Transportation options filling up for Battle at Bristol

Sept. 7, 2016: Transportation options for fans going to the Battle at Bristol are filling up quickly.

KNOXVILLE - Over the weekend, thousands will travel to and from Bristol, Tenn. to watch Tennessee play Virginia Tech in the Battle at Bristol, and options for transportation are filling up quickly.

Nate Frederick, chief operating officer with Premier Transportation, said the company has been booked up for months and had to bring in back-up to meet the demand. 

"As soon as the tickets went on sale for this event, our phones started ringing," he said. 

Premier Transportation usually services the football team, spirit squads, and band for the games, but lots of fans wanting to support the Big Orange in Bristol reserved bus services as well. 

"Our fall weekends tend to be relatively busy, but everybody saw this coming a year, at least a year in advance," Frederick said. 

The company has 41 motor coaches in its fleet, but it brought in seven more, some from out of state, to keep up with all of its reservations for the weekend. 

"We probably have anywhere from 16 to 18 fan buses going up, which is pretty unique," Frederick added. 

If fans are not able to catch a bus to Bristol, some Uber drivers from the Knoxville area will be taking passengers to and from Bristol, in addition to servicing the area over the weekend. 

"We are going to be there," said Jeffrey Finnell, an Uber driver. "We're going to be ready to drive." 

Finnell said he is hoping someone will request a ride on the app to pay for the trip to Bristol, and then he will be there to transport people before, during, and after the big game. 

He estimates that the one-way fare from Knoxville to Bristol, Tenn. will be between $86 to $114 with normal pricing. 

However, an Uber spokesperson said in a statement, "We expect rider demand to be significant, which may cause longer than expected pickup times and/or trigger surge pricing..."

"It's going to be challenging for the drivers, but we definitely expect a good experience and hope to take care of everyone," Finnell said. 

The Uber spokesperson suggests people use the fare estimate feature on the app to see how much a trip may cost before requesting a ride and using the split feature to share the cost among friends. 

"It's definitely one of the biggest events here in Tennessee," Finnell said. "But we are available and ready to serve." 

(© 2016 WBIR)


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