A record number of State Fair-goers used public transportation this year. There were 531,653 rides recorded on Metro Transit express buses during the fair's 12-day run, up 19 percent from last year and an all-time high, Finance & Commerce reports. That's an average of more than 44,000 rides per day. The agency was only expecting a 3 percent increase.
On the fair's second Saturday, when more than 250,000 people attended, the buses saw a record number of rides in a single day -- nearly 75,000. It's also the first year that fairgoers could use the light rail's new Green Line. The Route 84 bus, which connects the Green Line's Snelling Avenue station to the fairgrounds, saw an 88.5 percent increase in ridership from last year, according to Finance & Commerce.
Rides from suburbs broke records, too. The Pioneer Press reports Minnesota Valley Transit Authority recorded more than 57,000 rides to the State Fair from transit stations in Eagan, Burnsville and Shakopee. That's a 33 percent increase from its previous record in 2011.
Officials said the Fair's record attendance this year as well as the use of several new transit stations were likely contributors to the record ridership, the Star Tribune reports. It was the first year that attendance topped 1.8 million, beating the 2009 record by more than 34,000.