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Passengers stuck waiting hours on Heritage Festival buses

Click to play video 'Long bus lines at Heritage Festival' Long bus lines at Heritage Festival
WATCH ABOVE: Big crowds at Heritage Festival on Sunday meant huge lines for busses picking up and dropping off visitors – Aug 7, 2017

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.”

READ MORE: Celebration of culture and global fare at Edmonton Heritage Festival

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.

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“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.”

Passengers walk along Groat Road to the Heritage Festival after being let off the bus. Manny Granado / Courtesy

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.

Long lines of Edmonton busses outside Heritage Festival on Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017. Global News
Long lines of Edmonton busses outside Heritage Festival on Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017. Global News
Passengers walk along Groat Road to the Heritage Festival after being let off the bus. Manny Granado / Courtesy
Long lines of Edmonton busses outside Heritage Festival on Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017. Global News