How to get around in Minneapolis?
July 21, 2010 7:36 PM   Subscribe

What's the best way (or ways) to get around in Minneapolis?

My wife and I are taking our two-person show to the Minneapolis Fringe Festival. We are Megabusing it from Cleveland, so we will not be coming by car, although car rental is a possibility (at least, on the days we have performances). How else can we get around the town? Walking? Buses? Bike rental?

We arrive on the 3rd of August and leave on the 16th. We are staying with a fraternity brother of mine who lives near the intersection of N. Vincent Ave and N. 42nd Ave. Our performance venue is the Ritz Theater, 345 13th Ave NE. And here's a page showing the locations of all the other Fringe venues: I would assume that once we're in the Fringe area, we'll want to stick around there for the day, but getting there and back again is what we need to figure out.
posted by starvingartist to Travel & Transportation around Minneapolis, MN (9 answers total)
Trip Planner on Metro Transit! It should be pretty easy to get around by bus/rail once you're here. I might just see you at your show!
posted by ahdeeda at 8:00 PM on July 21, 2010

The bus system in Mpls is pretty mediocre...they don't always go where you need them to go when you need them to get there. Their website has a decent "Trip Planner" though, where you can enter where you're trying to get and it'll let you know if it'll work. Light rail is included in that.

Minneapolis also just started a bike-share program called Nice Ride MN. While there aren't any stations near your friend's place, once you get downtown, this could be a fun way to get around the city.

Your best bet is probably to take the bus from your frat brother's place to downtown and then walk or use the bikes from there. If you think you'll use the bikes more than 6 times, it'd be cheaper to get a monthly pass at the website linked above.

Have fun!

posted by JannaK at 8:01 PM on July 21, 2010

Response by poster: That Nice Ride thing is pretty sweet, thanks!
posted by starvingartist at 8:15 PM on July 21, 2010

I disagree with JannaK - Metro Transit is actually one of the better busing systems in the country. You shouldn't have any problem getting to and fro for the weeks that you are here. You'll want to buy go-to passes in advance (they store values $10 increments).

Other options for you if you need to be more flexible: both hour car and zipcar have vehicles in the Minneapolis area.

And yeah, Nice Ride is awesome.
posted by Think_Long at 9:00 PM on July 21, 2010

Seconding that Metro Transit is better than mediocre, so don't write it off. I have found it consistent and reliable, and I lived many years without a car. If you can plot out a route through the web tools it will get you there. Also, if you haven't noticed, if you click the specific location links under the map in that Fringe Locations page you linked in your question, they list the bus routes that serve those venues. You can download pdfs of the bus route maps and schedules for those routes and nay others that may come up if you use the Trip Planner tool (look under the Maps and Schedules menu in the link ahdeeda provided) and get familiar with the routes beforehand.

If you're planning to hit the St. Paul venues though I'll warn you that a lot of the bus service between Minneapolis and St. Paul is unforgivably slow.

I've never had problems with call-in cab service here, aside from it being expensive. If time's of the essence it could be worthwhile for the odd trip and less hassle and cost than rental.

Those bikes are cool but I'd be cautious about relying on them, that program is just getting started and though currently there seems to be (at the stations I observed recently) plenty of bikes available, during something like the Fringe they could get scarce as use spikes. Again nothing against it but I just don't think it's really tested for capacity especially during a special event period.
posted by nanojath at 9:41 PM on July 21, 2010

Give Metro Transit a try, they are not too bad of a system. Google Transit has their system included.

Metro Transit has a real time arrival system called NexTrip, which works well, usually. If you have a mobile phone, someone created a nice mobile front end at
posted by ALongDecember at 10:06 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Nthing the buses, with the caveat that you're almost certainly going to have to transfer, and usually downtown from North Minneapolis to Northeast. If you stay late, you might end up relying on a cab to get home. Haven't tried it yet, but they've been advertising #TAXI as a one-stop shopping for cabs in the Twin Cities - don't know if that'll be better or worse than just having the numbers of a few different companies on hand.

Most of the fringe sites are well away from any cab stands, so make sure to get a few numbers before you need a cab at 2am some morning.
posted by DaveP at 6:01 AM on July 22, 2010

Mod note: Removed the show plug. You can put that in your profile if you like.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:09 AM on July 22, 2010

Response by poster: Sorry. Me = shamed.
posted by starvingartist at 11:11 AM on July 22, 2010

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