Several State Fair Express Park & Ride locations unavailable this year

Updated: August 18, 2019 10:16 PM

Metro Transit said three locations previously used for its State Fair Express Bus service will not be available this year because of construction and staffing.

The transit authority told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the Fridley Transit parking lot, the Knox Avenue area in Richfield and the Marcus Oakdale Cinema locations will not be used as Park and Ride spots during the Minnesota State Fair.


Spokesperson Howie Padilla said there's construction "that's scheduled or happening" at both the Fridley and Richfield locations. In an effort to ease staffing, drivers who typically use the Oakdale lot will be redirected to the Maplewood Mall stop.

"It's an adjustment of lots of different things, but it's also how can we continue to provide that service that people have come to depend upon," Padilla said.

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For a small fee, riders can board the express buses from a variety of suburban locations that drive directly to the state fairgrounds.

But Patricia Hanseder, who lives in Fridley, said she's disappointed by the changes.

"It's a very, very popular spot," Hanseder said while standing near the Fridley transit stop. "They had multiple buses going last year. The lot was filled, people were parked on the street."

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Officials with the City of Fridley said a private developer is set to start construction on the property during the state fair, which is why the location is unavailable. Plans for the area include a residential building and improvements to the existing park and ride facilities.

Hanseder said she's concerned over the lack of convenient locations for people who live in the northern suburbs.

"It leaves us with very few options in the north metro," she said. "I guess I'm going to be looking at the free park and rides for the first time."

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Kirsten Swanson

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