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The Drive

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Transit operators cut back service for Thanksgiving and day after

Twin Cities transit agencies will run fewer buses and trains on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when fewer people are working and there is less demand for public transportation.

For the most part, Metro Transit routes will follow a Saturday schedule, but some routes will have additional trips to accommodate commuters. Others such as Routes 27, 61, 70, 94, 515, 717 and 755 will have regular weekday service.  A few routes that normally don't have Saturday service will have limited service on Friday, including express route 250, 263, 264, 270, 535, 850 and 865. A complete list of routes with affected changes is available here.

Weekend fares instead of weekday fares will be charged in most cases, but check with your driver when boarding.

Metro Transit will follow a holiday schedule on Thursday and there will be no Northstar service Thursday and reduced runs on Friday.

The Minnesota Valley Transit Authority will run routes 465 and 495 on a weekend schedule Thursday. Those are the only routes operating on the holiday. On Friday, routes 440, 442, 444, 445, 465 and 495 will follow Saturday schedules and weekend fares will be charged.

Southwest Transit will run a limited number of express buses between the southwestern suburbs and Minneapolis on Friday. There will be no service from the Chanhassen and Carver transit stations. Riders should board at East Creek, Southwest Village or Southwest Station.

Prime users will be able to arrange rides from 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., and it will include stops at Southdale Center.

Maple Grove Transit says it will run a "drastically reduced service schedule" on Friday. Only Route 781 will operate between the Maple Grove Transit Station and downtown Minneapolis.

On Friday, Plymouth Metrolink will run limited trips on Routes 774, 776, 790 and 795 from park and ride lots only. The city's Dial-A-Ride will operate on a limited service level, the agency said.

Reverse commuters can take Metro Transit Route 645 from downtown Minneapolis to Ridgedale, then take a Dial-A-Ride vehicle to their final destination. Reservations are required by calling 763-559-5057.



All lanes open on I-94 in Maplewood as charred semi removed

All westbound lanes of Interstate 94 at Century Avenue reopened around 11:30 a.m. Monday, five hours after a semitrailer truck caught fire and forced a brief closure of the freeway.

The semi burst into flames around 6:25 a.m. and blocked all four westbound lanes for about 25 minutes during Monday's morning rush. The State Patrol and the Minnesota Department of Transportation were able to get one lane open by 7 a.m. and a second about 7:30 a.m.

Flames leapt from the truck which came to rest on the right shoulder of the westbound lanes after the truck's brakes caught fire and "got out of control," a spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Transportation said.

The incident brought traffic to a standstill as far back as County Road 19 in Woodbury, about four miles, until thing began to loosen up around 8:30 a.m.

 The truck sustained severe damage, but the driver was unhurt and was able to call 911, MnDOT said.