The Minnesota State Fair set a new attendance record this year and more people than ever left the driving to Metro Transit.
The transit agency provided more than 654,000 rides to and from the Great Minnesota Get Together, a record that beat the previous high water mark by 21,000 that was set just last year.
“The State Fair’s popularity shows just how eager Minnesotans are to enjoy each other and all our state has to offer,” General Manager Brian Lamb said. “It’s exciting to see that eagerness to come together extend to our buses and trains more and more every year.”
Just over 16 percent of all State Fairgoers took Metro Transit express and regular-route buses to the fair during its 12-day run. State Fair Express Bus service was offered from 13 Park & Rides throughout the Twin Cities. This was the 25th year Metro Transit provided express bus service to the State Fair.
Metro Transit also set a new record for daily ridership on the Green Line. On Aug. 31, 68.071 rides were taken on the light-rail line that runs between downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul. That beat the previous record of 66,018 rides, set on Oct. 3, 2016.
Along with the State Fair, four major sporting events on Aug. 31 also helped boost ridership, the agency said.
Overall ridership system ride totaled 358,617 on Aug. 31, a day when weekday commuters were joined by fairgoers and fans traveling to Twins, Vikings, Gophers and Saints home games. That was not a single-day ridership record, which was set on Sept. 1, 2016 with 369,626 rides.
The Aug. 31 total also includes 241,000 bus rides, 44,000 Blue Line rides and 5,500 Northstar rides.