A record number of people taking Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) buses to the Heritage Festival resulted in transit delays on Groat Road Sunday.
City officials said charter buses were backed up to 87 Avenue as drivers slowly made their way to and from Hawrelak Park.
“Customers are not being let out on Groat Road,” the city said in a media release. “Edmonton Transit is managing the traffic backups as quickly and safely as it can.”
Passenger Manny Granado was heading to the festival at around 4 p.m. on one of the ETS charter buses. He said he was stuck on board for two-and-a-half hours. Finally at around 6:20 p.m., the driver let passengers off on Groat Road near Emily Murphy Park, Granado said.
“Passengers ahead of me said the driver was calling dispatch to get permission to let us out. A few minutes later, the doors opened and everyone got off the bus,” Granado said.
“Kids were crying and people were getting angry.”
Heritage Festival organizers said a record 147,000 people rode the bus to the park between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday and warned people to expect delays when leaving.
At 8 p.m., bus service to the festival ended early due to the park being at capacity.
By 8:30 p.m., the city tweeted that traffic was running smoothly.