All aboard the Autzen Express: LTD gears up for game day

Saturday marks the first of many busy weekends for the Autzen Express. The bus service transports Oregon Ducks fans to and from Auzen Stadium on game days. (SBG photo)

EUGENE, Ore. – Up to 54,000 football fans will stream into Autzen Stadium Saturday for the Ducks’ home opener against UC Davis, and almost 9,000 will get there using public transportation. Lane Transit District is preparing to move an army of fans to and from the stadium.

LTD spent the last several months working out the logistics of how to keep traffic moving for the Ducks’ first game. They coordinated with campus officials as well as Eugene Police.

Now, after all their preparations, they say they’re ready and excited to kick off the 15th year of the Autzen Express.

Saturday, the downtown LTD station will become a sea of green and yellow.

“It's a lot easier, definitely better than getting in the other traffic with all the other cars,” said Adrian Sosa, a Duck fan.

“You got to move an army of fans and it takes a big team to move them,” said Edward McGlone from Lane Transit District.

LTD officials say transporting 9,000 people in one day takes months of preparation.

“Between 30 and 40 busses providing service for, on average, 379 hours per football game,” McGlone said.

The shuttles pick up riders at eight locations every 10 to 20 minutes starting 4 hours before kickoff.

While other cars wait in game day traffic, McGlone said that’s not the case for the Autzen express.

“Eugene Police Department has been a really awesome partner on this. They've actually coned out a separate lane so that the shuttle busses are able to bypass the traffic jam and get people back home quickly,” McGlone said.

Several drivers volunteer their time to drive on their weekends off.

“We have drivers who, every single year, and every single year, sign up. They love it, they wear their gear, they get to know the people who are going to the games,” McGlone said.

After the game, McGlone said fans need to ditch the alcohol and practice patience.

“When you got 54 thousand people pouring out of Autzen Stadium, fans can expect to wait a little to catch their bus,” he said.

“It is a little slow though, with breaks in between, so that's a bit of a struggle right there. But in the end, it’s still worth it, because you're still at the game, on time,” Sosa said.

The LTD shuttle costs riders $3.50 for a round trip, so be sure to bring some cash.

Here’s a list of the park and ride locations:

  • Route 990x: LTD Eugene Station – 10th/Willamette
  • Route 991x: Thurston High School – 333 58th
  • Route 992x: South Eugene High School – 400 E. 19th
  • Route 993x: Lane County Fairgrounds – 796 W. 13th
  • Route 995x: LTD River Road Station – River Road/River Avenue
  • Route 996x: Valley River Center – 293 Valley River Center (Northwest parking lot behind Eugene Crossfit)
  • Route 998x: Symantec – 555 International Way
  • Route 999x: LTD Springfield Station – S. A/Pioneer Parkway

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