Shuttle buses make transportation an easy ride

DAVE DORMER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:02 AM ET

You don't even need a car to get to Spruce Meadows.

As long as you can get yourself to the Somerset/Bridlewood LRT Station, Red Arrow Transportation will do the rest, offering a free shuttle service from the southwest train stop to the world renowned equestrian grounds during every major event throughout each year.

Leaving every 15 minutes, the shuttles operate Friday to Sunday during the first four events of the year -- today's National, the Continental Cup/Skyliner (June 16-21), Canada One (June 25-28) and the North American (July 1-5) -- and Wednesday through Sunday at the biggest competition of the season, the Masters, running Sept. 9-13.

The shuttles run from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

"In September, for the Masters and the North American in July, we're really busy," said shuttle supervisor Fred Underhill.

"We did 20,000 people on a weekend. That was the highest last summer during Labour Day for the Masters."

And for those fans who do decide to drive, there's also a shuttle to and from some of the parking lots found furthest from the entrances.

"We have three separate systems," said Underhill.

"We have from the 22X parking lot to (the shuttle drop off on the east side of the International Ring), we have from Lot 10, which is the west side parking lot, to the west entrance, and then from here to the LRT."

Here on a working holiday from Quebec, Catherine Allard, 18, and Nicolas Jomphe, 18, were given tickets to yesterday's event and said without the shuttle service, they wouldn't have been able to go.

"We took the C-Train then the bus and only took about five minutes," Allard said.

"It was easy."

A driver for nearly 12 years, Underhill said the highlight for him is getting a chance to meet people from around the world.

"You meet people from all over, -- lot of Europeans and a lot of people from Japan," he said.

"I do it because I enjoy being out here and I enjoy Spruce Meadows. For me, it's a good retirement (activity)."


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