Riders satisfied with Roots N Blues shuttles

Roots N Blues attendees board a shuttle bus at Stephens Lake Park Saturday afternoon.

Roots N Blues attendees told KRCG 13 Saturday they thought the music festival's new shuttle bus service was a good idea.

Barri Bumgarner, who has attended almost every year since the festival began in 2007, said the shuttles take a lot of hassle out of parking.

"We literally parked the car and got onto a shuttle," she said. "It's been very smooth so far."

This weekend marks the first time the annual Roots N Blues N Barbecue was held at Stephens Lake Park instead of downtown Columbia and, consequently, the first year the festival has had a shuttle service. Richard King, a partner in festival organizer Thumper Entertainment, said the shuttles got off to a rocky start on Friday, when the festival kicked off during evening rush hour. He said some drivers missed their scheduled stops and there weren't enough buses to handle the crowds. He said about 16 buses will be on hand Saturday night to keep that from happening again. On Saturday afternoon, he said the eight buses on duty were running perfectly.

Bumgarner and another festivalgoer, Jessica Molczyk, said the combination of shuttle buses and holding the festival at the park instead of downtown is a good one.

"I really like the shuttle idea. Blocking off downtown seemed to cause a lot of traffic issues," Molczyk said.

The buses run in three different loops. One stops at several parking garages downtown while the other two run to hotel parking lots throughout Columbia. The buses run continuously beginning half an hour before the gates open until one hour after the gates close.