MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - With pick-ups at Park & Rides all over the metro and drop-off right outside the gate, Metro Transit is probably the most hassle-free way to get to the fair.
But a driver shortage has forced Metro Transit to re-organize and stretch resources, affecting routes to the Fair. Metro Transit has pushed the express bus start time up an hour to 9 a.m. during the weekdays.
“Our group of dedicated operators who are operating the morning peak hours, they're going to be able to concentrate on that and get people where they need to go… and starting at 9 a.m. get those fair goers where they need to go,” said Metro Transit spokesperson Howie Padilla.
Metro Transit cut regular bus routes last month as the transit company says they are short about 90 drivers. The news comes amidst a nationwide worker shortage.
“Unemployment rates are really low, especially here in Minnesota,” said Padilla. “We aren’t immune to it.”
Padilla says while they have an aggressive recruitment campaign underway, they continue to try and keep service as normal as possible.
“We are working through an operator shortage that many organizations are going through right now. We're addressing that,” said Padilla. “In the meantime, we need to focus on providing the best service we can for our daily riders, special event riders - and that certainly includes the State Fair."