Behavior Change

All the Best Ways to Get to the State Fair: Pros and Cons

August 22, 2019

Minnesota State Fair Bike Parking Corral

Your biggest State Fair stress should be deciding which foods to eat—not circling the fair grounds for parking. We’ve got you covered on finding the most efficient, cost-friendly, and climate-friendly ways to get to the Minnesota State Fair this year. Before you go, check out which option is best for you!

Tips for biking to the fair:

Take Como Ave from either Saint Paul or Minneapolis. In Saint Paul, Como extends all the way into downtown. On the Minneapolis side, the U of M Intercampus Transitway is a direct, fast connection for experienced bicyclists who are comfortable riding alongside buses part of route. Just be aware that there is no path or shoulder for bikes along the transitway between Energy Park Drive and Como Ave. Once you reach the fair grounds, you’ll find some pretty awesome, ample bike parking near the Como-Snelling, North End, and Randall Ave-Buford gates. Make sure you keep your bike parking claim ticket in a secure place so you’re not scrambling to find it after a long day at the fair.

Pros:

  • FREE!
  • Bike check process.
  • Supervised bike corral lots.
  • Plenty of parking spots.
  • No bike lock required (unless you want to).

Cons:

  • Try not to lose your bike parking ticket.
  • Getting passed by buses once you’re near the fair entrance can be daunting. Some buses may offer you generous clearance, but that’s not always guaranteed.

Tips for taking a bus park & ride to the fair: 

Go multi-modal! Bike, carpool, scooter, and/or walk to your nearest park & ride and take the bus the rest of the way there.

Pros:

  • FREE!
  • Family friendly (some buses are charters that can store multiple strollers).
  • Bus service runs frequently.
  • Many available parking sites all over the metro.

Cons:

  • During peak hours buses can get crowded. Fair goers may need to wait for subsequent buses.
  • There’s a chance that a parking lot may be full, and you’ll have to drive to the next available lot.

Tips for taking a rideshare/taxi to the fair:  

There is a designated pick-up and drop-off location for rideshare and taxi at the fair. We recommend you combine these services with one of the other transit options. This will help reduce cars that are contributing to traffic congestion near the fairgrounds.

Pros:

  • Customize your ride experience.
  • No parking required.

Cons:

  • Cost can vary depending on length of trip.
  • Cars on the road contribute to fair traffic congestion.

Tips for taking a regular bus route to the fair: 

Use the Metro Transit app to purchase your fare ahead of time and plan your route from anywhere in the Twin Cities metro. The A Line, 960, 84, and 3 buses get you right up to the fair entrance.

Pros:

  • Bike racks available on all buses and light rail.
  • Extra convenient if you already use a Go-To card or have prepaid bus fare.
  • The A Line is a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route and runs frequently.
  • Kids age 5 and under ride free.

Cons:

  • Be prepared for possible crowded buses during peak fair time.
  • Multiple transit stops en route to the fair.

Tips for taking a State Fair Express bus park & ride to the fair: 

State Fair Express buses are offered in various locations throughout the metro suburbs, plus one site available in Minneapolis. Plan ahead and purchase your fare using the Metro Transit app for easy boarding.

Pros:

  • Express, non-stop route to the fair from a suburban location.
  • Buses collect round trip fare.
  • Purchase fare ahead of time to save money.
  • Kids age 4 and under ride free.

Cons:

  • Go-To passes and bus tokens are not accepted fare.
  • Some sites have 15 or 30 minute bus services. Make sure to read the fine print so you’re not left waiting longer than anticipated.

Have an amazing time at the Minnesota State Fair this year. Eat all the foods. Ride all the rides. See all the sights. And definitely skip the traffic. Taking advantage of these other great transportation options could help save you stress and money!