'Altus Express' free shuttle service starts Sept. 1 Published Nov. 3, 2006 By Jim Weslowski 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs ALTUS AFB, Okla. -- Local business owners have worked out a series of pick-up and stop locations for anyone wanting to ride a free shuttle Friday and Saturday nights, beginning Sept. 1. The Southwest Transit shuttle will begin the hourly loop 8 p.m. at Altus Air Force Base and make seven other stops. The last run will end at 2:10 a.m. at the base. According to backers of the free trial shuttle service, anyone can get on or off at the Best Western, Fred's, Friendship Inn, Val's, Scooters, Tom's or Ramada Inn. The shuttle will be "family friendly" and the route is designed to be convenient to all. Pick-up and drop-off times will be hourly. Passengers without a military ID, will not be allowed to exit the shuttle while it is on Altus AFB. Stops on base will include Club Altus, Dorm 335 and Lodging. Local businessmen will pay the Southwest Transit service fee and make the shuttle available at no charge to anyone needing transportation during this special run time. Several business owners said they have noticed a need for this type of service and have been trying to get it started for several months. Their hopes are that people will take advantage of an alternative way to get around on Friday and Saturday nights, visit the establishments, and leave the driving to the experts. Organizers know there are several hundred military students each month attending courses on the base and many do not have vehicles. Additionally, many of the students reside in hotels such as the Best Western and the Ramada Inn, because there are not enough billets on base. The shuttle adds another safe means of getting around town other than taxis or relying on a friend for transportation.