Spectators wait for hours for shuttles after Big Bay Boom show: Company explains delays

Free shuttles were offered for visitors

SAN DIEGO - Thousands of people who attended the Big Bay Boom on Thursday were stranded for hours because of a shuttle delay after the show.

"We've been here for more than two hours and only two buses came by," explained Phillip Gonzalez, who had been trying to catch a shuttle from Harbor Island since 9 p.m. "They picked up one-and-a-half loads, and there's like a 100-plus people still here."

10News cameras caught long lines of families waiting for the shuttles from Five Star Tours, the company hired for bus rides to viewing points along the bay. The company shuttled passengers from the Port of San Diego's administration building to the bayfront to avoid huge traffic jams.

"We were just told to wait and we haven't heard to seen anyone since," said spectator Dana Bias.

10News was also kept waiting when trying to get a response from Five Star Tours. 10News went to their downtown location and found an intern in the office alone.

"I don't know anything, really; I'm just an intern here in the office, you'll have to speak with my manager," answered Steffano Donato.

10News asked Donato to call his manager. Alfonso Gonzalez, General Manager of Five Star Tours, called back from out of town.

"There were more people than expected and there was a lot of traffic; we apologize," said Gonzalez. "Hopefully, next year, we can provide more service buses so we can have a faster turnaround."

Gonzalez told 10News they were contracted to provide seven buses until 11 p.m., with a capacity of about 30 people on each bus. The last bus to leave the area was about 12:30 a.m.

"Unfortunately, when you're only moving about 220 people at one time and it takes 30 to 40 minutes to do a whole turnaround, there are longer delays than expected," Gonzalez added.

Gonzalez explained there was about a 50 percent increase in foot traffic compared to last year, which would have required double the number of buses provided this year.

Meantime, Old Town Trolley Shuttle, which provided free rides to Shelter Island, also experienced some delays, but they were able to shuttle the last people from viewing areas around 10:50 p.m.



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