By Ryan Michaels
The Birmingham Times
On Tuesday, two days before the start of The World Games TWG 2022, city and transit leaders showcased the “Ride the Line” bus system that is reliable, free and fun, they said.
It is the system they say residents, spectators and visitors should use to get to and from events with ease.
“On this line alone, you can get on at Soho, you can get on at Five Points South . . . It’ll take you straight to the front door of the party, the Regions World Games Plaza,” said Nick Sellers, TWG 2022 CEO. “It drops you off a block away from all the fun.
To demonstrate, the officials gathered media for a trip on the system’s “Red Line,” which began at the corner of 22nd Street North and Reverend Abraham Woods Blvd., in downtown Birmingham and cruised all the way to downtown Homewood.
“They’ll run every 15 to 20 minutes and drop you off right at the front door of the party,” Sellers said. “[The buses will] pick you and your family up and get you back to your cars.”
The transit system will operate July 7-17 during the span of the Games and is comprised of four lines—red, green, yellow and blue. The yellow line moves east to west across the city, and the red line goes north to south, while the while the blue and green lines focus on the west and east, respectively.
Mayor Randall Woodfin said the city has a responsibility to ensure ease of transportation.
“Part of what we have to do is make sure that our residents, our spectators, all others can get from point A to B, to any of the venues, on time for these games. We want people to have reliable transportation, we want people to have safe transportation, and in this case, we want people have free transportation,” the mayor said.
Christina Argo, a division manager for the City of Birmingham’s Department of Transportation, said the system covers the city’s “entire footprint” and all venues for the Games.
“It’ll be easy to park and walk a block two and hop on the bus and get where you need to go,” she said. “The city is really excited to be partnering with BJCTA and the World Games team.”
Ride the Line is a collaboration among TWG, the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA) and the city.
Charlotte Shaw, CEO of BJCTA, said Ride the Line would allow the transit authority to “do the driving for the next two weeks and hopefully this will extend past The World Games, so we can actually show what we can do in this great city to help transit grow.” she said.
Shaw also emphasized that buses would run with about 15 to 30 minutes frequencies, instead of the usual 45 minutes to an hour, and that each stop will be well-lit and identifiable.
During the Games, some of the buses will have televisions and all of them will play “Hope of Alabama,” the official theme song for the Games, which was written and performed by about a dozen musical acts with Alabama ties.
For more information about Ride the Line, visit https://twg2022.com/ride.