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State Fair's new transit hub bus-y; fairgoers like it

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Early reviews are in on the Minnesota State Fair's new west-entrance transit hub – fairgoers had high praise for it, WCCO reports.

“We love it. It’s quicker, it’s faster. We come in a lot quicker coming off the bus expressway from the highway,” fair fan Terri Reinartz told WCCO Thursday. “Don’t have to sit in the traffic at all, so it was really slick, came right in.”

The new hub is designed to whisk fair fans on transit buses into the fairgrounds with much greater ease – and lessen those traditional traffic jams at the fair entrance at Snelling and Como avenues.

Nearly half of the fair's more than 1.7 million guests travel to the fair via mass transit, the according to fair officials, roughly 40 percent by bus. The new hub offers easy, safe access to Park & Ride and Express Service buses, they note.

The new west end entrance, officially unveiled for the fair's opening day Thursday, will process roughly one-third of total visitors, more than any other single entrance, Forum Communications reports.

Click here for more information on how to get to the fair.

West End makeover

The transit hub is part of a newly transformed West End "neighborhood" at the fair, the result of a $15 million makeover that also includes an open-air West End Market, an entertainment venue, specialty shops, food and beverages and the new Minnesota State Fair History & Heritage Center.

The market was a hit with early fairgoers, too, the Pioneer Press reports.

"We love it," Linda Schmidt told the newspaper. "No more stuffy old buildings, and they kept a lot of the old shops."

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