On September 18, Memphis’ Premier Transportation unveiled a new shuttle service to ferry visitors back and forth between two of the city’s hottest nightspots, the resurgent Overton Square and the Cooper-Young neighborhood.
“Ride the Roo,” as the cab company’s service is known, will whisk diners, theatergoers, retail shoppers, bar hoppers between the two vibrant neighborhoods. The service utilizes a 17-seat bus equipped with a state-of-the-art sound system playing Memphis and topped by a sculpture of colorful, giant kangaroo in sunglasses and sipping a martini built, Premier owner Ham Smythe said, by the top Mardi Gras float makers in New Orleans.
The shuttle runs 5 p.m. to midnight on Thursdays and 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Riders can hop on the Roo at 11 stops along Cooper Street and Madison Avenue and along Trimble by the Tower Courtyard across from the Overton Square parking garage. Round trips take approximately 30 minutes, and the progress of the shuttle along the route can be tracked online at ridetheroo.com. Cost is $2 per ride.
Smythe said he has been approached about launching a localized, nightlife-oriented service of this kind for three years. When officials at MATA said they could not make it feasible, Premier decided to step into the breach.
“With this new shuttle, you can park in the garage at Overton Square and take it where you want to go,” Smythe said. “You also don’t have to worry about parking multiple times or parking in unsafe neighborhoods.”
If the service proves popular, Smythe said the company may expand the concept to other parts of the city.