Airport Valet Express begins Bakersfield-to-LAX trips

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) Thursday was the first day of the Airport Valet Express. The new shuttle service is providing four round trips from Bakersfield to Los Angeles International Airport each day.

Busses leave Bakersfield at 3 and 8 a.m. and 3 and 6 p.m. Busses leave LAX at 6:30 a.m., noon and 7 and 10:30 p.m. The station is located at 201 New Stine Road in southwest Bakersfield

Marcus Pegues was at the station for the mid-afternoon shuttle. He's going home to Brooklyn for the holidays. But, before he gets to New York, he has to get to LAX.

"I'm leaving the first day it starts, can't get much more lucky than that," said Pegues.

It's that kind of reaction Airport Valet Express owner Phil Rudnick had in mind when he announced this Dec. 6.

Rudnick was in the parking lot Thursday as the first shuttle left for LAX.

"I hadn't been up that early since the days that I was a cowboy," Rudnick said. "It absolutely made my day. I felt great, I feel very motivated, and I think the community is committed to support this."

A round-trip ticket costs $89. One-way costs $49. Rudnick said he expects full-size busses that will carry 47 passengers sometime after Christmas.

Operations manager Jennifer Wood said they are already busier than they expected.

"I think I've gotten 20 hours sleep in the last two weeks," said Wood.

While Wood would like more shut eye, she sees the results.

"People need this," she said "it's so worth being able to give people what they need."

For at least one passenger so far, so good.

"I can't complain," said Pegues. "The bus will get me to LAX safe at a decent hour so I can make my flight."

Rudnick said they also plan on providing free shuttle service to active military members.