Minnesota State Fair opening date

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Metro transit bus driver shortage affects some park-and-rides for state fair

There are now about 90 Metro Transit bus drivers, and they are hiring

August 20, 2018 - 5:08 am

Metro Transit's bus driver shortage is going to impact express service to the Minnesota State Fair.

Officials say there will still be service from the usual suburban park-and-ride lots, but it will start later than usual.

Most trips begin in the 9:00 a.m. hour, while service from the Parade Stadium lot in Minneapolis won't start until noon.

Metro Transit is down 90 drivers right now, and they are advertising for new personnel.

Regular drivers will be working overtime shifts to cover the State Fair express routes, which cost $5 for each rider.

There are discount rates available through Wednesday.  

Officials say 60 buses will be used exclusively for the fair in the morning, and 73 during night-time hours.

On weekends, they'll have 74 buses working mornings for fairgoers, going up to 81 on weekend evenings and Labor Day, which is the final day of the fair.

Metro Transit estimates their drivers will put in nearly 12,000 hours during the 12 days of the fair, which starts on Thursday at the historic fairgrounds in Falcon Heights.

The bus driver shortage prompted Metro Transit last month to cut 67 trips along 40 routes.