FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (FOX 9) - Metro Transit announced this week it will be scaling back its express bus service to the Minnesota State Fair this year due to a shortage of drivers.
Metro Transit will only offer express buses from three park-and-rides this year, compared to the 10 it operated in 2019—the last time the State Fair was held. In a statement, Metro Transit General Manager Wes Kooistra said they did not have enough operators to service as many State Fair expresses bus stops without putting the regular routes at risk.
"While we wish we could provide more State Fair express bus service this year, our first focus must be maintaining our regular transit service for the people who rely on us every day to meet their transportation needs," Kooistra said.
The express buses will service Bloomington, Cottage Grove and Minnetonka. Metro Transit spokesperson Howie Padilla said those stops were chosen because they are typically some of the busiest.
28th Ave. Park & Ride, no service at 82nd St. & 24th Ave. S. site
Cottage Grove Park & Ride, along Hwy. 61 on W. Point Douglas Rd. between 80th St. and Jamaica Ave.
I-394 & Co. Rd. 73 Park & Ride, SW corner of I-394 & Co. Rd. 73
The express buses run all 12 days of the fair. Weekday service begins at 9 a.m. and weekend and Labor Day service at 8 a.m. Buses run approximately every 30 minutes and the last bus return is midnight. You can pay with cash, the Metro Transit app or a Bus Bargain Ticket.
Regular Metro Transit routes that also service the fairgrounds will continue to run as scheduled. Additionally, the State Fair also has 30 park-and-ride lots where you can catch a free ride to the fair.
The 2021 Great Minnesota Get-Together starts Thursday, Aug. 26 and runs through Labor Day.