LMPD and TARC Unveil Thunder and Lightning Express Service
Friday April 7, 2006
A new and improved Thunder traffic plan was announced today by LMPD Major Bill Weedman and TARC Executive Director J. Barry Barker. The detailed traffic route was unveiled amid the backdrop of the Waterfront Park, considered by many to be prime real estate for watching the fireworks.
The highlight of this year's traffic plan will be TARC's Thunder and Lightning Express Service. It's a new route dedicated solely to TARC buses that will shuttle Thundergoers from the Kentucky Exposition Center to Second and Main Streets. TARC has assigned forty buses to carry passengers who are looking to avoid the tangle of traffic and the endless search for a parking space.
"With a dedicated lane on Second Street for buses only, we hope to get our riders to and from Thunder in a flash," said Barker. "We are expecting this service to run much like our express service to Derby and the Oaks, which is for most folks the easiest and fastest way to the track."
The Thunder and Lightning Express Service will begin at 12:30 pm Thunder day and run continuously until 8 pm. Roundtrip tickets will be priced at $3.00 each and may be purchased on the day of the event solely at the Fairgrounds. Children age 5 and under are free. Buses will load at Lot H at the Kentucky Exposition Center and patrons may park their vehicles at the Fairgrounds for only $5.00 per carload. Passengers will be dropped off at Second and Main Streets where they will be within short walking distance of Thunder Over Louisville. The return trip will begin immediately following the fireworks with patrons boarding the buses at Second and Main Streets for the ride back to the Fairgrounds.
"Every year people ask me what's the best route to get in and out of Thunder and this year I'm going to tell them to just get on the bus," said Weedman. "We've got off-duty officers who will be assisting the buses on their route and we'll actually be stopping traffic just to let the Thunder and Lightning Express buses go through."
In addition to the Thunder and Lightning Express Service, TARC will also have its usual Thunder Service with extra buses assigned to routes providing regularly scheduled service into downtown. Delays on these routes are possible since the buses will drive with ordinary traffic.
For those who plan to drive their personal vehicles to Thunder, motorists are encouraged to park in the same direction that will lead toward their home, away from downtown. For example, a person who lives in the east end would park their vehicle facing east, which would allow them to drive the eastern route immediately following the show. All traffic and parking regulations will be enforced and drivers should always check to make sure they are parked legally.
Visitors to Thunder Over Louisville are also asked to remember that certain items will not be allowed in the event area including tents, cans, bottles, alcohol, bicycles, skates, skateboards, firearms or pets. People will be allowed to bring plastic bottles and food, however, every person and / or their items will be subject to search. As with all Metro Parks, the Waterfront Park is open from 8 am until 11 pm and overnight stays are prohibited.
"Our main concern is that everyone has a safe and enjoyable Thunder," said Weedman. "Thanks to the combined efforts fo the people at TARC, the Kentucky Derby Festival, the Waterfront Park and our officers, I think we've designed a plan that will allow that to happen."
More information on Thunder Over Louisville can be obtained by visiting their website at www.thunderoverlouisville.org.