Metro Transit has offered express bus service from the western suburbs to Twins games ever since Target Field opened six years ago, and it’s been popular with baseball fans.
For $5.25 round trip ($3.75 for youths and seniors), fans who go to the games and don’t want to drive downtown and pay for parking can hop on the Twins Express, which takes them right to Target Field. The bus, known as Route 679, runs from the Interstate 394 and County Road 73 park and ride ramp in Minnetonka to the Ramp A/7th Street transit center, which is right across from the stadium.
It’s a slick service, with buses to the game running every 15 minutes starting two hours before first pitch. Going home, return service begins two hours after the game starts and continues until an hour after the game ends.
Since it works so well for Twins games, the Drive wondered why Metro Transit doesn’t offer the same type of service for Vikings games, especially since football draws thousands more fans, and there is a push to get people to take public transportation to U.S. Bank Stadium.
Transit agency spokesman Drew Kerr says a lot of it has to do with the location of the Vikings’ posh palace. It’s not right off the freeway like Target Field, where there are convenient drop off and pickup points and it’s easy for buses to turn around.
That’s not the case around U.S. Bank Stadium. On game days, traffic is heavy on streets leading to the stadium and often streets adjacent to the place are shut down, so bringing more buses to an already congested area doesn’t seem all that practical.
“Express bus service to Target Field was considered attractive because it offered a one-seat ride and could utilize the express lanes on I-394,” he said. “If a similar service were offered for U.S. Bank Stadium Station, buses would either need to navigate downtown streets or customers would have to transfer, so it’s not quite as seamless.”
Road work at MSP
Anybody who has driven to Terminal 1 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in recent weeks has probably noticed all the construction, and it will be that way for the next 2½ years. Some buildings are being torn down and moved to make way for a new 5,000-space parking ramp and an on-site hotel.
For now, drivers heading to and from the terminal will experience only minor disruptions, including occasional lane closures while a new skyway linking Concourses A and C with the hotel is built and while utility work is completed this fall.
Bigger changes will come next spring, when ramp construction and work to reroute the outbound road begins. Currently that road, which leads from the terminal and the pay parking station out to Hwy. 5, loops around the north side of the post office. Once it’s complete in 2017, outbound traffic will be shifted to the south side of the post office and the new Graves hotel where a Delta Air Lines facility once stood. Additionally, pay stations and the exit plaza for drivers leaving parking ramps will be moved closer to Hwy. 5. Motorists will then follow a loop back to catch the main road leading out of the airport.
“We’re trying to make it as painless as possible,” said Al Dye, a project manager for the Metropolitan Airports Commission’s Airport Development. “There will be some lane shifting, but the roads will stay open.”
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