Churchill Downs, Uber driver offer ways to save time, money in transportation
Churchill Downs offers several ways to get to and from the track. WDRB rode along with an Uber driver who said getting home will likely be the real issue. Here's what to know to save time and money.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Churchill Downs offers several ways to get to and from the track. WDRB rode along with an Uber driver who said getting home will likely be the real issue. Here's what to know to save time and money.
"You never stop. If you need to stop, you better pick up people and immediately turn yourself off or you get new requests," Martin Salavec said.
Salavec will do 30 to 40 rides with Uber on Derby Day and late into the night. He is among the countless drivers preparing for congestion during Kentuckiana's busiest week.
"People need to understand the traffic is just bad," Salavec said.
Central Avenue will be restricted from Crittenden Drive to Taylor Boulevard. On Oaks and Derby day, Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Exposition Center have reserved parking with a shuttle at the Expo Center. Visitors can pay $20 per car to park at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium and walk a one-mile round trip. That's also where Uber, Lyft, family and friends can drop off guests.
Cab drivers will go to Wagner's Pharmacy, located off Fourth Street and Central Avenue. Neighborhood parking is available near Third and Ninth Streets.
"We really wanted to improve arrival experience for everyone coming to the track, make it a more efficient, safer, better experience," said Katherine Kington North, Spokesperson for Churchill Downs.
Once visitors get on site, that is where they're notice the changes. Everyone will go through magnetometers, either through the new Paddock gate, which was formerly gates one and 17 or through the Clubhouse Gate, formerly gate ten.
Have tickets ready, before and after getting to your seat.
"An usher will greet you," Kington North said. "They will scan your ticket for that second time, stub your ticket and you'll get a wrist band, and that wrist band is important because that gives you freedom to come and go throughout the day from your seated section."
After you get your racing fix, Salavec said walk eight to ten blocks away from Churchill Downs to avoid the surcharge. After walking away, share your live pickup location and practice patience.
"Simple three things and just be nice," he said. "Everybody's nice to each other here. This is Louisville."
Salavec, who got into Uber as a side business, said with vehicle maintenance and competition, there's not actually a huge pay out for Derby day.
"I like to drive for Derby, because it's everybody parties," he said. "It's like a New Orleans here."
So he said treat it like any other day to make transportation easier.
"You just have to go with the flow," Salavec said.
The Kentucky Exposition Center is free on Thurby, and a shuttle is available. Papa John's Cardinal Stadium is also free and guests can walk over. For more parking information, click here.
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