Autos

Metro Transit, MVTA suspend bus service in the Twin Cities due to icy conditions – Star Tribune


It wasn’t much, but a little freezing precipitation added up to big problems Wednesday morning for commuters as metro-area transit agencies suspended service and drivers who took to the icy roads slid into ditches and into one another.

“The joys of the season,” said Minnesota Department of Transportation spokeswoman Anne Meyer. “Ice is some of the most challenging stuff we deal with. We can’t plow ice, we can just put down materials.”

Temperatures in the upper 20s were allowing chemicals to work, Meyer said, but it will take time to get glaze-covered roads into good winter driving condition.

Metro Transit suspended all bus service in the Twin Cities and suburbs as a mix of ice, snow, rain and freezing rain turned roads treacherous. Light-rail and Northstar trains were not impacted and were running as normal, the transit agency said.

“When we feel it is safe enough, we will be back on the roads,” spokesman Drew Kerr said. “We know people rely on us to get where they need to go.”

Bus drivers, however, braved the extremely slick conditions to get to work and are ready begin driving, Kerr said. Wednesday marked the first time since December 2019 the agency pulled buses from the streets due to weather.

Metro Mobility and Transit Link services also suspended service, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Council said.

The Minnesota Valley Transit Authority serving suburbs south of the Minnesota River, Plymouth Metrolink and SouthWest Transit also halted service.

The mixed bag of precipitation moved into the metro area just after midnight and over the past six hours have coated roads and sidewalks.

“This has led to an icy glaze on most surfaces,” the National Weather Service said. “Be ready for a very slow and icy commute.”

By 6 a.m., a number of drivers found that out with several spinning out and sliding into ditches, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

In Shorewood, a jackknifed semi was blocking the westbound lanes of Hwy. 7 at the Hwy. 41 intersection. The westbound lanes remained closed at 6:45 a.m., MnDOT said.

As the peak of the commute arrived, most metro area highways and freeways remained ice-covered, though the south and west metro seemed to have been hit the worst. Plows were out across the metro area, Meyer said.

Slick conditions and sidewalks that required pedestrians to use the penguin shuffle led several school districts to open late.

Both the St. Paul and Minneapolis school districts rely on Metro Transit to get high school students to class. The St. Paul district said students who arrive late due to the road conditions would be excused.

In Minneapolis, classes went on as scheduled. The district said “MPS buses are still scheduled to run, but may be late.”

A winter weather advisory is in effect until 9 a.m., the National Weather Service said.



READ SOURCE

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.