Old Savannah Tours hopes to promote safe celebrating with the return of its St. Patrick’s Day Tybee Island shuttle service.
The shuttle will run every 30 minutes between Savannah and Tybee Island from Thursday, March 17 at 6:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. on Friday, March 18, with the last shuttle departing Tybee Island at 12:30 a.m.
“Old Savannah Tours is dedicated to keeping the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations fun and safe for both tourists and locals alike,” said Joey Serpa, Director of Operations for Old Savannah Tours.
Serpa and the staff is excited that the celebration is in full swing this year though Old Savannah Tours has been busy with tours due to the influx of visitors that have already started coming to the area.
“The people just came out of nowhere. Around St. Patrick’s Day is usually the kickoff to being busy but we were slammed in early February,” said Serpa. “It's a great thing. A lot of the staff, had to take a year off or they took a couple of years off because of COVID just to be safe. They're all coming back now and we want to get them out working and get money in their pocket and we support them as much as we can.”
Old Savannah Tours has a huge presence in the MLK Parade with groups renting more than 20 trolleys but year ago when the decision was made that there would be no trolleys in the St. Patrick’s Day parade Old Savannah Tours found another way to serve.
“I guess the parade committee said they didn't want any trolley in the parade. We thought what can we do to help the community and also give to our staff. Instead of them being off and missing a day we tried a shuttle service. It started years ago and it was a hit and we ran with it ever since,” said Serpa.
Thousands flock to Savannah for the festivities and according to the Savannah Police Department in 2021 they made more than 90 arrests, wrote more than 400 citations, and conducted alcohol checks at more than 100 businesses.
“There were 71 DUI arrests made during the week of St. Patrick’s Day in 2021, so we want to do our part to keep as many people off the roads as possible. Safety is key and every year we try to perfect our services more and more to make a smoother operation,” said Serpa.
Pick up and drop off locations on Tybee Island include Tybee Market IGA, Rivers End Campground & RV Park, Tybee Lighthouse, DeSoto Beach Club/Beachside Colony Resort and Hotel Tybee. The pick-up/drop off location in Savannah will be the Marriott Savannah Riverfront at 100 General McIntosh Boulevard.
Shuttle wristbands can be purchased that day at each pick up/drop off location in Savannah and on Tybee Island. Wristbands cost $20 one-way or $25 roundtrip, and payment is cash only.
“We try to fly under the Uber rates, so $25 roundtrip is not bad. That’s been our price for years now. We want to keep that price low. We don't want to increase it because. We want to pay our staff, we want to make a little money, but it's more of a safety thing for us and we want to make sure everybody comes out and they're safe. It’s a safe passage to the party,” said Serpa.
The roundtrip wristbands permit riders to take the shuttle back and forth between Savannah and Tybee Island as many times as desired within the shuttle’s hours of operation. No open containers of alcohol are allowed on the shuttle. For more information, call Old Savannah Tours at 912-234-8128.