Airport shuttle services fill a gap between expensive taxi service and cheap public transportation, but there are a few things to keep in mind when deciding on a shuttle service over another transportation option.
Pros of Shuttle Services Cost is obviously one of the biggest pros in favor of the shuttle service. Because shuttles routinely carry more passengers than taxi’s do, they are also more economical. Also, because shuttle service are typically billed in a flat rate visitors who are new to a city do not have to worry about an unscrupulous cab driver from taking the longest route from the airport to their hotel in order to maximize the fare.
Shuttle services also tend to be cleaner and nicer than your typical bus service. Since they don’t carry as many passengers as a public bus, they do not make as many stops, and tend to get you to your hotel much faster than a public bus would.
Cons of Shuttle Services Since shuttle services are more specialized that public transportation they can cost you a lot more. It’s always best to check out the local public transportation options, because you can save a considerable amount over even a shuttle service. Consider Seattle for example, a shuttle may cost you $20 or $30, but you can take the clean and safe light rail from Sea-Tac to downtown for $2.50.
If you are relatively savvy about the city you are visiting, and don’t mind keeping a close eye on your cab driver, you can typically get to your destination faster using a taxi than a shuttle service.
Shuttle services can also become crowded if you arrive at a busy time of day, and choose a popular shuttle service. At this point the shuttle begins to feel a lot like public transportation, only quite a bit more expensive.
Donald Dingerson is an author and freelance writer, who has traveled extensively throughout the world.