By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Metro Transit announced Thursday it will provide “significantly less” express bus service to the Minnesota State Fair this year.

“We are disappointed we are unable to provide more service this year, and we know our decision will leave many fairgoers disappointed,” General Manager Wes Kooistra said in a statement. “But the reality is we simply don’t have enough operators to serve the State Fair without putting our regularly scheduled transit service at risk.”

According to its website, Metro Transit will offer express service every 30 minutes at three locations in Minnetonka, Bloomington and Cottage Grove. Minnesota Valley Transit Authority and Southwest Transit offer express service at seven other locations south of the metro.

Regular routes will still be available through Metro Transit, and the State Fair offers free park and ride routes, as well.

Masks will be required on Metro Transit buses due to a federal mandate.

This year’s fair is scheduled for Aug. 26 through Sept. 6. A fair organizer told WCCO-TV that all options are on the table regarding COVID-19 safety protocols, although no final decisions have been made.