FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) — One group spent most of Wednesday afternoon fighting for what they call fair transportation at the Minnesota State Fair.
Members of the group “Adapt Minnesota” circulated petitions near the state fairgrounds Wednesday. They said there aren’t enough wheelchair-accessible buses at the fair’s Park and Rides. They believe all of the fair’s free buses should be accessible.
Otherwise, they think it violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“So the State Fair by welcoming people isn’t really welcoming people with mobility problems,” said Rick Cardenas, who was at Wednesday’s protest.
“It took me about two hours one way to get here and two hours to get back home because there’s usually not enough spots for people with disabilities,” said Nicole Villavicencio, a protestor on Wednesday who gets around in a wheelchair.
The fair’s transportation manager said 20 percent of the free park and rides have some accessible buses.
“The most important thing that we took into consideration is that No. 1 the lots have to be open all 12 days of the fair, and No. 2 we chose the lots that are closest to the fairground property where we drop our customers off,” said Steve Grans.
The Oscar Johnson Arena Park and Ride is dedicated exclusively to people with disabilities. It’s located north of Energy Park Drive and east of Snelling Avenue.
Officials with the state fair said wheelchair accessible buses can be requested from free lots by asking a supervisor.