The back to school crunch brought an increase in riders on Maple Grove Transit express buses to the University of Minnesota, but that did not push park and ride lots beyond their capacity.

Transit agency officials feared that students using Route 789 service to the U from the Maple Grove Transit Center next to the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes could push the parking facility beyond capacity. The agency warned riders that they might have to find alternate places to park.

The over capacity issue did not arise on Tuesday when 25 stalls went unused at the park and ride lot at 12350 Main St. N.  The parking structure has 926 spaces and is also served by Route 781, which provides express service to Minneapolis on weekdays.

Passengers who ride Route 785 from the Parkway Station also were told that space could be a problem. That lot also had about 25 open stalls this week, transit officials said.

The Parkway Station is operating through a temporary lot at a Slumberland store off Maple Grove Parkway and I-94. That lot has only 383 spaces. That is about 120 fewer parking stalls than what had been available at the regular Parkway Station, which is under construction. When it reopens in November, it will have room for an additional 300 parkers.

Transit Administrator Mike Opatz said the agency will continued to monitor the situation throughout the week. As of today, no route adjustments have been made.

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