Towing shakedown riles east metro commuters

If you live east of St. Paul you have to really be committed to mass transit to ride mass transit, given the hurdles one has to jump over to use what little there is — like having your car towed from an official park-and-ride for no good reason.

The Star Tribune says several dozen cars were towed from the lot on Monday, but nobody will say why or claim knowledge of it.

The lot, which will be the ending point of the Gold Line bus rapid transit line someday, is owned by Metro Transit and leased to the low-budget Woodbury Theatre.

Commuters got off their express bus from Minneapolis and found their cars were missing, even though they appeared to park where they’re allowed to park.

Was that you, Metro Transit?

“This is not something Metro Transit coordinated,” spokesperson Howie Padilla tells the Strib. “We were not involved in the decision to tow. We don’t know the answer. We will try to get answers ourselves.”

How about you, Woodbury Theatre?

A man who answered the phone at the Woodbury Theater Tuesday said the owner was out of town and would be the only person who could comment, noting the owner would not be available until Friday.

What do you know about this, Rapid Response Towing?

Messages left with the towing company, Rapid Response, were not returned.

Woodbury cops? You got anything?

Cmdr. John Altman said there was little they could do. Since the incident occurred on private property, the department does not have authority to enforce parking regulations. Car owners, he said, would have to take up the matter with Metro Transit, the theater and the towing company.

The unexplained shakedown cost each commuter $350 to get their car back.

“Thirty people got caught in a fight between the theater and Metro Transit,” commuter Chris Collins said. “They took in a lot of money in the wrong.”

There will likely be fewer people on the bus this week.