LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Churchill Downs veterans are used to all kinds of transportation to and from the track, but for the first time this year, many are using a shuttle bus to get to the track.

Churchill Downs is using more than 300 shuttle buses this year, which is more than any other year, part of a plan to reduce the number of cars at the track.

"Being able to be dropped off right at the track, that was a big plus," said Terri Rowe, who's been coming on Kentucky Derby week for years.

For the first time in 13 years, TARC is part of the track's transportation plan. Federal regulations had forced the public bus system to defer to private carriers., but this year, Churchill Downs needed all the help it could get.

"We'll have about 300,000 people coming into Churchill Downs," said Katherine Kington North, a spokeswoman for the track. "So we really took a deep look into how do we make the traffic flow around the track as smooth as possible."

All the buses will run from the Kentucky Exposition Center, which will be reserved only for those with parking passes

"Most people, if they have that reserved parking, will be at the Exposition Center," Kington North said.

On both Oaks and Derby days, Central Avenue will be shut down to all except shuttle buses.

"We want to make sure that we're making the traffic process as quick as possible," Kington North said.

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