From General Manager Wes Kooistra
Reducing service is never easy, especially when ridership is growing and we know how helpful it would be to put more buses and trains out into the community.
But to protect the reliability of our service amid a continued operator shortage, we will be reducing frequency on nine bus routes and our light rail lines effective Saturday, Aug. 20.
These reductions are being made because we think it is better to have schedules we can honor than to promise trips we can’t deliver.
For the same reason, our service to the Minnesota State Fair will look similar to last year, with buses running between three Park & Rides instead of locations throughout the region.
Once again, these changes come at a time when we prefer to be adding services to attract riders back to transit.
We are not alone. Other transit agencies, schools, and businesses that rely on drivers are facing similar challenges. Like Metro Transit, these entities are doubling down on efforts to recruit new employees while adjusting their offerings to match their workforce.
This is not the first time we’ve delivered this message. As our efforts to grow our workforce continue, targeted improvements to our service will still move forward. These include:
- Consolidating bus stops and simplifying Route 22 as part of a program aimed at making our busiest routes more reliable.
- Contracting to resume express service between downtown Minneapolis and the Kenrick Avenue Park & Ride in Lakeville, testing the demand for this type of service.
- Opening the METRO D Line, which will bring faster and more reliable service to our busiest transit corridor in December.
Thank you for your understanding as we work through our current workforce challenges. Your ridership and your support, as always, are greatly appreciated.