Old Savannah Tours hopes to promote a safe celebration with the return of its Tybee Island shuttle service for St. Patrick’s Day.
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 leaving Tybee Island at 12:30 a.m.
“Old Savannah Tours is committed to ensuring that St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are fun and safe for tourists and locals alike,” said Joey Serpa, Chief Operating Officer of Old Savannah Tours.
Serpa and staff are thrilled the celebration is in full swing this year, although Old Savannah Tours has been busy with tours due to the influx of visitors who have already started coming to the area.
“People came out of nowhere. Around St. Patrick’s Day it’s usually the kick-off to get busy, but we got some criticism in early February,” Serpa said. ” This is a good thing. A lot of the staff had to take a year off or they took a few years off due to COVID just to be safe. They are all coming back now and we want them to work and have 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 over 20 wagons, but a year ago when the decision was made that there would be no wagons in the St. Patrick, Old Savannah Tours has found another way to serve.
“I guess the parade committee said they didn’t want a carriage in the parade. We thought what can we do to help the community and also give back to our staff. Instead of them being away and missing a day, we tried a shuttle service. It started years ago and it was a success and we have continued ever since,” Serpa said.
Thousands of people flock to Savannah for the festivities and according to the Savannah Police Department in 2021 they have made over 90 arrests, written over 400 citations, and conducted alcohol checks at over 100 businesses.
“There were 71 impaired driving arrests during St. Patrick’s Day week in 2021, so we want to do our part to get as many people off the roads as possible. Security is key and every year we try to perfect our services more and more to make the operation smoother,” said Serpa.
Pickup 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. 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 pickup/drop-off location in Savannah and Tybee Island. Wristbands are $20 one way or $25 round trip, and payment is cash only.
“We try to fly under Uber fares, so $25 round trip isn’t bad. This has been our price for years. We want to keep this price low. We don’t want to increase it because. We want to pay our staff, we want to make some money, but it’s more about safety for us and we want to make sure everyone is out and safe. It’s a safe passage to the party,” Serpa said.
Round-trip wristbands allow passengers to shuttle between Savannah and Tybee Island as many times as they wish during shuttle operating hours. No open containers of alcohol are allowed on the shuttle. For more information, call Old Savannah Tours at 912-234-8128.