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Thursday
Aug312017

Met Council Chair says transit system ready for busiest day of the year (Today!)

With home games by the Twins, the Saints, the Gophers and the Vikings while the State Fair continues, the region’s roads are going to be busy on Thursday, August 31. Metropolitan Council Chair Alene Tchourumoff says that is the best time to leave your car at home and let Metro Transit do the driving.

“We are making it easier than ever to take transit to major events like the Fair and sporting events. For the Fair you can find park and ride facilities across the region, so you don’t have to worry about traffic.  We’ve also created a new smartphone app so you can plan your trip, see when buses are arriving and even pay your fares,” said Tchourumoff. 

Chair Tchourumoff spent Wednesday afternoon talking with people at the fair about their experience taking transit. You can download the Metro Transit app here.

Metro Transit, Minnesota Valley Transit Authority, and SouthWest Transit provide express bus service to the fairgrounds from 20 Park and Ride locations across the Twin Cities, with most trips running every 15 to 30 minutes from 8 a.m. to midnightthroughout the duration of the fair. Select Park and Rides are open only on weekends and Labor Day.

This is the 25th year Metro Transit has provided Express Bus service to the State Fair. The service began in 1992, after experimenting with a similar service the previous fall when the Twins won the World Series. This is also the 25th anniversary of the U of M transitway, which is what allows buses to get to and from the fairgrounds without getting stuck in traffic.

”It’s remarkable just how many people transit is able to move, especially when there are multiple major events happening in the region,” said Metropolitan Council Chair Alene Tchourumoff. “Last year, the highest single-day ridership was during the State Fair – nearly 370,000 rides were taken systemwide on September 1, as the Twin, Vikings, Gophers and Saints each hosted home games. We’re likely to see another record day this Thursday, August 31st, when the same line-up of events is also scheduled to be happening at the same time as the State Fair.”

In addition to express buses, Route 960 provides service from downtown Minneapolis to the Transit Hub. Fairgoers also can reach the fairgrounds on Route 3, and the A Line BRT and Route 84, which connect with the METRO Green Line at University and Snelling avenues. The A Line BRT also connects with the METRO Blue Line at 46th Street and Snelling Avenue. There will be connecting Express Bus service at Fridley Station for Northstar customers each weekend of the fair. New this year is the Metro Transit app, which allows riders to buy tickets for Metro Transit park and rides, and avoid wasting time in the lines for bus tickets.

In 2016, Metro Transit provided 632,500 rides to and from last year’s State Fair. That was a nearly 10 percent increase in ridership from 2016 and the highest ridership on State Fair Express Bus and regular route services ever. For more information on State Fair transit service visit metrotransit.org/state-fair. For complete information about transportation options to the State Fair visit mnstatefair.org.

Metro Transit is not just a convenient choice during the Minnesota State Fair. Throughout the year, transit riders can choose from 131 routes in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. Metro Transit serves a 907 square mile service area, including 7 metro counties, and 90 cities. Last year, Metro Transit riders took more than 82 million transit trips. To learn more about how to ride Metro Transit all year round, click here.

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