Metro Transit faces blowback over Super Bowl plans
MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Metro Transit knew they were in for some blowback.
It's a plan that's prompted accusations of elitism and prioritizing big money over the general public--no stops at the U.S. Bank Stadium platform for three days prior to the Super Bowl, with none on gameday.
Now, officials are left to explain how they're balancing security concerns with the concerns of riders and Minnesota taxpayers who ultimately pay for the service.
"What you just can't get around is that the Super Bowl is an international event--it's a high level security event," Metro Transit Spokesperson Howie Padilla said. "But you can't have a deaf ear. You have to be able to listen to your riders."
The original proposal from security firms included no trains at all from Franklin Avenue and Stadium Village to the government center downtown--nearly four days that riders would have to make contingency plans or take a bus around the security zone, adding time and effort to their commute.
But that seemed unworkable, so the current plan was developed. Even that, however, stirred the ire of thousands online.
"This is, point blank, privatization of public transit to a for-profit facility," one Facebook user wrote.
"So only the uber wealthy out-of-towners will be allowed on the system we pay for?" wrote another.
Accompanying a ride into the Super Bowl security Zone is a security checkpoint and a $30 charge--though for riders heading elsewhere during the four-day event, their fare will be free.
"Our regular riders to be able to get where they need to go without having to go through that process," Padilla said.