Derby and Oaks: Transportation and parking
It's a mad dash to get to and from Churchill Downs on Oaks and Derby day. Here's what to know before taking your seat.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's a mad dash to get to and from Churchill Downs on Oaks and Derby day. Here's what to know before taking your seat.
The world's legendary racetrack has been mostly quiet with planning and preparations here and gone. However, before the seats are filled for Kentucky Derby 143, fans have to figure out how to get there.
"It's one of our challenges. We are definitely limited in the amount of parking that we've got," Greg Bush said, Vice President of Operations at Churchill Downs.
Churchill Downs partners with several ride companies like Yellow Cab.
"Get people here as fast as we can and get them back and be safe. That's really the key. So, plan ahead, be safe and we'll get you there," John Holevas said, General Manager of Yellow Cab, Louisville and Lexington.
Its fleet of more than 200 will be in motion.
"That's our biggest weekend of the year," Paul Sowders said, Driver with Yellow Cab.
This will be Sowders' 26th Derby.
"The biggest celebrity has been Kid Rock's drummer in my taxi cab."
You could say he's been more than most. "About 20, 30 trips a day going in and when it lets out, it's just crazy. You can't get there fast enough for them."
Expect to wait about 30 minutes to an hour.
"The worst part is people had too much to drink."
This Derby, Yellow, Orange and Green Cab are not raising rates. So, expect to pay the same there and back, like any other day.
"We want to give back to the community. We're locally owned. That's our focus," Holevas said.
Taxis will drop off and pick up at Wagner's Pharmacy by Gate 3.
Uber will drop off at Lot T of Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, picking up at Central and Floyd. Use promo code DERBY2017 for a free first ride up to $15.
If you drive yourself, it's $20 to park at the stadium and $8 to park at the Kentucky Expo Center. That's walking distance of the track.
To get a round-trip shuttle, it's $15 from the stadium, $30 from downtown Louisville and $15 from the Kentucky Expo Center.
"Wear comfortable shoots, people come early, they stay late. They're on their feet all day, very good advice," Bush said.
Shuttles begin at 7:30 a.m. and continue until 8:30 p.m. No reservations are required.
"At the end of the day, we get them out as fast as possible. Probably within an hour of our last race, everybody's gone."
Meanwhile, planning for 2018 has already begun to make the day as seamless for fans as possible. "Things that will come out later, but we take very copious notes throughout the event so that we can look at those and critique ourselves as well as the feedback we get from out fans."
Gates open at 8 a.m. for Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby.
All on site parking at Churchill Downs is sold in advance and is limited. Click here to make a reservation.
To make a parking or pickup reservation, click here.
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