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How to navigate transportation to and from the Minnesota State Fair

Metro Transit typically provides 10 pickup locations for the fair across the metro, but a bus driver shortage is constraining this year to three.

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. — It should come as no surprise that navigating this year’s Great Minnesota Get-Together will look a little different than in years past.

One of the biggest changes will involve transportation to and from the fair. 

"Right now we’re down about 70 operators," said Brian Funk, Metro Transit's acting chief operating officer.

Metro Transit typically provides 10 pickup locations across the metro, but this time around things will be different. 

"This year we’re constrained by the number of operators we have available so we’re down to three sites," said Funk. 

Those sites will include in Minnetonka at County Road 73 and Interstate 394; in Bloomington at the 28th Avenue Park and Ride, and in Cottage Grove at Highway 61 and Jamaica Avenue. 

"We’re going to do our best to provide that service. It's every 30 minutes from those three sites, but if we start to fill up, get that high demand, we’ll communicate that out. But just have a plan B before you go," said Funk. 

While you’re finalizing plans to get to the fair, you should also prepare for extra wait times once you reach the fair gates. 

"There will be metal detectors at the gates so we’re just asking you to bring your patience," said Danielle Dullinger, spokeswoman for the State Fair. 

It’s a new approach to safety that State Fair officials say is now the standard for major entertainment venues across the country. 

"You will just walk through, you don’t need to take anything off your person and you’ll be able to just walk through. They’re high-efficiency, high-frequency gates so it should move very quickly," said Dullinger. 

They're noticeable changes, ultimately making it possible for us to get together once again. 

"We’re just so thrilled to be able to actually open our gates this year, and those who feel comfortable coming, we’d love for you to come support these vendors who’ve also been out of business for two years," said Dullinger. 

Masks will be required on all buses to and from the fair, and there will be additional transportation provided through the fair's park and ride services

For more information on Metro Transit's pickup locations click here.

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