Surprisingly smooth rush near U on first day of class

  • Article by: TIM HARLOW , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 5, 2007 - 12:08 AM

Commuters heading to work and students heading to the first day of classes at the University of Minnesota didn't encounter the travel headaches predicted for Tuesday.

"We were expecting backups across the [Washington Avenue] bridge, and that didn't happen," said Dan Wolter of the U News Service.

Ridership on Metro Transit buses serving the university "was strong" Tuesday, said spokesman Bob Gibbons. Between 7 and 7:40 a.m., Gibbons said, some buses were so full that "they could not take on any more passengers." The agency will wait to see if crowding is a trend and more buses should be added.

Motorists had been warned that the number of vehicles around the university could increase as much as 25 percent as nearly 70,000 students, faculty and staff returned. Traffic in the area has been heavier in the wake of the Interstate Hwy. 35W bridge collapse and because of construction of the football stadium on campus.

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