Buckhead’s free shuttle service, the buc, is offering extended daytime hours this holiday season, starting the day after Thanksgiving, to make it easier for shoppers to get to and from the malls without fighting holiday shopping traffic.

To promote the holiday hours, the Buckhead Area Transportation Management Association (BATMA) is also putting together the buc’s Favorite Things again.

BATMA will pick items off the shelves and racks of some of the best stores at Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza and randomly give those gifts to riders throughout December to encourage transit use that reduces air pollution. In years past designer jeans, handbags and more have been on the buc’s Favorite Things list.

Extended hours end Dec. 23.

Usually, the buc runs during peak commuting hours every eight to 15 minutes, depending on the time of day. Under the holiday schedule, the green and blue lines will run every eight minute during the morning commute from 7 to 9:30 and every 10 to 15 minutes from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The change not only provides two additional hours to use the buc, but also increases the frequency of stops during lunchtime and the afternoon.

On Fridays, hours will be extended even further: The buc will run every 15 minutes until 9 p.m.

“During the shopping season, when traffic surrounding the malls gets so congested, the buc is a great alternative to wasting half of your lunch hour in the car,” BATMA Executive Director Denise Starling said. “The shuttles stop at most of the office buildings in Buckhead and can take riders to lunch or shopping throughout the day. For those who are making their way to Buckhead exclusively to do their holiday shopping, the buc wants to help get them from Lenox to Phipps and other destinations.”

From Dec. 1-24, midday buc riders might win one of the buc’s Favorite Things.

— John Schaffner