports.

Mr. Odland also said his company is in the midst of a holiday charity program in which riders who donate three cans of food will receive 5 percent off each shuttle ticket they purchase, with a maximum of two tickets.

The cans will be donated to the Golden Harvest Food Bank.

For more information, call 737-0665.

Reach Dena Levitz at (706) 823-3339 or dena.levitz@augustachronicle.com.

Current routes

Elite:

 •  Augusta to Atlanta: 5:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Sunday

 •  Atlanta to Augusta: 9 a.m, 1 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday; noon, 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday

 •  Columbia to Augusta/Augusta to Columbia: No set schedule yet; call to request a shuttle.

E-Z Ride:

 •  Augusta to Atlanta: 6 a.m., 8:45 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2:15 p.m., 5:15 p.m. Monday to Saturday; 9:15 a.m., 1 p.m., 4:45 p.m. Sunday

 •  Atlanta to Augusta: 9:15 a.m., noon, 2:30 p.m., 5:15 p.m., 8:15 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 12:15 p.m., 4 p.m., 7:45 p.m. Sunday