TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - Crowds will be making their way to Tybee Island this weekend for the 4th of July.
Parking lots are expected to be barricaded and closed off within the early hours of the day, but by taking advantage of the Tybee shuttle traffic and parking can be alleviated.
It's another holiday weekend out on Tybee Island and City Manager Shawn Gillen says the city anticipates having about 60,000 people on the island both Friday and Saturday.
“You have every rental unit, every hotel room probably booked out right now and then you’ll add 14,000 cars with two or three people in the car,” said Gillen.
Gillen says Highway 80 will have bumper to bumper traffic by 9 Saturday morning. The good news is, Tybee does have a shuttle service to help alleviate the traffic flow and parking congestion.
“This is going to allow folks to come down there, enjoy themselves and not have to deal with the parking or the traffic issues,” said Grayline Sightseeing Division General Manager Mark Lofton.
Gillen says people should carpool or use the shuttle. He encourages people who are driving to find parking in the middle of the island and use the parking app.
“Parking will be available, but the south end parking lots will fill up quickly as well as north beach. They’ll be probably full by 9 or 10 in the morning and they’ll be full all day,” said Gillen.
As another incentive for people to use the shuttle and come to the island, customers on the bus will get Sand Dollars. These $5 Sand Dollars can be used at participating businesses.
“We distribute to our guests, so that they can use those at various restaurants and other establishments,” said Lofton.
The shuttle currently picks people up on Saturdays and Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and then they leave the island at 2:30 p.m. Kelly Tours is talking about adjusting these hours by a half hour to accommodate more people.
“It’s not free, but it might be worth it. You don’t have to find parking, you don’t have to worry about parking and get yourself on and off the island,” said Gillen.
The shuttle costs $20 for adults and $5 for kids ages 3-12. If Tybee Island is where you'll be heading to celebrate the 4th of July, Gillen says there's something everyone needs to remember.
"Be careful and be patient."
The city manager also reminds people not to use fireworks on the beach and be safe. Gillen says they always respond to dozens of medical calls on holiday weekends especially.