Santa Bus delights Whatcom Transportation Authority riders

Bus riders in Bellingham may be in for some holiday cheer if Whatcom Transportation Authority’s Santa Bus is on their route this month.

The seasonal Santa Bus features colorful holiday decorations, including garlands of tinsel and evergreen festooned with red and white poinsettias, walls papered in gift wrap, a two-foot lighted tree, wrapped packages and a Christmasy red and green locomotive. Several seats have slipcovers in the shape of Santa hats. Christmas carols play over the sound system.

“Most people are pretty surprised and pretty delighted” when they climb aboard, said Maureen McCarthy, community relations and marketing manager.

It’s a tradition started several years ago by a driver, and another driver took the lead on decorating hte bus this year, she said. The bus travels on various routes; lately, it’s been serving the 512 bus to Sudden Valley.

“Because there’s only one Santa Bus per year, we’ve had people who’ve ridden with us forever who’ve never actually been on one.”