Richmonders looking to celebrate all things Irish at the 25th Annual Church Hill Irish Festival, can keep their cars parked safely at home. In an effort to help keep our roads a little safer this St. Patty’s Day, the “To The Bottom and Back Bus” will be available all weekend, catering specifically to fest-goers.
Richmonders looking to celebrate all things Irish at the 25th Annual Church Hill Irish Festival, can keep their cars parked safely at home.
In an effort to help keep our roads a little safer this St. Patty’s Day, the To The Bottom and Back Bus will be available all weekend, catering specifically to fest-goers.
“We will be running a bus for the Church Hill Irish Fest from their designated parking lot (at 17th and Broad) to the festival at 25th and Broad all day Saturday 11-7, and Sunday 11-6 – it will be free and run continuously,” stated Sandy Appelman, co-partner of the bus, in an email. “We will also be running a bus through our normal route during the day Saturday and Sunday so people do not have to drive to the festival at all.”
Founded in 2009 by Jim Porter, the bus operates off of donations from the community. The service seeks to provide a free, safe and convenient way for RVA residents to travel around town.
“Having been in car accidents in ’98 and ’07, I understand the difficulties and struggles that friends and loved ones have to deal with,” stated Porter on his website. “As a victim, I spent a lot of time thinking… ‘what if? There has to be a better way!’ So with that in mind, I started an alternative to drinking and driving… take the free ride!”
The bus serves Carytown, the Fan, Shockoe Slip and Shockoe Bottom, until 3am, Thursday through Saturday. GRTC buses only run until 1am, but the “To The Bottom and Back” bus is still running when most bars and clubs close.
“It’s all about moving people around, taking advantages of the benefits of mass transit, and enhancing the city’s transportation system by filling in where it is needed,” Appelman stated. “At the same time, we want to lower the quantity of drinking and driving incidents by offering alternatives to those who need it, when they need it.”
Visit the To The Bottom and Back website for more details on its routes, schedules, and how you can support their efforts. For more information about the Church Hill Irish Festival and other great events, visit our St. Patrick’s Day Guide.
(Image courtesy of To The Bottom and Back)