Metro Transit is offering fewer express bus service options to the Minnesota State Fair this year due to a shortage of bus drivers.
The transit agency says there will be "significantly less" State Fair express bus service this year.
"Scaling back our traditional service level was an incredibly difficult decision, and one we arrived at after serious efforts to avoid this outcome," Metro Transit General Manager Wes Kooistra wrote in an update on the agency's website. "We take tremendous pride in our State Fair service and value the opportunity it provides us to connect with the communities we serve."
Kooistra said the "reality" is they don't have enough bus drivers to serve the Minnesota State Fair without "putting our regularly scheduled transit service at risk," noting they're facing an employee shortage "like many employers."
"We have been actively recruiting bus operators since the beginning of the year and those efforts are continuing. Unfortunately, these efforts have not significantly increased our operator numbers in time for this year’s State Fair," Kooistra said, adding "our first focus must be maintaining our regular transit service for the people who rely on us every day to meet their transportation needs."
Single tickets on State Fair express buses are $5 in advance or $6 cash. You can find the 10 express routes to the fair here.
There are also more than two dozen free park and ride spots (some are only open on weekends). Find those here.
Metro Transit's State Fair 2021 website is here.
The Minnesota State Fair runs Aug. 26 through Labor Day, Sept. 6.