Our latest news and updates

Some Fares Going Up in 2017

- December 01, 2016

Milwaukee, WI – For the first time in more than five years, some MCTS fares are increasing. The cost of a regular and premium 7-Day and 31-Day Pass is going up next year, while single ride fares, 1-Day Passes and reduced fare passes are staying the same.

Even with the increase, riding transit is still a great way to save money. According to a November report from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), people who ride public transit instead of driving save more than $800 a month.

2017 MCTS Fares

  • Adult M•CARD Ride - $1.75 (no change)
  • Adult Cash Ride - $2.25 (no change)
  • 1-Day Pass at fare outlet - $4 (no change)
  • 1-Day Pass on the bus - $5 cash/$4 Stored Cash Value (no change)
  • 7-Day Pass - $19.50 ($2 increase)
  • 31-Day Pass - $72 ($8 increase)

To see the full list of 2017 Fares, visit the special fares page at RideMCTS.com

Paper Tickets

The end of 2016 will also mark the end of individual paper tickets. Paper passes and transfers were eliminated earlier in the year, but riders can use any remaining tickets through December 31, 2016. Riders can turn in full sheets of 10 tickets at the MCTS Administration Building (1942 N 17th Street, Milwaukee) and receive the value of the tickets on an M•CARD.

MCTS and County Executive Chris Abele Honor Rosa Parks with Headlight Tribute & Reserved Bus Seat

- November 30, 2016

Milwaukee, WI – The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) will keep a seat open and the headlights shining on its entire fleet on Thursday, December 1, 2016, to honor the life of Rosa Parks and her contribution to equal rights. Parks was arrested after refusing to give up her seat to a white man in Montgomery, Ala., on Dec. 1, 1955. Her small act of civil disobedience led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling that outlawed segregation on public transportation.

“This country was changed for the better that day Rosa Parks refused to give into racism and oppression,” said County Executive Chris Abele. “While we can never truly thank her for her bravery, we mark the occasion to remember and honor her courage.”

Every bus in the MCTS fleet will have a seat reserved in honor of Rosa Parks. The sign features a picture of her on the bus and one of her famous quotes, “My only concern was to get home after a hard day’s work.”


 

MCTS Driver Finds Lost Children

- November 11, 2016

Milwaukee, WI – MCTS Driver Jeannie Mitchell’s alert reaction and maternal instincts helped save two Milwaukee children from a very scary situation.

Jeannie was driving her usual Route 35 trip on Wednesday, October 12th when she noticed two young children walking alone down the sidewalk on Hopkins Street north of Hampton Avenue. Jeannie stopped the bus, opened the door and asked the children if they were lost.

“Sweetie, where ya’ll going. Who are you with?” she can be seen and heard asking the children on the buses camera system.

Jeannie got off the bus to ask them more questions and realized the pair did not know where they were going. She contacted MCTS Dispatch who called police to the scene. A Milwaukee Police Officer helped the one-year-old boy and five-year-old girl contact their mom. The children say they walked away from their babysitter, and were trying to go to a relative’s house but got lost.

Jeannie says she knows all too well how scary it can be to have a child missing. Nearly 15 years ago, her then 5-year-old son left a relative’s house and was missing for nearly 12 hours until a stranger helped bring him home. She says she is happy she was able to help another mom avoid going through that same thing.

Watch the video below of Jeannie’s quick action.

I Didn't Have a Bus Driver That Day, I Had an Angel

- October 26, 2016

MILWAUKEE - Mary Albers of West Allis says an MCTS Bus Driver must have been heaven sent.

Watch her heartwarming story below.


MCTS Receives National Recognition for Outstanding Service

- October 06, 2016
From Bay View to Bronzeville, from West Allis to Westown – the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) provides hundreds of rides every day to people in wheelchairs and mobility devices. The hard work of MCTS drivers and staff means greater accessibility, and that dedication and service is being recognized by national travel writer John Morris. In a recent blog post forWheelchair Travel, Morris applauded MCTS for their outstanding service to the ADA community across Milwaukee County.
 
“During my time in Milwaukee, I was forced to rely entirely on public transit, as there are no wheelchair accessible taxis in the city,” said Morris. “Although services for the disabled are lacking in many transportation systems, that is not what I found in the Beer City.” 
 
Wheelchair Travel, a blog dedicated to spreading the world about wheelchair accessible experiences and opportunities, recognizes MCTS as an easy system to get around. After his recent trip to Milwaukee, Morris wrote glowing reviews on everything from bus frequency, the trip planner at RideMCTS.com, schedules and bus stop locations. Morris also shared a tip that we highly recommend: visitors should purchase the MCTS M•CARD to save money and time.
 
“Every time I boarded the bus, the driver secured my chair without my having to ask,” adds Morris. “I was treated with the utmost respect, and really enjoyed riding the city bus.”

Public transportation plays a vital role in urbanized communities; a role that is particularly important for people who do not own a car. This includes individuals with low-incomes, as well as many persons with disabilities, children, college students and seniors. It helps them get to and from work, and to access amenities and services. Access to the grocery store, employment, medical care, and other community services are vital components of a healthy, productive life. Without this reliable transportation, the elderly, individuals with disabilities, and other transit dependent populations, would lose independence in their day-to-day activities.
 
“MCTS works hard every day to improve accessibility for all riders and we’re proud to see that work highlighted to a nationwide audience,” said MCTS Managing Director Dan Boehm. “From the MCTS New Freedom Program, to all of our drivers who undergo wheelchair and mobility device training, our mission is clear – reduce barriers and increase access to everyone.”

Morris’ full story on MCTS and public transportation in Milwaukee can be found at wheelchairtravel.org.

MCTS Teams Up with Milwaukee County Zoo, Milwaukee Public Museum, Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, Bublr Bikes and More for Take Your Kid on the Bus Day, Saturday, September 24th

- September 15, 2016


MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele announced that Saturday, September 24, 2016, will be the first ever Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) Take Your Kid on the Bus Day!  The special event includes free stickers for all young riders, and deals and discounts for children and adults!


“As adults we realize how important MCTS is to this community. Every day they provide 150,000 rides that get people to work, school and medical appointments. For many children, the bus is fun and exciting – that’s what Take Your Kid on the Bus Day is celebrating,” said County Executive Chris Abele. “From the Zoo to our museums, to the parks and to special events, transit is a safe, convenient, and affordable way for families to explore and enjoy our community.”

With 60 Routes and 5,500 bus stops, there are so many fun places MCTS can take you and your children. Children 5-years-old and under ride free, while it costs children 6 to 11 only $1.10 per ride. Plus, all children who ride MCTS on Saturday, September 24th will get a free sticker when they get on any bus.


Parents are encouraged to use the MCTS M•CARD to pay for fares. Not only is using the M•CARD cheaper than paying with cash, you can also take advantage of great deals available exclusively to MCTS riders on Take Your Kid on the Bus Day. Deals include free Bublr bike rides and one free child admission to the Milwaukee County Zoo, Milwaukee Public Museum and Betty Brinn Children’s Museum when you show your M•CARD. For a full list of the deals and discounts, visit RideMCTS.com/KidsDay


“Milwaukee County has a great bus system that allows families to travel easily throughout the city. The Milwaukee Public Museum is on several different routes and used by many of our visitors,” said Hillary Olson, MPM Vice President, Audience and Community Engagement. “We are excited to host bus riders of all ages to have a fun, family-friendly day at the Museum. Show your M•CARD for a free child admission on September 24th!”

“The Betty Brinn Children’s Museum is pleased to participate in Take Your Kid on the Bus Day by offering free Museum admission for children who ride the Milwaukee County Transit System on September 24,” said Michele Duranso, Museum Communications Manager. “Many families already know the convenience and benefits of utilizing our transit system, and we encourage others to take advantage of a bus ride to the Museum, which provides a wonderful opportunity for families to connect and explore the city together.”   

“A healthy, prosperous, sustainable community is one with multiple, convenient transit options to help people move easily from home to work to play,” said Caressa Givens, Bublr’s Community Engagement Coordinator. “Bublr and MCTS are great travel options alone, and even more convenient when used together. We're proud to be part of Take Your Kid on the Bus Day and we hope people take advantage of the free Bublr rides and all the other great deals that day.”


MCTS Employee Named to Top 40 Under 40 List - Mass Transit Magazine Honors Professionals from Across the Country

- September 08, 2016
MILWAUKEE – Brendan Conway, the Milwaukee County Transit Systems (MCTS) Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, has been recognized by Mass Transit Magazine as one of its Top 40 Under 40. Conway is the first MCTS employee to receive this honor.

“Milwaukee County congratulates Brendan for this honor and recognition. In his role at MCTS, Brendan has brought a new energy, excitement and positive focus to transit. From informing riders about the new technology and improvements at MCTS to leading the outreach on the Bus Rapid Transit project, Brendan has done an amazing job,” said County Executive Chris Abele. “MCTS is made up of 1,100 dedicated drivers, mechanics and staff like Brendan who move people across our community every day safely, conveniently and efficiently.”
 
Mass Transit, the only magazine exclusively dedicated to public transportation, announced the eighth annual Mass Transit Top 40 Under 40 list this week. This list recognizes professionals who have made significant contributions to the public transit industry.  Honorees were nominated by their peers and judged on criteria that included job commitment, industry involvement and contribution, achievement in his or her position and innovation in his or her field.

“Millions of people utilize public transportation every year, relying on it to transport them to work, school, social and sporting activities,” says Mass Transit Publisher Emily Guill. “The individuals chosen for this year’s list have been stand outs in their respective areas and show a strong passion and commitment that exemplifies the best of the best.” 

Conway and the other winners will be showcased in the September/October cover feature of Mass Transit magazine and online at www.MassTransitmag.com.
 
“These young professionals have proven records of accomplishments, making a difference at their companies or transit agencies, in their communities and in the industry,” adds Mass Transit Executive Editor Leah Harnack. “It was challenging to narrow it down, but we are confident that this list of professionals will continue to play a significant role in public transportation for decades to come.”

Welcome to Milwaukee – New M•CARD Kiosk at Mitchell Airport Makes Travel Even Easier

- August 31, 2016
The newest MCTS Sales Associate is tall, thin and blue – meet the high-tech M•CARD Kiosk, the latest way to buy your MCTS M•CARD.



The M•CARD Kiosk, located in the recently renovated Mitchell International Airport (MKE) Baggage Claim, offers travelers and riders an easy, safe and convenient way to buy an M•CARD. Riders can buy a card preloaded with $5 or $10 in Stored Cash Value, or a 1-Day or 7-Day Pass anytime of the day or night – the kiosk never closes!
 
After purchase the card is immediately available to use to ride the Route 80 or GreenLine from MKE, or any of MCTS’ 60 routes across the county. The kiosk is connected to the internet, allowing MCTS to monitor sales and adjust the type of the cards sold based on what riders want.
 
“This is the latest example of innovation, technology and sustainability people are seeing at MCTS and across Milwaukee County,” County Executive Chris Abele said. “In the last year alone, MCTS went paperless, rolled out a special e-ticket for Summerfest, fully implemented Real-Time Information on all routes and put nearly 60 brand new buses into service. The M•CARD Kiosk will make it easier to travel from MKE and across our community.”
 
The M•CARD Kiosk is located by Baggage Claim #1 and accepts Visa, Mastercard and Discover. Besides the kiosk, riders can buy an M•CARD at nearly 100 locations across Milwaukee County and online at the M•CARD Online Store.



Last Buses Pull Out of Downtown Transit Center This Weekend

- August 26, 2016

Milwaukee, WI – Transit history will be made this weekend when an MCTS bus pulls out of the Downtown Transit Center (DTC) for the final time. The Transit Center property was sold by Milwaukee County to developer Rick Barrett who is redeveloping the land into the Couture project. The Couture is planned as a 44-story high-rise building. The project will include access to the proposed MCTS Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line and the City of Milwaukee Street Car.

“As this chapter in Milwaukee County history comes to a close, another exciting chapter begins,” said County Executive Chris Abele. “Not only will this project create thousands of good-paying jobs and millions of dollars in new economic development, the Couture development will also turn an underutilized piece of land into a generation defining and transformative landmark.”

Buses that serve the DTC will run their normal schedules on Saturday, August 27th. The Route 12 will be the last bus to ever leave the DTC in service when it pulls-out early Sunday morning (12:35am).

Final pull-out times for each route are below:

  • Route 12 departs the DTC at 12:35AM on Sunday, August 28th
  • Route 33 departs the DTC at 11:45PM on Saturday, August 27th
  • Route 31 departs the DTC at 9:55PM on Saturday, August 27th
  • Route 137 departs the DTC at 11:35AM on Saturday, August 27th

All routes that served the DTC will being new routing on Sunday, August 28th. The new routing will allow riders improved access to the Milwaukee Intermodal Station via Route 12, and a direct route to grocery stores, restaurants and the Lakefront for people living on the west side via Route 33. The new routing also clears up some bus congestion along Wisconsin Avenue.

Click here to see maps of the new routes

Last Buses Pull Out of Downtown Transit Center This Weekend

- August 26, 2016

Milwaukee, WI – Transit history will be made this weekend when an MCTS bus pulls out of the Downtown Transit Center (DTC) for the final time. The Transit Center property was sold by Milwaukee County to developer Rick Barrett who is redeveloping the land into the Couture project. The Couture is planned as a 44-story high-rise building. The project will include access to the proposed MCTS Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line and the City of Milwaukee Street Car.

“As this chapter in Milwaukee County history comes to a close, another exciting chapter begins,” said County Executive Chris Abele. “Not only will this project create thousands of good-paying jobs and millions of dollars in new economic development, the Couture development will also turn an underutilized piece of land into a generation defining and transformative landmark.”

Buses that serve the DTC will run their normal schedules on Saturday, August 27th. The Route 12 will be the last bus to ever leave the DTC in service when it pulls-out early Sunday morning (12:35am).

Final pull-out times for each route are below:

  • Route 12 departs the DTC at 12:35AM on Sunday, August 28th
  • Route 33 departs the DTC at 11:45PM on Saturday, August 27th
  • Route 31 departs the DTC at 9:55PM on Saturday, August 27th
  • Route 137 departs the DTC at 11:35AM on Saturday, August 27th

All routes that served the DTC will being new routing on Sunday, August 28th. The new routing will allow riders improved access to the Milwaukee Intermodal Station via Route 12, and a direct route to grocery stores, restaurants and the Lakefront for people living on the west side via Route 33. The new routing also clears up some bus congestion along Wisconsin Avenue.

Click here to see maps of the new routes

Changes Coming for Several Bus Routes Through Downtown

- July 29, 2016

Milwaukee, WI – The sale and demolition of the Downtown Transit Center means changes for several MCTS routes that run through Downtown Milwaukee. The new routes will allow riders improved access to the Milwaukee Intermodal Station (Route 12) and a direct route to grocery stores, restaurants and the Lakefront for people living on the west side (Route 33). The new routing also clears up some bus congestion along Wisconsin Avenue.

Beginning August 28, 2016, the following eight routes are being re-routed (maps of all new routes are below):

  • Route 12 (Teutonia-Hampton)
  • Route 31 (State-Highland)
  • Route 33 (Vliet Street)
  • Route 42U (6th Street – Port Washington Road UBUS)
  • Route 44 (National Flyer)
  • Route 79 (Menomonee Falls Flyer)
  • Brewers Line (Route 90)
  • Route 137 (House of Correction)

Route 12 (Teutonia – Hampton) – New layover location near Intermodal Station.  Route to operate via N. 6th Street, W. Michigan Street, and N. 5th Street to the Intermodal Station. Passengers traveling east of N. 6th Street will have the option of transferring onto any eastbound bus traveling on Wisconsin Avenue. We recommend transferring at the corner of 12th & Wisconsin (Gesu Church) to a GoldLine, Route 30/30X or Route 14. Transfer wait times will be as little as two minutes.

Route 31 (State - Highland) – New layover location on W. Wells Street near N. 8th Street.  Route to operate via W. Wisconsin Avenue, N. 10th Street, and W. Wells Street to N. 8th Street. Passengers traveling east of N. 8th Street will have the option of transferring onto any eastbound bus traveling on Wisconsin Avenue. We recommend transferring at the corner of 12th & Wisconsin (Gesu Church) to a GoldLine, Route 30/30X or Route 14. Transfer wait times will be as little as two minutes.

Route 33 (Vliet) – New layover location will be on N. Prospect Avenue at Juneau Park.  The route is to operate primarily along Juneau Avenue and E. Kilbourn Avenue to Juneau Park.

Route 42U (6th – Port Washington) – New layover location will be eastbound on W. Wells Street near N. 9th Street.  This route primarily serves MATC Downtown and MATC north in Ozaukee County.  Route to operate via N. 6th Street, W. Wisconsin Avenue, N. 10th Street, and W. Wells Street.

Routes 44 (State Fair Flyer) and 79 (Menomonee Falls Freeway Flyer – New layover location on Kilbourn Avenue.  All existing riders will continue to be able to board at their regular bus stop. 

Route 90 (BrewersLine) – New layover location near the Milwaukee School of Engineering.  All existing riders will continue to be able to board at their regular bus stop, and the route will also provide service along N. Water Street and E. Kilbourn Avenue. 

Route 137 (House of Correction) – New layover location on W. Wells Street & N. 9th Street.  All riders going to the House of Correction will need to board across the street from their current stop. Passengers going to the House of Correction will board at eastbound stops on Wisconsin Avenue. Passengers going to Downtown will get off the bus at westbound stops on Wisconsin Avenue.

 



When the Temps Rise MCTS Keeps It Cool. Buses are Always Kept at a Comfortable 72 Degrees!

- July 21, 2016

MILWAUKEE - With a heat wave blanketing Milwaukee County, people will always have a cool place to go – any MCTS Bus! All buses have air conditioning that keeps passengers at a comfortable 72 degrees.
 
With 60 routes and more than 5,500 bus stops, there are plenty of opportunities to get out of the heat and onto the bus. Even better, when you ride MCTS, you don’t have to worry about cooling down a car that has been baking in the sun all day.
 
A ride on the bus is only $2.25 with cash, or save $.50 when you use your M•CARD ($1.75). Below are some ideas on places to stay cool and the routes that will take you there.
 
Libraries and Museums

  • Gallery of Flight Museum at the Mitchell Airport (5300 S Howell Ave) – GreenLine and Route 80
  • Harley-Davidson Museum (400 W Canal St) – Route 80
  • Milwaukee Central Library (814 W Wisconsin Ave) – GoldLine, Routes 12, 30/30X and 31
  • Milwaukee Public Museum (800 W Wells St) - GoldLine, Route 30/30X
  • West Allis Public Library (7421 W National Ave) - Route 54
  • Wauwatosa Public Library (7635 W North Ave) - Routes 21 and 67
Custard and Ice Cream
  • Kopp’s Frozen Custard (5373 N Port Washington Rd) – Route 15
  • Leon’s Frozen Custard (3131 S 27th St) – PurpleLine, Routes 27 and 51
  • Oscar’s Frozen Custard (2362 S 108th St) – Route 28
  • Purple Door Ice Cream – (205 S 2nd St) – Route 15
Senior Centers
  • Clinton Rose Senior Center (3045 N MLK Dr) – Routes 19 and 60
  • Washington Park Senior Center (4420 W Vliet St) – Routes 31 and 33
  • Wilson Senior Center (2601 W Howard Ave) – PurpleLine and Route 27
Swimming Pools and Aquatic Centers
  • David F Schultz Aquatic Center (1301 W Hampton Ave) – PurpleLine, Routes 27 and 80
  • Grobschmidt Pool (2600 S 16th Ave) – Route 52
  • McCarty Pool (2567 S 79th St) – Route 76
  • Pelican Cove Family Water Park in Kosciuszko Park (2201 S 7th St) – Routes 53 and 80

 

Milwaukee County BRT Project Receives Wide Ranging Support from Community Leaders, Advocates, Business Groups and Riders

- July 12, 2016

MILWAUKEE – From the ACLU to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and dozens of groups and organizations in between, support for the proposed Bus Rapid Transit project in Milwaukee County is diverse and wide ranging.
 
The proposed 9-mile route would provide an improved transit connection to major employment and activity centers through downtown Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center, Milwaukee’s near west side, and Wauwatosa. With more frequent service and faster travel times, BRT will give riders more time to spend with their families, more time to study for a final exam, or simply more time to relax at home.
 
In statements and letters of support, groups are calling the BRT project crucial to the future of the region:

A recent survey revealed that 47% of African Americans living in Milwaukee do not have a driver’s license and three-fourths of the available jobs are outside of the bus lines. We will never address crime, poverty, and a simple opportunity for people of color to make a living and contribute to the tax base if they have no access to available jobs.
-African American Chamber of Commerce

New BRT service introduced into other cities increased ridership by as much as 67 percent, and could be particularly helpful to the disability community, which disproportionately does not drive or have access to a personal vehicle to get to work, school, medical appointments and other critical locations. This BRT project has the potential to remarkably improve those people’s lives.
-Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities 

We see the BRT as improving the efficiency of transit travel in this corridor in the long term and ensuring more employment options are accessible to residents living along the BRT corridor.
-Menomonee Valley Partners

The East-West BRT service would advance the build out of the planned multi-modal transportation network. It would elevate a diversity of neighborhoods along the route and support the region’s top employment centers and world-class educational, cultural and entertainment destinations.
-Associated General Contractors of Greater Milwaukee

“In a community that is too often polarized over issues big and small it’s encouraging to see such wide ranging support for BRT,” said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. “At public input sessions and neighborhood association meetings, on campuses and in boardrooms, Milwaukee County has heard overwhelmingly from people in the Cities of Milwaukee, Wauwatosa and all around the county that Bus Rapid Transit will make our transportation system more efficient and help more people connect with jobs, workforce training and school.”
 
An analysis shows that in less than 20 years the BRT project will attract as many as 9,000 new riders every day and cut bus travel times on the route. The study team found the proposed BRT service would also benefit drivers by taking more than 6,100 cars off the road and reducing the amount of miles people drive by up to 17 million miles a year. Fewer cars mean less congestion on local roads, and cleaner air for everyone.
 
The Wauwatosa Common Council voted last month to approve the proposed route. Transportation committees of the Milwaukee County Board and Milwaukee Common Council are expected to consider the proposal at meetings this week.
 
If all the local legislative bodies approve the route, Milwaukee County will file for a federal grant in August. It’s expected that 80% of the cost of the route will be covered by federal money.
 
Groups and organizations that are formally supporting BRT

  • African American Chamber of Commerce
  • ACLU of Wisconsin
  • Associated General Contractors of Greater Milwaukee
  • Milwaukee Building & Construction Trades Council
  • Disability Rights Wisconsin
  • GRAEF
  • Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce
  • Milwaukee Regional Medical Center
  • Intergovernmental Cooperation Council
  • LISC
  • Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations Allied for Hope (MICAH)
  • Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce
  • Menomonee Valley Partners
  • My Choice Family Care
  • SEWRPC
  • Milwaukee Transit Riders Union
  • TDA of Wisconsin
  • Transit Services Advisory Committee of Milwaukee County
  • Milwaukee Urban League
  • Vision Forward
  • VISIT Milwaukee
  • WAM DC LLC
  • Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities
  • Wisconsin Department of Transportation
  • WISPARK LLC

MCTS and Summerfest Team Up to Offer a New Way to Get to the Big Gig

- June 30, 2016

Milwaukee, WI – Cash may be king, but the all-new MCTS Pre>Fare is a rock star at getting you to Summerfest! Pre>Fare is a new digital ticket service available for riders who use the Summerfest Freeway Flyers to get to the Big Gig this year.

Pre>Fare is quicker, easier and cheaper than paying with cash ($5.50 vs $6.50). All you have to do to buy your ticket is visit RideMCTS.com/PreFare. After you buy your Pre>Fare ticket, you will get an email with a QR Code; that’s your ticket! Print the email out or bring your phone to any of the 11 Park-Ride lots served by MCTS for Summerfest and you’re on your way to the “World’s Largest Music Festival.”

“MCTS Pre>Fare is another example of the innovation happening across Milwaukee County to make the services we provide easier and more efficient for people to use,” County Executive Chris Abele said. “Not only is Pre>Fare cheaper and quicker than paying with cash, but the free Summerfest ticket is an offer too good to pass up.”

“Our partner, MCTS, is always looking for new ways to provide our patrons with the best service to Summerfest,” said Don Smiley, President & CEO of Summerfest. “Pre>Fare is a convenient option that will help patrons plan ahead for a hassle-free trip to Summerfest.”

MCTS partnered with Tixora, a Milwaukee-based startup company that specializes in e-tickets, to create Pre>Fare. Tixora developed a website for people to buy the tickets and an app for MCTS to validate the tickets at the Park-Rides lots where buses provide service during Summerfest.

"We are excited to partner with MCTS and Summerfest to make it easy for people to get to the festival. At Tixora, we believe in the power of public transportation and mobile ticketing technology, and we are proud that our tech will help tens of thousands of riders get to Summerfest easily and safely," said Aaron Redlich, CEO of Tixora.

Click here to learn more about Pre>Fare

Click here to see more information about Freeway Flyer service to Summerfest

Summerfest 2016 will take place June 29 – July 3 and July 5 – July 10 from noon until midnight and will be closed Monday, July 4. Following its 1968 debut, Summerfest has evolved into what is now recognized as “The World’s Largest Music Festival” and Milwaukee’s cornerstone summer celebration, bringing the music industry’s hottest stars, emerging talent and local favorites along with approximately 850,000 people from Milwaukee and around the world together each year for an unforgettable live music experience. During the festival, the spotlight shines on over 800 acts, over 1,000 performances, 11 stages, delectable food and beverages and interactive activities, all in a world-class festival setting.

Patrons can also enjoy Miller Lite, the Official Beer of Summerfest. For more details, visit

Summerfest.com, Facebook.com/summerfest or Twitter: @Summerfest or download the 2016

Summerfest App

Top 6 Reasons to Take MCTS to Summerfest

- June 29, 2016

Milwaukee, WI – Every summer MCTS provides hundreds of thousands of rides to and from Summerfest. From local routes to the Downtown Shuttle to Freeway Flyers, taking transit to the Big Gig is easy, safe and convenient.

Still not convinced? Then check out our top 6 reasons to take MCTS to Summerfest!


Top 6 Reasons to Take MCTS to Summerfest

  1. Everyone feels like a Rock Star when you roll up in the Blue & Green Limousine
  2. You’ll never deal with surge pricing when you ride MCTS
  3. It’s the only way you and your squad can ride 40 deep to Summerfest. #SquadGoals
  4. Only MCTS offers Pre>Fare, a digital ticket that’s cheaper than cash and faster than one day shipping
  5. Riding MCTS to Summerfest is more fun than a Netflix marathon and we won’t cause you to go over your data plan
  6. You can celebrate all you want, we’ll get you home safely!

For more information on routes, schedules and fares to Summerfest, check out our special Summerfest page at RideMCTS.com.

Take MCTS to Summerfest

- June 20, 2016

Milwaukee, WI – For only $5.50 you can get an MCTS Pre>Fare ticket that takes you straight to Summerfest. 
 
Pre>Fare is a digital bus ticket that's good for a round-tip on any MCTS Summerfest Freeway Flyer.










Pre>Fare
is quicker, easier and cheaper than paying with cash ($5.50 vs $6.50). All you have to do to buy your ticket is visit RideMCTS.com/PreFare. After you buy your Pre>Fare ticket, you will get an email with a QR Code; that’s your ticket! Print the email out or bring your phone to any of the 11 Park-Ride lots served by MCTS for Summerfest and you’re on your way to the “World’s Largest Music Festival.”
 
Buy a Pre>Fare ticket for yourself, your family, your friends, even strangers. Pre>Fare is fast and easy; plus, every time you buy a Pre>Fare ticket you save $1 off of your ride.
 
MCTS partnered with Tixora, a Milwaukee-based startup company that specializes in e-tickets, to create Pre>Fare. Tixora developed a website for people to buy the tickets and an app for MCTS to validate the tickets.

Click here to learn more about Pre>Fare
Click here to see more information about Freeway Flyer service to Summerfest

MCTS Rolls Out the Buses for Polish Fest

- June 16, 2016


MILWAUKEE 
- Celebrate Polish Fest with ease and convenience by taking the bus! The Milwaukee County Transit System’s (MCTS) Downtown Shuttle provides service directly to Polish Fest, held June 17-19 at Henry Maier Festival Park. Buses make stops along Wisconsin Avenue to the festival. Shuttles run roughly every 30 minutes to Polish Fest from 11:30 am to 12:30 am on Friday, June 17; from 11:30 am to 12:30 am on Saturday, June 18; and 9:00 am to 8:30 pm on Sunday, June 19.

Buses operate in both directions along Wisconsin Avenue (see map). When traveling to Polish Fest, the Shuttle stops between N. 6th Street and N. Jackson Street, then proceeds directly to the Mid Gate. Stops are made at all bus stops marked with the Summerfest smile logo.

Shuttle fares are $3.00 round trip for adults or $2.50 when paid with an M•CARD. Shuttle fare is $1.50 round trip cash or $1.25 with an M•CARD for children (6-11 years), seniors (65 years and older) and persons with disabilities with proper ID. Children under age under age 6 ride free. The U-PASS (summer semester only), GO Pass, New Freedom Pass and Commuter Value Pass are accepted as full fare.

MCTS buses also serve Polish Fest with numerous regular routes in the downtown area connecting to the Shuttle. Regular MCTS fares apply for travel on local routes. Freeway Flyer service is not offered for this festival.

Customers can find additional information and suggested routing via Google Trip Planner by visiting RideMCTS.com, or by calling the 24-hour automated bus information line at 414-344-6711.

MCTS Driver Helps Girl Escape from Dangerous Situation

- June 16, 2016

Milwaukee, WI – A Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) driver is being recognized for her quick action in helping a 15-year-old girl escape from a man who was harassing and following her. MCTS Driver Sharon Chambers was about to pull away from a stop at Sherman Boulevard & Silver Spring Road on Monday morning when she noticed a girl waving in her direction.

“I thought she was just running to catch the bus, but as she walked in front of the bus I noticed she was crying,” Chambers said. “I told her to get on the bus and let her know no one was going to mess with her on my bus.”

Chambers drove away from the area in case the man was still following the girl. She then followed her training and protocol by calling into MCTS Dispatch, who notified Milwaukee Police. Chambers drove to 51st & Silver Spring Road to meet police and MCTS staff.Sharon Chambers

As they were waiting for police to arrive, Chambers called the girls Grandmother to let her know what happened and comforted the girl, telling her, "Don’t worry about it. You are safe. I will fight for you; no one is going to hurt you.” 

You can see video of Chambers comforting the girl below.

“Sharon Chambers is a wonderful example of how even small acts of kindness and compassion can have a large impact. Sharon, and all the other hardworking employees at MCTS and Milwaukee County, make me proud to live in Milwaukee and serve as County Executive. Thank you, Sharon,” said County Executive Chris Abele.

Chambers is no stranger to being recognized for her good works; she has received numerous commendations during her 12 years as an MCTS driver. Chambers is just the latest MCTS driver to be publically recognized for going above and beyond. Drivers Shari Carroll and Anthony Brownlee were recently praised for their good works and quick action for separate incidents.

MCTS receives hundreds of commendations each year for drivers. If you see a driver doing something worthy of special notice, please let us know by filling out the commendation form on RideMCTS.com.

 

MCTS BRINGS THE PARTY TO PRIDEFEST - PrideFest Shuttle Service Runs June 10-12

- June 09, 2016


MILWAUKEE 
- Celebrate PrideFest with ease and convenience by taking the bus! The Milwaukee County Transit System’s (MCTS) Downtown Shuttle provides service to PrideFest, held June 10-12, 2016 at Henry Maier Festival Park. Buses make stops along Wisconsin Avenue to the festival. Shuttles run roughly every 30 minutes beginning at 3:00 pm and ending at 12:30 am on Friday, June 10; and from 11:30 am to 12:30 am on Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12.

Buses operate in both directions along Wisconsin Avenue (see map). The Shuttle stops at all bus stops marked with the Summerfest smile logo between N. 6th Street and N. Jackson Street, then proceeds directly to the Mid Gate.

Shuttle fares are $3.00 round trip for adults or $2.50 with an MCTS M•CARD. Shuttle fare is $1.50 round trip cash or $1.25 with an M•CARD for children (6-11 years), seniors (65 years and older) and persons with disabilities with proper ID. Children under age 6 ride free. U-PASS (summer semester only), GO Pass, New Freedom Pass and Commuter Value Pass are accepted as full fare.

MCTS buses also serve PrideFest with numerous regular routes in the downtown area connecting to the Shuttle. Regular MCTS fares apply for travel on local routes. Freeway Flyer service is not offered for this festival.
 
Customers can find additional information and suggested routing via Google Trip Planner by visiting RideMCTS.com, or by calling the 24-hour automated bus information line at 414-344-6711.

BRT Route Could Save Riders More than 100 Hours a Year on their Commute

- June 07, 2016

Milwaukee, WI – After months of public meetings, transit modeling and route analysis, an alignment has been recommended as the East-West Bus Rapid Transit route. The 9-mile route, which can be seen here, travels through Downtown Milwaukee, and through the west side of the city on Wisconsin Avenue and Bluemound Road to 95th Street. The route turns north on 95th Street to the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center and ends at the Watertown Plank Road Park-Ride lot.

Analysis shows that a trip from end to end could take as little as 35 minutes, which in comparison is more than 30% faster than a bus traveling in mixed traffic. That time savings really adds up for riders, who could save up to 112 hours a year on their commute.

“The recommended BRT route will help connect people to tens of thousands of jobs in Downtown Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center and all the areas in between,” County Executive Chris Abele said. “Make no mistake, this service is more than just a rapid route from Downtown Milwaukee to Wauwatosa. The route provides high quality transportation to thousands and thousands of people living at or below the poverty line. Faster and more frequent bus service gives riders more access to medical appointments, school, work force training and jobs.”

The recommended route includes 19 station locations in each direction that serve as stops. According to the route analysis, within a half mile of the stations there are:

•          47,000 residents

•          120,000 jobs

•          4,800 households without a car

•          12,700 residents living below the poverty line

•          19,700 residents of color

East West BRT Facts

Community Support

The proposed BRT service has received a wide and diverse level of support from organizations and individuals from across the community, including: ACLU, Vision Forward, Milwaukee Urban League, MMAC, Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce, WAM DC LLC and many others.

Timeline

This Summer

The Milwaukee and Wauwatosa Common Councils will be asked to consider the recommended BRT route this month and the Milwaukee County Board is expected to consider the route and local funding in July. If the local legislative bodies support the route, Milwaukee County and MCTS will apply for capital funding through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Small Starts program in September 2016.

2016-2017

The FTA typically takes a year to evaluate and select which applicant projects will receive capital funding through Small Starts (anticipated announcement in Fall 2017). In the interim, Milwaukee County is requesting FTA permission to begin detailed engineering and environmental clearance work, which is the federally-required project phase known as Project Development (PD). Milwaukee County expects to receive that permission by Fall 2016. In May 2016, the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved $2.1 million to complete the PD phase; that money can be credited towards Milwaukee County’s capital contribution for the project once the FTA approves entry into PD.

The PD phase is anticipated to occur throughout 2017. Milwaukee County will continue to work with the cities of Milwaukee and Wauwatosa, residents, business owners and other stakeholders to further refine this alignment to include analysis of service plans, station locations and design and where dedicated, bus-only lanes can be located.

2018-2019

Once PD is completed, and the project is awarded Small Starts funding, construction can occur during 2018 and 2019. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) operations are scheduled to commence by the end of 2019.

Ridership

The proposed BRT service would ease traffic in one of the most heavily congested corridors in the Milwaukee area. Using population and employment estimates, highway travel times, current transit data, and the information about the proposed BRT service, the project team estimates that by 2035:

  • As many as 9,000 new riders will use MCTS every day on the BRT route and other routes in the corridor
  • Another 9,000 low income or transit dependent riders will take trips in the corridor every day
  • BRT will help increase ridership by up to 40%

Reducing Congestion

The study team found that the proposed BRT service would also benefit drivers by taking more than 6,700 cars off the road and reducing the amount of miles people drive by up to 17 million miles a year. Fewer cars mean less congestion on local roads, and cleaner air for everyone.

Without the addition of BRT, the analysis shows transit trips in the corridor could take up to 10 minutes longer, buses would become more crowded and less reliable, and the increased car and truck congestion could require the removal of parking spaces to allow for more traffic.

Funding

Final cost estimates will depend on the further analysis during Project Development, the stations and route design elements of the bus lanes and buses; early estimates of the project are $42 million to $48 million to build. Federal funds, otherwise not available to the area, are expected to cover 80% of the cost.

 

Milwaukee Bus Rapid Transit Line Will Attract Thousands of New Riders and Better Serve Low Income Riders

- May 18, 2016
MILWAUKEE - An new analysis of the proposed MCTS Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line from Downtown Milwaukee to Wauwatosa finds the service would speed up travel time, better serve low income riders and serve as many as 9,000 new riders a day in the East-West Corridor by the year 2035. The analysis was done as part of the East-West BRT Feasibility Study.
 
Milwaukee County and MCTS are examining adding BRT service to better connect people to jobs, school, medical appointments and other opportunities within the East-West Corridor between Downtown Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center in Wauwatosa.
 
Ridership
The proposed BRT service would ease traffic in one of the most heavily congested corridors in the Milwaukee area. Using population and employment estimates, highway travel times, current transit data, and the information about the proposed BRT service, the project team estimates that in less than 20 years:
  • As many as 9,000 new riders will use MCTS every day on the BRT route and other routes in the corridor
  • As many as another 9,000 low income or transit dependent riders will take trips in the corridor every day
  • BRT will help increase ridership across the MCTS system by up to 40%
Reducing Congestion
The study team found the proposed BRT service would also benefit drivers by taking more than 6,100 cars off the road and reducing the amount of miles people drive by up to 17 million miles a year. Fewer cars mean less congestion on local roads, and cleaner air for everyone.
 
Without the addition of BRT the analysis shows transit trips in the corridor could take up to 10 minutes longer, buses would become more crowded and less reliable and the increased car and truck congestion could require the removal of parking spaces to allow for more traffic.
 
Routing
After a series of public meetings and engineering analysis, the initial BRT routing has been refined. The updated route uses Wisconsin Avenue and Bluemound Avenue west of Downtown Milwaukee and options to use Wisconsin Avenue, Wells Street or a hybrid of both through downtown. Click here to see a map of the update routing.
  
The total distance of the route is 8.96 – 9.28 miles depending on which route is chosen through downtown.
 
Funding
Final cost estimates will depend on the route, the stations and design elements of the bus lanes and buses; early estimates of the project are $38 million to $45 million. Federal funds are expected to cover 80% of the cost.
 
Public Meeting
Riders and other members of the public are invited to learn more about the updated map, ridership estimates and other information at a public open house tonight at Marquette University. The meeting will be held from 5-7pm in the third floor ballroom of the Marquette Alumni Memorial Union, 1442 W. Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee.
 
Street parking is available or, you can take the GoldLine, BlueLine, Routes 14, 23, 30 or 30X to campus.

MCTS Mourns the Loss of 9-Year-Old Za’layia Jenkins

- May 17, 2016

Milwaukee, WI – The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) shares the family’s and community’s sadness over the death of Za’layia Jenkins. Za’layia’s mother works for MCTS in the Customer Service Department.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele released the following statement:

“Words cannot express the sadness over the loss of this innocent child. As a father of three girls, I am heartbroken. As a resident of Milwaukee, I am frustrated and angry. As County Executive, the death of Za’layia is another critical reminder of the need for us to stand together and say enough of this senseless violence.

I ask anyone who knows about the shooting to call the police. Nothing will bring Za’layia back, but the people responsible need to be held accountable.”

BRT Public Meeting This Week Will Feature Updated Maps, Conceptual Costs and New Information

- May 16, 2016

Milwaukee, WI – Milwaukee County and MCTS will hold another public meeting this week to get input on the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Feasibility Study. The meeting on Wednesday, May 18th, will feature an open house format from 5-7pm at the Marquette University Campus Alumni Memorial Union.

New information will be available for the public to see, ask questions and give their input. New items include:

  • Updated BRT Route Maps
  • Conceptual Costs for the Route and Stations
  • BRT Ridership Estimates
  • BRT Benefits and Potential Impacts

The BRT Feasibility Study is examining adding BRT service to better connect people to jobs, school, medical appointments and other opportunities within the East-West Corridor between Downtown Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center in Wauwatosa.

The East-West Corridor has long been recognized as the most heavily congested corridor in the Milwaukee area. BRT would strengthen existing transit service and create economic development while also taking cars off the road and easing congestion in neighborhoods.

MCTS currently gives more than 50,000 rides a week to people in the East-West Corridor - that’s 2.6 million rides a year. The proposed BRT service would increase ridership in the corridor while also speeding up travel times for bus riders.

The meeting will be held in the third floor ballroom of the Marquette University Alumni Memorial Union, 1442 W. Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee. Street parking is available or, you can take the GoldLine, BlueLine, Routes 14, 23, 30 or 30X to campus.

Artist Rendering

MCTS Celebrates Earth Day all Week with Special Facebook Messages

- April 18, 2016

Milwaukee, WI – Earth Day lands on a Friday this year, but the Milwaukee County Transit System is celebrating all week long! Every day at noon this week, MCTS will share a special Earth Day themed picture and message on Facebook (Facebook.com/RideMCTS). The messages will highlight ways people can use MCTS to help create a cleaner environment.

“Everyone across Milwaukee County can be proud of the important role MCTS plays in helping create a cleaner world,” said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. “In the past five, years we’ve purchased more than 200 Clean Diesel Buses and given hundreds of millions of rides. Each ride MCTS provides reduces energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, which creates a greener community.”

MCTS drivers, mechanics and staff work hard on Earth Day and every day to help create a cleaner environment. Using the latest technology MCTS goes green by:

  • Running a fleet of nearly all Clean Diesel buses which emit 80% less particulate matter, 95% less oxides of nitrogen and 88% less non-methane hydrocarbons than older buses.
  • Helping riders reduce their carbon footprint by 4,800 pounds per year when they switch from car to bus.
  • MCTS Route Supervisors operate a fleet of eight hybrid vehicles which conserve fuel and release virtually no emission while operating off the battery.
  • The MCTS Body Shop uses low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paints on all buses which are sprayed by using a High Volume Low Pressure method to apply more paint on the bus with less paint in the air, reducing the amount of paint used and the amount of harmful emissions the paint process can produce.

 

Bus Rapid Transit Public Meetings This Week

- April 11, 2016

Milwaukee, WI – Milwaukee County and MCTS will hold two public meetings this week to get input on the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Feasibility Study. The study is examining the addition of BRT service to better connect people to jobs, school, medical appointments and other opportunities the East-West Corridor between Downtown Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center in Wauwatosa.


 

Employment and Activities in the East-West Corridor

  • 81,000 jobs and 25,000 residents in downtown Milwaukee
  • Over 30,000 daily visitors and employees at the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center
  • 30,000 employees and 40,000 residents in the near west side, including employers such as Marquette University, Harley Davidson and MillerCoors
  • 4,600 employees at the Milwaukee County Research Park
  • Over 125 employers with more than 250 employees
  • 8 medical centers


 

The East-West Corridor has long been recognized as the most heavily congested corridor in the Milwaukee area. BRT service would better connect riders while also taking cars off the road and easing congestion in neighborhoods.

MCTS currently gives more than 50,000 rides a week to people in the East-West Corridor - that’s 2.6 million rides a year. If BRT increases ridership just 30% (a very conservative estimate based on experiences from other cities), that’s another 15,000 rides a week, or nearly 800,000 more rides a year.

 


 

Meeting Dates

  • Tuesday, April 12th, 5-7pm at the O’Donnell Park Miller Room (910 E. Michigan, Milwaukee)
    • Routes 12, 14, 30/30X, 31 and 33 all get to within a few blocks of the meeting
    • Free parking at O'Donnell Parking Garage
  • Thursday, April 14th, 5-7pm at the Zoofari Conference Center (9715 W. Bluemound Road, Wauwatosa)
    • Take GoldLine to get there


 

In advance of the meetings, the corridor map has been updated to remove a section of Wisconsin Avenue from 55th street to 89th. Planners determined the road did not fit the need of the project, including space requirements.

For more information about the study and some Frequently Asked Questions visit, EastWestBRT.com. People who cannot make the public meetings but would like to provide input can send an email to contact@eastwestbrt.com.

Celebrate the Return of Star Wars, MCTS Will

- April 05, 2016

Milwaukee, WI – The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) is celebrating and marking the return of Star Wars with a week of special Star Wars-themed transit pictures. Every day during the week of December 14th, MCTS will post a new picture at 9am on the MCTS Facebook page.  

Each day’s picture is a fun comparison between MCTS and the Star Wars Universe. The pictures were created by MCTS employees who are also huge fans of the movie franchise. The pictures will be fun for everyone, from Droids and Nerf-Herders to Sith Lords and members of the Rebel Alliance; even non-fans will enjoy each day’s picture.

Monday Picture
 

Tuesday Picture

Wednesday Picture


Thursday Picture


Friday Picture

Check out the teaser video to get you in the Jedi mindset and check back every day to see the latest picture.



Going to see the film? Here's a list of which routes will take you there. Check schedules at RideMCTS.com to compare with your show time. 


Bayshore
14, 15, GreenLine, 63

AMC Mayfair Mall
6, 21, 28, 60,

Oriental Theatre 2230 N Farwell
21, GoldLine, 30, 30X

Fox Bay 334 Sliver Spring
GreenLine, 14

Marcus Menomonee Falls W180 N9393 Premier Ln
61 (Plus a short walk)


LET’S GO BREWERS (LINE)!

- April 04, 2016
MILWAUKEE - Beginning on Opening Day, and for every home game this season, the MCTS Brewers Line is the easiest way to get to Miller Park to cheer on the Brewers.
 
Catch the Brewers Line (Route 90 - Miller Park) along Wisconsin Avenue and travel directly to the MCTS transit area at Miller Park starting with the season home opener on April 4th. The Brewers Line is a safe, easy, convenient and cost effective way to get to a Brewers game. Fans can leave the traffic and parking hassles at home by simply hopping on board at any of the 21 stops along Wisconsin Avenue, and head straight to the park.
 
Fares each way for the Brewers Line are $2.25 for adults paying cash or only $1.75 if you use your M•CARD, children aged 6-11 and seniors 65 and older pay only $1.10. Riders with the Commuter Value Pass, U-PASS, GO Pass, New Freedom Pass or an M•CARD with an active 1-, 7- or 31-Day Pass ride for free.
 
The Brewers Line buses operate approximately every 30 minutes for two hours before game time (except on opening day and Marquee games when buses operate more frequently). Return trip bus service leaving Miller Park operates for one half-hour after the end of the game.
 
Brewers Line bus stops are located at the Downtown Transit Center and along Wisconsin Avenue from Jackson Street to 38th Street. Look for electronic destination signs on the bus that display “Let’s Go Brewers!” Buses drop passengers off at the MCTS transit area on Yount Drive on the north side of Miller Park. On the return trip, buses leave the ballpark from the MCTS transit area and serve all eastbound bus stops.
 
Brewers fans can also ride the GoldLine (Wisconsin - UWM), Route 23 (Fond du Lac-National) or the BlueLine (Fond du Lac-National), all which offer stops within walking distance of Miller Park.
 
For more information, visit RideMCTS.com or call the 24-hour automated bus information line at 414-344-6711.

New Website Highlights Bus Rapid Transit Study and Project

- March 29, 2016

Milwaukee, WI – Milwaukee County’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Feasibility Study is launching a new website and holding two initial public meetings. The website, EastWestBRT.com, includes background on the potential project, benefits of BRT, some common questions and answers, short videos showing what BRT could look like and the map of the potential routes that are being studied.

A major component of the Milwaukee County BRT study is public input. There are two initial public information meetings scheduled for mid-April:

  • Tuesday, April 12th, 5-7pm at the O’Donnell Park Miller Room (910 E. Michigan, Milwaukee)
  • Thursday, April 14th, 5-7pm at the Zoofari Conference Center (9715 W. Bluemound Road, Wauwatosa)

BRT is an increasingly popular approach in communities across the country to enhance public transportation services, reduce traffic congestion, improve mobility and increase transit ridership. BRT systems feature specialized buses that stop less often and travel in dedicated lanes. BRT offers faster travel times than local service and many riders find it less expensive and more convenient than driving. Because BRT is more frequent than local service, it improves access to jobs, health care, education and other essentials of daily life for people across the community.

 

Artist Rendering

BRT projects can also support and spur economic development.  While dependent on local conditions, Transit Oriented Development (TOD) following public investment on BRT projects in other communities have ranged from $100 million to $5.8 billion. 

 Artist Rendering

People who cannot make the public meetings but would like to provide input can send an email to contact@eastwestbrt.com.

Own a Piece of Milwaukee History – Collector’s Set of Final Paper Bus Passes Now on Sale

- March 16, 2016

Milwaukee, WI – The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) is selling a piece of Milwaukee history! MCTS is offering a set of the final four weekly paper bus passes ever produced for only $10. The special collector’s set was used by riders during February in the lead up to MCTS going paperless on Leap Day.

As a bonus, while supplies last, anyone who buys one of the final sets will also receive the paper transfer that was used on buses on February 28, 2016 – the last day paper transfers were offered.

The special passes are available at the cashier’s window at the MCTS Administration Building, 1942 N 17th St, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53205, Monday through Friday from 8am to 4:30pm. You can also request that the passes be mailed to your home or business by sending a letter with the mailing address and a check or money order for $12 ($10 for the passes plus $2 for postage and handling) to the address above; please send the letter to the attention of the Cashier’s Office. Checks can be made out to MCTS or Milwaukee County Transit System.

Collector Set of Final Paper Bus Passes Now on Sale

Reminder – MCTS Goes Paperless on Leap Day

- February 23, 2016

Milwaukee, WI – Beginning Leap Day, Monday, February 29th, MCTS will no longer sell or issue paper passes, tickets or transfers. The move away from paper began years ago with the purchase of new fareboxes, and it took another step forward in late 2014 with the introduction of the MCTS M•CARD. Riders have embraced the M•CARD, more than 13.3 million rides have been given to M•CARD users in the 17 months since the card was introduced.

The move away from paper will make boarding the bus more efficient and cut down on the use of paper, which is costly and less environmentally friendly.

Cash will always be accepted and individual paper tickets that have already been purchased can be used through the end of the year; however, beginning Leap Day, the only way to receive a transfer is with an MCTS M•CARD.

Riders can load an M•CARD with passes or Stored Cash Value. When you register your M•CARD on M•CARD Online, the value on the card is protected from loss or theft and each ride is cheaper than paying with cash ($1.75 vs $2.25).

MCTS has created a special web page with more information on the transition to paperless, including Frequently Asked Questions in English and Spanish.

Avoid the Bitter Cold by Using MCTS Real-Time Information

- February 09, 2016

Milwaukee, WI – With frigid temperatures settling in over Milwaukee this week, MCTS riders can turn to technology to avoid the cold. MCTS offers Real-Time Information for all bus arrivals. Riders can access Real-Time via web, phone, text and email. There are also a number of third party smart phone apps that offer Real-Time using the MCTS live GPS feed.

With Real-Time Information, riders can track their bus and get live updates and estimates on when it will arrive. Using Real-Time lets riders avoid standing in the cold - instead they can get to the stop as the bus is arriving!

To access Real-Time Information, visit RideMCTS.com. For more information on how it works and the different ways to use Real-Time, visit our special webpage.

MCTS Offers Free Bus Passes to Help People Vote

- February 08, 2016

The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS), in conjunction with Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and the Milwaukee County Board, are announcing a program that will provide free, smart card bus passes for people who need a ride to register to vote or to receive identification documents necessary to vote. Money for the program was put in the 2016 County Budget by the County Board of Supervisors and signed by County Executive Abele.

MCTS has developed a grant process to allow community groups and non-profit organizations already engaged in promoting voter registration, and voter ID’s to obtain these tickets for distribution through their programs.

If you have questions regarding the program, please contact MCTS at 414-937-0470 or at mcardservices@mcts.org. Organizations interested in applying for a grant can download the application below and submit it to MCTS. Please note that ONLY organizations may request ticket grants; MCTS does not distribute single tickets directly to individuals.

Any groups receiving the smart card bus passes would be required to:

  • Show they help with voter registration and/or assist people in obtaining photo IDs
  • Be based or have an office in Milwaukee County
  • Screen individuals for eligibility
  • Track disbursement of the smart card bus pass and incidental expenses such as postage

Download the Voter Bus Pass Application here.

Download the Voter Bus Pass Distribution Log here.

 

 

MCTS Produces Last Paper Passes

- January 26, 2016

Milwaukee, WI – Eighty-six years after the first Milwaukee transit paper passes came into existence, the last passes rolled out of the MCTS Print Shop on Tuesday, January 26, 2016. Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele helped commemorate the historic moment by unveiling a special series of four weekly passes that will be used leading up to Leap Day, February 29, 2016. That’s when MCTS is going paperless and will no longer sell or issue paper passes, tickets and transfers.

Click here to see images of the special series of last passes. You can buy the special passes for a limited time at the MCTS Administration Building or these fare outlets.

“Since taking office we've worked hard to improve and modernize the transit system so it's easily accessible for those who depend on it as well as those who use it to get to work, school and doctor appointments,” Abele said. “As we add technology like the M•CARD and Real-Time Information we're strengthening MCTS as an economic development tool and making the bus a viable alternative to driving that is less expensive, more efficient and better for the environment."

The design of each of the final four passes were inspired by passes from past decades. The final weekly pass includes an image of the first pass from May 4, 1930 on the back side; the front side is inspired by the MCTS M•CARD. The last weekly pass has another special feature, it can be used to ride for eight days, from February 21 – 28th

The special series of passes are sure to become a collector’s item, according to Tom Poliak. Poliak has been collecting passes for decades and has nearly every Milwaukee weekly bus pass put out since 1930.

“In its own way, each pass tells a really interesting story. As you look at these passes, you realize here is a pass from 1941 that was in someone’s pocket when Pearl Harbor was attacked, and another pass that was used to board a bus on September 11, 2001. You can’t put a price on this type of history,” said Poliak.

Poliak is frequent bus rider and said he already has his M•CARD. MCTS is making it easy for riders like Poliak to transition from paper passes, tickets and transfers to the M•CARD. There is a Frequently Asked Questions section available at RideMCTS.com and a special issue of the Bus Lines newsletter on all buses that explains what riders need to do to prepare for the transition.

 

50 Years and Counting: Roland Wetley Marks Major Milestone with MCTS

- January 08, 2016

Known for his wealth of information, good humor, positive attitude and baking skills, Roland Wetley is a source of energy and inspiration. Wetley, who is currently a Garage Clerk at Kinnickinnick Station, celebrated his 50th anniversary as an MCTS employee on  December 26, 2015. 

Roland Wetley Celebrates 50 Years at MCTS

Pictured Above: MCTS Managing Director Dan Boehm, Roland Wetley, MCTS COO Sandy Kellner, KK Garage Manager Ron McCorkel

Nicknames: Bill (Bobbaloo – by a special few)

Back in 1965…
"I would catch the bus at 13th and Van Norman. The driver told me I ought to apply to become one so I did. The instructor showed me how to handle the steering wheel because back then there was no power steering. For the first three months I had to drive days and I don’t like working days. Then I worked nights and did that for 11 years."

From Operator to Garage Clerk:
"I applied for a tanker position (fueling the bus) and I got the job. A little later I went to a “C” job and held that for about a year. The garage had some dispatching, four hours only. I spent four hours in the office and four hours on the shop floor. I did that for about five years. When they needed someone full-time, I applied for the spot and got it. Altogether, I’ve been working in the office for nearly 38 years."

At Kinnickinnic Garage…
"We have a really good crew of people and really good management by us. That counts a lot when you’re around people you like and the management is good. It makes work so much easier."

A lot of things have changed over the years:
"When I was driving, we had an “ammo” box like what they would use in the Army. It would have $75 worth of bus tickets and money. We made change and sold tickets and passes on the bus."

Tommy Thompson was my next door neighbor:
"I’m from a big town called Elroy, Wisconsin. Growing up, Governor Tommy Thompson was my next door neighbor. He graduated high school with my brother.

Keys to a long career:
"I would say keep a “good record.” Also, age has nothing to do with anything. It’s your health that matters most."

From all in MCTS, thank you, Roland, for all of your efforts and commitment to doing your best and for always having an upbeat attitude!

Roland Wetley - 50 Years at MCTS!

Roland Wetley - 50 Years at MCTS!

MCTS Announces Timeline for Transition Away from Paper Tickets, Passes and Transfers

- December 23, 2015

MCTS is leaping into a new era in 2016. After years of hard work upgrading technology on buses and online, and working with passengers on adopting the M•CARD, MCTS will phase out paper tickets, passes and transfers on Leap Day, February 29, 2016.

Riders have been steadily adjusting to the expected change. According to a recent customer survey, less than 18% of MCTS riders use paper tickets and passes.

The move away from paper will make bus boarding more efficient and cut down on the use of paper, which is costly and less environmentally friendly

MCTS Leap Day Transition FAQs

Q: What happens if I pay with cash? Will I still receive a paper transfer?

A: Great question; the answer is no. As of Leap Day (February 29, 2016) MCTS will no longer issue paper transfers.

Q:  If I pay with cash how do I get a transfer?

A:  Riders will need to have an M•CARD to get a transfer. Even if the card does not have any Stored Cash Value or passes loaded on it, the rider can still get a 90-minute transfer after paying with cash.

Q: Will M•CARDs be sold or given away on the bus?

A: No, but you can get an M•CARD at one of the nearly 100 fare outlet locations across Milwaukee County or just visit M•CARD Online and have a card mailed to your home.

Q: Is the cash fare changing as part of this?

A: Not one penny. The cash fare is still $2.25, or use your M•CARD to pay and it’s only $1.75.

Q: What about paper tickets, can I still use them if I buy them before Leap Day?

A: Yes, paper tickets will be accepted until the end of 2016. Please note: Much like paying with cash, you will need an M•CARD to get a transfer when using a paper ticket to board.

Q: I have a lot of paper tickets but really want to move to the M•CARD, what can I do?

A: Great question. Riders can turn in sheets of 10 tickets at the MCTS Administration Building (1942 N 17th Street, Milwaukee) and receive the value of the tickets on an M•CARD. Until October 1, 2016, MCTS will waive the $2 fee for the M•CARD for anyone who brings in sheets of 10 tickets.

Q: What exactly is the M•CARD, and how does it work?

A: The MCTS M•CARD is our reusable electronic smart card that saves riders money and time. You can load the card with passes or Stored Cash Value and never have to worry about fumbling around for exact change or a paper ticket again! Even better, when you register your card at M•CARD Online, the card is protected. So if you ever lose the card, MCTS can transfer whatever value you had onto a new M•CARD. You can’t do that with paper passes! We have lots more information on our website about the M•CARD, check it out here.

Q: Where can I get an M•CARD?

A: Riders can get an M•CARD at one of the nearly 100 fare outlet locations across Milwaukee County or just visit M•CARD Online and have a card mailed to your home.

Preguntas Frecuentes en Español

MCTS Launches Another Upgrade for Riders

- November 16, 2015

Milwaukee, WI – Passengers using the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) have another new technology update to make riding easier. Beginning Sunday, November 15, 2015, riders with an M•CARD can buy a 1-Day Pass on the bus. In the past, riders had to go to a store to have the pass put on their card.

“This is the latest upgrade we have put into place to making riding easier and more convenient,” said County Executive Chris Abele. “From the launch of the M•CARD and Real-Time Information last year, to M•CARD Online this summer and now the 1-Day Pass, we’re continuing to improve MCTS every day.”

A 1-Day Pass costs $5 if paying with cash or only $4 if the rider uses Stored Cash Value on their M•CARD. Buying the 1-Day Pass on the bus is easy and safe; passengers simply:

  • Tell the driver they’d like to buy a 1-Day Pass.
  • The driver selects 1-Day Pass and asks the passenger to pay with cash or Stored Cash Value.
  • The passenger touches their M•CARD on the farebox and the pass is loaded onto the card for unlimited riding until the end of service that day (4:59am the following day).

Passengers can still load a 1-Day Pass at one of the more than 90 M•CARD fare outlets across Milwaukee County. For more FAQ's visit the special 1-Day Pass info page at RideMCTS.com.

How to buy an MCTS 1-Day Pass

MCTS and ATU Local 998 Reach Contract Agreement

- October 16, 2015

Milwaukee, WI – ATU Local 998 members voted 81% on Wednesday, October 21, 2015, to approve a new three-year labor contract. Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) Managing Director Dan Boehm released the following statement after the vote.

“MCTS drivers, mechanics and all employees have an important job and this contract recognizes that. My sincere thanks to the employees who work so hard every day to keep MCTS running. I also want to thank County Executive Abele and the County Board for their support during these contract talks. Finally, and most importantly, I want to thank our riders for their patience. The main goal of MCTS is to serve our riders and the community; I look forward to working closely with our employees, partners and community stakeholders in continuing that mission.”

MCTS Drops Part-time Driver Requirement, Asks Union to Vote Again

- October 06, 2015

MILWAUKEE - On Tuesday, October 6, 2015 MCTS Managing Director Dan Boehm sent a letter to ATU Local 998 asking them to re-vote on the company's contract offer. Boehm said the company will remove the part-time driver portion of the contract.

In his letter, Boehm wrote:

We heard you clearly that the most important issue to you is the number of part-time drivers proposed in the contract. In consultation with County Executive Chris Abele and DOT Director Brian Dranzik and because you have stated that this is the issue that is standing between us on finalizing this contract, we would like to remove the part-time provision from the contract in the interest of resolving this issue quickly for the benefit of the transit riders. While it won’t be easy, because this is a top priority for you, MCTS will find a way to fund it in our budget. MCTS will do this in addition to maintaining the contract provisions that call for a salary increase on top of a cost-of-living adjustment.

To read the full letter click here or the image below.

MCTS Letter to ATU

MCTS Drops Part-time Driver Requirement, Asks Union to Vote Again

- October 06, 2015

MILWAUKEE - On Tuesday, October 6, 2015 MCTS Managing Director Dan Boehm sent a letter to ATU Local 998 asking them to re-vote on the company's contract offer. Boehm said the company will remove the part-time driver portion of the contract.

In his letter, Boehm wrote:

We heard you clearly that the most important issue to you is the number of part-time drivers proposed in the contract. In consultation with County Executive Chris Abele and DOT Director Brian Dranzik and because you have stated that this is the issue that is standing between us on finalizing this contract, we would like to remove the part-time provision from the contract in the interest of resolving this issue quickly for the benefit of the transit riders. While it won’t be easy, because this is a top priority for you, MCTS will find a way to fund it in our budget. MCTS will do this in addition to maintaining the contract provisions that call for a salary increase on top of a cost-of-living adjustment.

To read the full letter click here or the image below.

MCTS Letter to ATU

MCTS Drops Part-time Driver Requirement, Asks Union to Vote Again

- October 06, 2015

MILWAUKEE - On Tuesday, October 6, 2015 MCTS Managing Director Dan Boehm sent a letter to ATU Local 998 asking them to re-vote on the company's contract offer. Boehm said the company will remove the part-time driver portion of the contract.

In his letter, Boehm wrote:

We heard you clearly that the most important issue to you is the number of part-time drivers proposed in the contract. In consultation with County Executive Chris Abele and DOT Director Brian Dranzik and because you have stated that this is the issue that is standing between us on finalizing this contract, we would like to remove the part-time provision from the contract in the interest of resolving this issue quickly for the benefit of the transit riders. While it won’t be easy, because this is a top priority for you, MCTS will find a way to fund it in our budget. MCTS will do this in addition to maintaining the contract provisions that call for a salary increase on top of a cost-of-living adjustment.

To read the full letter click here or the image below.

MCTS Letter to ATU

MCTS Drops Part-time Driver Requirement, Asks Union to Vote Again

- October 06, 2015

MILWAUKEE - On Tuesday, October 6, 2015 MCTS Managing Director Dan Boehm sent a letter to ATU Local 998 asking them to re-vote on the company's contract offer. Boehm said the company will remove the part-time driver portion of the contract.

In his letter, Boehm wrote:

We heard you clearly that the most important issue to you is the number of part-time drivers proposed in the contract. In consultation with County Executive Chris Abele and DOT Director Brian Dranzik and because you have stated that this is the issue that is standing between us on finalizing this contract, we would like to remove the part-time provision from the contract in the interest of resolving this issue quickly for the benefit of the transit riders. While it won’t be easy, because this is a top priority for you, MCTS will find a way to fund it in our budget. MCTS will do this in addition to maintaining the contract provisions that call for a salary increase on top of a cost-of-living adjustment.

To read the full letter click here or the image below.

MCTS Letter to ATU

MCTS asks Union Members to Seriously Consider Contract Offer

- October 04, 2015

Milwaukee, WI – The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) is asking members of the ATU Local 998 to seriously consider the contract they will be voting on tomorrow. The contract offer comes after months of meetings between MCTS, ATU and the Federal Mediator. The contract offer includes millions of dollars in increased wages, a top-tier health care plan and numerous concessions requested by the union.

MCTS Managing Director Dan Boehm sent a letter this weekend to ATU members outlining the contract and clarifying some of the misinformation union leaders have been attempting to spread, particularly around pay, health care and part-time drivers.

On July 1st, ATU Local 998 President James Macon told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the union was willing to accept a cap of 50 part-time drivers in a new contract.” Other union leaders have made similar statements in contract talks. In response, MCTS is offering a contract that would allow up to 45 part-time drivers and a promise that NO full-time driver will be laid off and replaced with a part-time driver.

Boehm wrote in his letter to employees, “I have one goal; get a contract in place that recognizes the important work you do while also making sure we have a strong transit system for years to come. For reasons that are unclear to me, ATU leadership is intent on making this contract about politics and issues that are unrelated to the job of serving the community.  Your vote for this contract will provide the stability that our passengers and our employees are seeking.  Let’s get negotiations behind us, and get back to the business of focusing full-time on transit for the community.” 

You can see the full letter here. Boehm also wrote to union members the day the contract was offered; that letter can be found here.

 

New MCTS Buses Hitting the Road

- October 01, 2015

The very first bus of the new MCTS fleet is taking its maiden voyage tomorrow. The bus will leave the Kinnickinnic Station around 11am on Friday, October 2, 2015, and head out to pick up passengers on Route 19. The New Flyer Xcelsior bus is one of 28 new MCTS buses that rolled off the assembly line recently. The other buses will be going into service in the coming weeks.

"From new buses to a new smart card to Real-Time Information, it has never been easier, safer or more convenient to ride MCTS," said County Executive Chris Abele. "The investments we've made in transit the past few years are allowing more and more people to get to work, get a degree or just visit friends and family."

Veteran driver Russ Schultz will pilot the new bus for its first run. Shultz has been driving for MCTS for 20 years and was part of Milwaukee transit history long before that. In 1965, as a young boy, Schultz was a passenger on the last trackless trolley to run in Milwaukee. Schultz says he is “excited and honored” to once again be part of transit history.

The new 5600 series buses look similar on the outside to the MCTS buses purchased in recent years, but feature numerous upgrades, including a new automatically opening electronic smart door that makes it safer and easier for passengers to get off the bus. The buses are also equipped with latest disc brakes and air suspension, along with state of the art electric fans and RELS (Reduced Engine Load at Stop) technology, which greatly increases fuel economy and lessens the buses carbon footprint.

 

MCTS Presents ATU with Contract Offer

- September 25, 2015

The contract offer presented to ATU members on September 25th by MCTS represents months of work at the bargaining table and millions of dollars more to drivers and mechanics in wages and benefits.

Milwaukee County Transit drivers and mechanics have an important job, and this contract recognizes their efforts. The MCTS negotiation team appreciates the hard work of their counterparts at ATU and the work of the Federal Mediators Office. 

Union leaders say they will ask their members to vote on this deal, possibly as early as next week.         

Details of the contract:

Increased Wages

  • Quarterly cost of living (COLA) increases without a cap (1% to 2% a year)
  • On top of COLA increase, a ½% pay increase when contract is ratified
  • Another 1% pay increase on April 1, 2016
  • Senior mechanics will also receive an additional $.25 an hour raise


Slight increase in health care costs

  • Monthly premiums would increase:
    • Individual plans - from $95 a month (2015) to an estimated $102 a month (2016) and $117 a month (2017)
    • Family plans - from $246 a month (2015) to an estimated $266 a month (2016) and $306 a month (2017)
    • No change to deductibles in 2016 and a deductible increase in 2017 from $500 to $750 (individual plan)
    • MCTS will pay 100% of health costs after deductibles are met

Part-time Drivers

  • MCTS proposes no more than 45 part-time operators
  • No full-time driver will be laid off and replaced with a part-time driver

 

MCTS and ATU Continue Productive Negotiations

- September 03, 2015

Milwaukee, WI – The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998 (ATU) continued productive contract talks Thursday, September 3rd. Both sides have explored options suggested by the Federal Mediator, who has been working alongside negotiators since the spring.

ATU leaders have requested that MCTS provide a formal proposal that the Union can take to its members for a vote later this month. MCTS will prepare and present a formal proposal for the next meeting, which is scheduled for Friday, September 25, 2015.

MCTS Driver Praised for Helping Elderly Passenger

- August 26, 2015

Milwaukee, WI – MCTS Bus Driver Chris Martin didn’t think much of it when he got out of his bus to help an elderly man cross the street; however, one of his passengers saw the act of kindness and notified MCTS. The passenger nominated Chris for a commendation for his actions.

“Chris is like many MCTS employees: dedicated, kind and caring,” Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said. “I want to thank Chris for leading by example and being a true public servant.”

Chris was driving the westbound Route 30X around 8:30am on Tuesday, August 18th when he pulled over at a stop at Wisconsin and Water Streets. One of his passengers getting off was an elderly man who had to cross the street to catch a connecting bus to the VA Hospital.

Without pausing, Chris got out of his seat and helped the man get to the connecting bus stop. He then got back in his seat and continued his route. The whole thing was caught on video which can be seen on the MCTS Facebook Page.

This is not the first time Chris has been nominated for a commendation for his actions on the job. In 2014 and 2013 he received five commendations.

“I try to help our passengers as much and any way I can,” Martin said, downplaying his service. “Our job is important and I know the small things we do can have a big impact on our passengers.”

Every year, MCTS receives hundreds of commendations from the public about its drivers and staff for going above and beyond.

If you see a driver doing something worthy of special notice, please let us know by filling out the commendation form on RideMCTS.com.

 

MCTS & ATU Continue Contract Talks

- August 21, 2015

MILWAUKEE -  Contract negotiations between the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998 (ATU) are continuing to make progress toward an agreement.  Both sides met again on August 21, 2015.

ATU and MCTS are reviewing and considering a variety of options and proposals. The parties will resume negotiations with the assistance of the Federal Mediator on Thursday, September 3, 2015 in an effort to reach an agreement.  

Out of respect for the ongoing talks, both MCTS and ATU have agreed they will not publicly discuss this matter or details at this time.

Thousands of People Use M•CARD Online in the First Week

- August 13, 2015

Milwaukee, WI – After just one week, M•CARD Online is helping thousands of riders get on board faster and easier than ever. Since its public launch on August 5th, more than 3,000 people have logged onto M•CARD Online to buy a new card, add money to their existing M•CARD or register their card.                                                                

The new online store is also getting plenty of attention - the M•CARD Online page at RideMCTS.com has been viewed nearly 9,000 times.

“From new technology to new buses to new routes, riders and everyone across the community should know we are working hard every day to improve MCTS,” Milwaukee County Transit System Managing Director Dan Boehm said.

With M•CARD Online, riders can check their balance, add money (passes or Stored Cash Value) to their M•CARD or even order a new card, all from a computer or smartphone. The new service also allows people to register their cards in case they are lost or stolen. M•CARD Online is still in beta and will have more features available in the future.

With the M•CARD, riders never need to worry about exact change; plus using the M•CARD saves money versus paying with cash ($1.75 vs $2.25). All riders receive a free 90-minute transfer when they pay with their M•CARD.  

On top of M•CARD Online, passengers can still buy and update their smart cards at more than 90 locations across Milwaukee County. Either online or in a store, customers can load seven and 31-day passes onto the M•CARD, or they can put Stored Cash Value onto the card to pay as they go for rides throughout the system.

Contract Talks Continue

- August 11, 2015

MILWAUKEE -  Today at contract negotiations, the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998 (ATU) continued to make progress toward an agreement.  

ATU and MCTS are reviewing and considering a variety of options and proposals. The parties will resume negotiations with the assistance of the Federal Mediator on Friday, August 21, 2015 in an effort to reach an agreement.  

Out of respect for the ongoing talks, both MCTS and ATU have agreed they will not publicly discuss this matter or details at this time.

MCTS Launches M•CARD Online

- August 05, 2015

Milwaukee, WI  - The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) is happy to announce the latest technology upgrade to the bus system - M•CARD Online. With M•CARD Online, riders can check their balance, add money (passes or Stored Cash Value) to their M•CARD or even order a new card, all from a computer or smartphone. The new service also allows people to register their cards in case they are lost or stolen.

M•CARD Online is still in beta but is live at RideMCTS.com for all users.

“We’ve made huge improvements to the transit system in the past few years, including more routes, newer buses and of course this new technology,” Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said. “M•CARD Online makes riding easier and more convenient than ever to connect to work, school and everywhere else MCTS takes you.”

With the M•CARD you never need to worry about exact change; plus using the M•CARD save money versus paying with cash ($1.75 vs $2.25). All riders receive a free 90-minute transfer when they pay with their M•CARD.  

On top of M•CARD Online, passengers can still buy and update their smart cards at more than 90 locations across Milwaukee County. Either online or in a store, customers can load seven and 31-day passes onto the M•CARD, or they can put Stored Cash Value onto the card to pay as they go for rides throughout the system.

MCTS provides, on average, 150,000 rides a day to people across Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha Counties who rely on MCTS to get to work, school and medical appointments. 

Joint Statement From MCTS and ATU Regarding Contract Talks

- July 30, 2015
MILWAUKEE - Today at contract negotiations, the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998 (ATU) made progress toward a four-year agreement.  

MCTS presented a comprehensive proposal which the union will be reviewing and considering. The parties will resume negotiations with the assistance of the Federal Mediator on Monday, August 10, 2015 in an effort to reach an agreement.  

Out of respect for the ongoing talks, both MCTS and ATU have agreed they will not publicly discuss this matter or details until after the next meeting.

 

Bus in Milwaukee

As Contract Talks Continue, ATU Leader Insists on $9 Million More

- July 29, 2015

Milwaukee, WI – As the Milwaukee County Transit System and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998 (ATU) go back to the bargaining table on Thursday, July 30th, new information shows the devastating impact ATU’s contract demands could have on the community.

ATU leadership called for a strike nearly a month ago. Since then, ATU President James Macon has been busy holding a rally with a giant inflatable camel, calling a last minute, 3 am press conference, using vulgar language in news interviews and insisting they will go on strike again. 

Macon is hoping his antics distract the public and media from the true cost of his contract demands. Macon is demanding $9 million more than what MCTS can afford

MCTS has put $6.3 million in increased wages and benefits on the table in the next two budget years. MCTS has agreed to cap the number of part-time drivers and is seeking pension changes that will make the transit pension plan stronger, and healthcare changes that help to control costs and keep monthly premiums affordable. 

Macon has repeatedly said he will “shut the city down” if he doesn’t get what he wants.

The public should be aware that Macon’s $9 million proposal would have a huge impact on the community, including the possible elimination of routes and the loss of thousands of rides a day.

Other facts people should be aware of:

  • The average MCTS bus driver makes more than $62,000 a year in salary and overtime
  • On top of salary, MCTS also pays a majority of the drivers’ pension and healthcare
    • Yearly pension cost to MCTS per driver - $11,435
    • Healthcare cost to MCTS per driver:
      • Single coverage - $7,613
      • Family coverage - $19,795
      • Total cost MCTS pays in compensation & benefits per driver:  $81,878 - $94,060

MCTS Announces Strike Reimbursement Plan

- July 08, 2015

Milwaukee, WI – The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) is issuing reimbursements for passengers who had active 7-day or 31-day passes during last week’s strike by the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 998. ATU leaders went on a three-day strike despite a new contract proposal from MCTS that would significantly increase bus drivers and mechanics pay.

The strike stranded tens of thousands of people across Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha Counties who rely on MCTS to get to work, school and medical appointments.

MCTS is also updating RideMCTS.com with a FAQ page that has more information about the contract and debunking false rumors some union leaders are spreading.

Reimbursement Info

M•CARD holders

  • M•CARD reimbursements must be obtained by phone (414-937-0470) or email (mcardservices@mcts.org).
  • For each day your 7-day or 31-day M•CARD pass was active during the strike, you will receive the value of three free rides ($1.75 per ride in stored value) on your M•CARD
    • 1 day reimbursement = $5.25 in stored value
    • 2 days = $10.50 in stored value
    • 3 days = $15.75 in stored value
    • If you are requesting your reimbursement via email, please provide your name, contact phone number and M•CARD serial number located on the back of your card (number starts with 05-).
    • Emails will be responded to within three business days.
    • Note – it may take up to 48 hours for the reimbursement to show up on your card.

Paper Passes

  • If you have a weekly paper pass for June 28, 2015 - July 4, 2015 or a monthly pass for July 2015, please bring your pass to:
    • MCTS Administrative office - 1942 N 17th Street, 8am- 4:30pm
    • Kinnickinnic Station -  1718 S. Kinnickinnic Ave, 8am – 4:30pm
    • Fond du Lac Station – 3201 W. Fond du Lac Ave, 8am - 4:30pm
    • After submitting your ticket, you will be given a booklet of 10 tickets to use any time.
    • Note - you need to hand in your paper pass in exchange for the reimbursement, so July monthly pass holders will not want to come in until August.

All MCTS Bus Rides Are FREE on Monday, July 6th

- July 03, 2015
Bus Service Resumes on Saturday - All Rides Will Be Free On Monday!

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele announced  that all MCTS buses will be free on Monday, July 6, 2016. Monday is first weekday since the conclusion of drivers’ union went on a three day strike, stranding tens of thousands of people who rely on MCTS to get to work, school and doctor’s appointments.

Union leaders said they will allow their members to go back on the job Saturday, July 4, 2015. MCTS will resume their regularly scheduled service on Saturday, including Summerfest routes.

“This day of free transit won’t make up for the massive inconvenience riders felt last week when union leaders went out on strike, however it’s the least we can do to thank the community for their patience,” County Executive Abele said. “I know most drivers agree with me that the best way to continue to serve the community is to get back to work and provide the rides that so many people depend on.”

 “I want to thank all the employees at MCTS who stayed on the job the past few days to make sure service would be ready as soon as this strike ended,” County Executive Abele said.

 

MCTS Drivers Unions Calls for a Strike, All Bus Service Suspended Beginning Wednesday, July 1

- June 30, 2015

Milwaukee, WI – As of 3 am Wednesday, July 1, 2015, all Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) bus service will be suspended because of a strike by the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 998. ATU leaders called for a work stoppage despite significant attempts and concessions from MCTS during a daylong negotiation session.

The union’s decision means tens of thousands of people who rely on MCTS to get to work, school and doctor’s appointments will have to find other transportation. The strike will also shut down Summerfest service that tens of thousands of people rely on every day to get to the Big Gig. The union says they will return to work on Saturday, July 4, 2015.

MCTS presented a contract proposal on Friday that would have increased bus drivers and mechanics pay in exchange for some health care concessions. The average MCTS bus driver will make more than $62,000 this year in salary and overtime.

In an attempt to avoid a strike, MCTS made significant concessions to the union today, including:

  • A matching $1,000 Flexible Spending Account for employees to help offset modest increases in healthcare costs. The previous proposal was $500.
  • Capping the amount of part-time drivers MCTS will hire.
  • Some flexibility for how mechanics use their personal time.

Despite numerous recent statements from union leaders that their contract dispute was not over money, the union came to the bargaining table today to ask for $8 million in increased wages.

MCTS Remains Committed to Avoiding a Transit Strike

- June 29, 2015

Milwaukee, WI – The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) is encouraging the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 998 to stay on the job. ATU leaders say they may go on strike Wednesday, despite a new contract proposal from MCTS that would increase bus drivers and mechanics pay.

MCTS presented the new contract to ATU on Friday afternoon. The average MCTS bus driver will make more than $62,000 this year in salary and overtime. The proposed contract includes even more money for drivers and mechanics along with a matching $500 Flexible Spending Account to help offset modest increases in healthcare costs.

The cost of healthcare for MCTS employees and retirees currently accounts for 20% of the total MCTS budget every year, if no changes are made, that cost will balloon to 30% in five years and 40% in ten years.

MCTS and ATU will meet again Tuesday.

“We remain committed to avoiding a strike and ask union leaders to work with us to continue serving the community,” said MCTS Managing Director Dan Boehm. “We believe the proposal we put forward improves MCTS and our future sustainability, while also rewarding drivers and mechanics for the excellent and important job they do.”

MCTS provides on average 150,000 rides a day to people across Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha Counties who rely on MCTS to get to work, school and medical appointments. MCTS also provides tens of thousands of rides a day to Summerfest.

What the MCTS Proposed Contract Means for Riders and the Community

  • The contract greatly improves the sustainability of MCTS, meaning a better transit system now and in the future
  • By reigning in future healthcare costs, MCTS can deploy more money and resources to help people get to work, school and doctor’s appointments
  • The four year contract provides stability for riders, employers and the community

MCTS Contract Proposal by the Numbers

MCTS Offers Contract Proposal to Drivers Who Have Threatened to Strike

- June 26, 2015

Milwaukee, WI - The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) presented a four-year contract offer to the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 998 today, June 26, 2015, that will increase bus driver pay and lower their pension contribution.

The average MCTS bus driver will make more than $62,000 this year in salary and overtime. The proposed contract includes more money for drivers and mechanics along with a matching $500 Flexible Spending Account to help offset modest increases in healthcare costs.

The union says their members will vote on the contract on Monday. They say they will also take another vote on whether or not to strike. MCTS continues to stress to union leaders that a strike will hurt the tens of thousands of people across Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha Counties who rely on MCTS to get to work, school and medical appointments. ATU has said there will not be a strike until after their members vote on Monday.

“We look forward to union leaders ending the threat of this strike and getting back to working with us to serve our community. We believe this proposal improves MCTS, our sustainability and the services we provide, while also rewarding drivers and mechanics for the excellent job they do,” said MCTS Managing Director Dan Boehm.

Key Points of Four-Year Contract Offered to Union by MCTS on June 26, 2015

  • Maintain current cost-of-living increase that provides up to 2% pay increase per year
  • MCTS will pay more of the employees' pension contributions, which is equal to a 1.3% pay raise every year starting January 1, 2016
  • 1% pay raise on January 1,2017
  • Wage and health care for 2018 and 2019 will be negotiated two years from now
  • “A” Mechanics would see an additional 25 cents per hour increase on January 1, 2016 and another 25 cent increase on January 1, 2017
  • MCTS will offer a matching $500 Flexible Spending Account for employees to help offset modest increases in healthcare costs.
  • MCTS will hire a small number of part-time drivers, which may include retirees, to help alleviate workloads and cut down on overtime
  • MCTS requests to change pension eligibility, which permits employees currently as young as 48 years old to retire onto the pension plan
  • Increase in monthly health care premium contribution
  • MCTS will pay 90% of health costs after deductibles are met (90/10 coinsurance)

What the MCTS Proposed Contract Means for Riders and the Community

  • The contract greatly improves the sustainability of MCTS, meaning a better transit system now and in the future
  • By reigning in future healthcare costs, MCTS can deploy more money and resources to help people get to work, school and doctor’s appointments
  • The four year contract provides stability for riders, employers and the community

MCTS Contract Proposal by the Numbers

MCTS Expands Service in Brown Deer and to Oak Creek

- March 18, 2015

Milwaukee County Transit System announces the expansion of its services with a new route and a route extension - both aimed at assisting local residents get to job hubs. The routes also enhance travel mobility for workers while helping improve air quality.

New Routes

Starting, Sunday, March 22, 2015, Route 276 (Brown Deer Shuttle) will provide service from Park Plaza and Brown Deer, to Green Bay Road, to Cherrywood Lane primarily along the Brown Deer Road corridor. This area contains several office and industrial establishments that are currently without transit service. Route 276 will operate on weekdays from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and from 5 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on weekends.

Also starting on March 22, Route 80 (6th Street) will be extended south to provide regular all-day service for the first time from MATC South to Oak Creek. With this extension, Route 80 will serve Drexel Town Square and the retailer Meijer (both under construction), Woodman’s Market, Target, Kohl’s, and many other businesses and residences. Route 80 buses will operate daily from 5 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Seasonal Adjustments to Take Effect

MCTS bus schedules change up to four times a year to accommodate regular seasonal adjustments. The following routes are changing on March 22: Routes 14 (Humboldt – Forest Home), 21 (North Avenue), 23 (Fond du Lac-National), 67 (N. 76th – S. 84th Street), 76 (N. 60th – S. 70th Street), 79 (Menomonee Falls Flyer), 80 (6th Street), 223 (Park Place – Bradley Woods Shuttle), BlueLine MetroEXpress (Fond du Lac – National Avenue), 44  (National Flyer) and 49 (Brown Deer – Bayshore Flyer). Customers are encouraged to check buses on March 18 for new schedules, call the 24-hour automated bus information line at 414-344-6711, or view a preview online at RideMCTS.com starting on March 12.

The Google Transit Trip planner located on the homepage of RideMCTS.com is the best way to plan your bus trip. Just input the starting point and destination to get customized route and schedule information.

MCTS Expands Service in Brown Deer and to Oak Creek

- March 18, 2015

Milwaukee County Transit System announces the expansion of its services with a new route and a route extension - both aimed at assisting local residents get to job hubs. The routes also enhance travel mobility for workers while helping improve air quality.

New Routes

Starting, Sunday, March 22, 2015, Route 276 (Brown Deer Shuttle) will provide service from Park Plaza and Brown Deer, to Green Bay Road, to Cherrywood Lane primarily along the Brown Deer Road corridor. This area contains several office and industrial establishments that are currently without transit service. Route 276 will operate on weekdays from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and from 5 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on weekends.

Also starting on March 22, Route 80 (6th Street) will be extended south to provide regular all-day service for the first time from MATC South to Oak Creek. With this extension, Route 80 will serve Drexel Town Square and the retailer Meijer (both under construction), Woodman’s Market, Target, Kohl’s, and many other businesses and residences. Route 80 buses will operate daily from 5 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Seasonal Adjustments to Take Effect

MCTS bus schedules change up to four times a year to accommodate regular seasonal adjustments. The following routes are changing on March 22: Routes 14 (Humboldt – Forest Home), 21 (North Avenue), 23 (Fond du Lac-National), 67 (N. 76th – S. 84th Street), 76 (N. 60th – S. 70th Street), 79 (Menomonee Falls Flyer), 80 (6th Street), 223 (Park Place – Bradley Woods Shuttle), BlueLine MetroEXpress (Fond du Lac – National Avenue), 44  (National Flyer) and 49 (Brown Deer – Bayshore Flyer). Customers are encouraged to check buses on March 18 for new schedules, call the 24-hour automated bus information line at 414-344-6711, or view a preview online at RideMCTS.com starting on March 12.

The Google Transit Trip planner located on the homepage of RideMCTS.com is the best way to plan your bus trip. Just input the starting point and destination to get customized route and schedule information.

MCTS Expands Service in Brown Deer and to Oak Creek

- March 18, 2015

Milwaukee County Transit System announces the expansion of its services with a new route and a route extension - both aimed at assisting local residents get to job hubs. The routes also enhance travel mobility for workers while helping improve air quality.

New Routes

Starting, Sunday, March 22, 2015, Route 276 (Brown Deer Shuttle) will provide service from Park Plaza and Brown Deer, to Green Bay Road, to Cherrywood Lane primarily along the Brown Deer Road corridor. This area contains several office and industrial establishments that are currently without transit service. Route 276 will operate on weekdays from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and from 5 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on weekends.

Also starting on March 22, Route 80 (6th Street) will be extended south to provide regular all-day service for the first time from MATC South to Oak Creek. With this extension, Route 80 will serve Drexel Town Square and the retailer Meijer (both under construction), Woodman’s Market, Target, Kohl’s, and many other businesses and residences. Route 80 buses will operate daily from 5 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Seasonal Adjustments to Take Effect

MCTS bus schedules change up to four times a year to accommodate regular seasonal adjustments. The following routes are changing on March 22: Routes 14 (Humboldt – Forest Home), 21 (North Avenue), 23 (Fond du Lac-National), 67 (N. 76th – S. 84th Street), 76 (N. 60th – S. 70th Street), 79 (Menomonee Falls Flyer), 80 (6th Street), 223 (Park Place – Bradley Woods Shuttle), BlueLine MetroEXpress (Fond du Lac – National Avenue), 44  (National Flyer) and 49 (Brown Deer – Bayshore Flyer). Customers are encouraged to check buses on March 18 for new schedules, call the 24-hour automated bus information line at 414-344-6711, or view a preview online at RideMCTS.com starting on March 12.

The Google Transit Trip planner located on the homepage of RideMCTS.com is the best way to plan your bus trip. Just input the starting point and destination to get customized route and schedule information.

How to Commend Your MCTS Operator

- January 06, 2011

 Each month, the Milwaukee County Transit System receives dozens of messages from riders who appreciate their bus driver. Customer service is important, so we want to recognize drivers who go above and beyond. Maybe you had a nice experience with an MCTS bus operator which you think the company should know about?

Whether its holding the bus for a late customer, giving directions to an unfamiliar place or providing extra assistance to a passenger in need, you can report such positive actions to our Customer Service Department. Commendations will go on the employees record and they will be eligible for a customer service award.
Passengers can give commendations through the following methods:

  • RideMCTS.com Commendations Form
  • By calling the Customer Comments Line at 414-937-3218, Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • By tweeting @RideMCTS

Please have the following information available:

  • Route
  • Day/Date
  • Time
  • Direction
  • Location
  • Description of the good deed

Additional information, such as the four-digit bus number, description of the driver (gender, etc.), or operator name is also helpful.