REAL-TIME BUS INFORMATION on Route 21 is live now!!

Check out the beta test of Route 21 (North Avenue) Real-Time Bus Information, available by clicking here.


Our latest news and updates

Real-Time Bus Information beta test is now availible!

- April 23, 2014
MCTS, operated by Milwaukee Transport Services, Inc. (MTS), is taking transit to the next level by providing Real-Time Bus Information. One route will be launched as a beta test on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. Everyone will be able to access Real-Time information for Route 21 (North Avenue) by visiting here

Mike Giugno, Managing Director of MCTS and President of MTS, stated, “This is just one example of the technological enhancements we are providing to facilitate greater ease for those riding MCTS buses; it is a catalyst to increasing ridership.”

One of the most anticipated projects, Real-Time Information, will significantly benefit riders by letting them know exactly where their bus is at all times. Route 21 is the first route to have been tested and approved for access. Over the next several months any needed operational tweaks will be made as additional routes will be shared on Real-Time. Each route has to be prepared and then tested for accuracy before it is made available to the public.

How it works

Using scheduled information and our existing GPS tracking system, Real-Time will estimate when the next bus will arrive based on the last reported location. Passengers can access this information and know when it is predicted to arrive at a bus stop – in Real-Time.

The company, Clever Devices, has been translating the raw data into a clean, usable feed that will power Real-Time tracking features through several mediums including website (, mobile devices and phone system. Riders can choose the option most convenient to them to retrieve Real-Time Information including texting, calling or by going online.

When customers use a computer or mobile device to retrieve Real-Time bus information, they will see the MCTS Bus Tracker which has two viewing options. First option is a table which shows a list of routes and estimated bus arrival times. The second option is a map showing selected routes with bus icons revealing Real-Time locations of the buses.

Customers will also be able to receive estimated arrival times by a texting “MCTS [BUS STOP NUMBER]” to 41411 or by calling the information line at 414-344-6711. For complete information on how to access Real-Time information and bus stop ID numbers go to

Take the Route 90 to Cheer on the Brew Crew

- March 27, 2014

Skip the stadium traffic and make it safely to the home plate entrance by taking MCTS Milwaukee Brewers home games during the 2014 season beginning with Opening Day on Monday, March 31 (please note that exhibition games will NOT be served by Route 90.) Baseball fans can catch a Rt. 90 (Miller Park) bus in Downtown Milwaukee and ride directly to the MCTS transit area at Miller Park, just a short walk from entrances on the home plate side.  

Provided for all home games, Rt. 90 begins service two hours before game time. Electronic destination signs display “90 Let’s Go Brewers!” Buses operate 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.

Rt. 90 (Miller Park) bus stops are located at the Downtown Transit Center and along Wisconsin Avenue from Jackson Street to 38th Street. Passengers are dropped off at the MCTS Transit Area on Yount Drive on the north side of Miller Park. On the return trip, buses serve all eastbound stops.

Brewers fans can also ride Rt. 10 (Humboldt-Wisconsin), Rt. 23 (Fond du Lac-National) or the MetroEXpress BlueLine (Fond du Lac-National) that stop within walking distance of Miller Park.

Fares for Routes 10, 23, 90 and BlueLine are $2.25 for adults and $1.10 for children (6 -11) seniors (65 and over) and individuals with disabilities. Children under 6 ride free with an adult.

MCTS M•CARD Training Available

- March 20, 2014

We know the transition to the new smart card system will be a big change for our riders. To help passengers adjust, MCTS staff will be out in the community training riders on how the new system works.

If you’re part of an organization you think would benefit from an interactive training session, please contact us. Or, maybe we’ll be seeing you at community events!  If you are hosting or if you know of an upcoming event and you would like MCTS to attend, please send us those details.

If your group is interested in an M•CARD training session, please email us with the subject line “Training Session".

New Technology Progress Update - Updated 3/26/2014

- March 19, 2014

We appreciate your patience while MCTS implements several technological improvements including a new fare system, Real-Time information and a Stop Announcement System.Equipment for all three of these major projects has been installed and testing has begun. While we make adjustments keep in mind you may experience some issues. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes and we want you to know we are working diligently on these system improvements.

Please remember, we are committed to having the system in best working order before we move to the next phase. We will continue to keep you updated on each step.

Current Updates:

Fare System

  • Scheidt & Bachmann have just finished installing fareboxes on all MCTS buses.
  • We are now retrieving data about cash fares paid by passengers.
  • We have begun to test basic smart card target functionality with a 'pilot' group of riders, so even though the M•CARD is not yet for sale, you may see some riders using them.
  • Next month we will begin testing the full functionality of the smart card readers, and internet revaluing portal used to reload passes on smart cards. Once the equipment passes all tests, we will start selling the MCTS M•CARDS.
  • Throughout the implementation process we will be tweaking the system for optimum performance.


Stop Announcement System

  • We are currently testing the Bus Stop Announcement System on Routes 21 and 80. All buses are equipped with the system, but we need to verify and test routing information for each route, one at a time.



  • Currently we are gathering and testing Real-Time Information for Route 21. Real-Time preparation is also done one route at a time after it is prepared for the Bus Stop Announcement System.
  • After each route Real-Time Information is verified as working properly, the information will be made available to the public via


MCTS Award Winning Operators

- February 06, 2014

We are proud that our bus drivers provide safe and courteous transportation every day of the year. It is time that we recognize the efforts that are made, especially when someone goes above and beyond.

The following are bus drivers who were spotted doing an excellent job of customer service. It might have been something simple, like giving good directions to a new rider or something extraordinary like, quickly reporting a traffic accident they just witnessed so emergency responders could assist. Each day we receive commendations from MCTS customers, recognizing our drivers for going that extra mile.

The following bus operators are among those who have received the MCTS Operator’s Award of Excellent Customer Service. Maybe one of them you already know and they provided you with excellent transportation! Check back periodically to see more award winning operators and click here to view how to submit commendations.

Our Operator Award winners for September through December, 2013:


MCTS Customer Service received a report of a missing person with dementia. After Dispatch sent out alert messages, Kevin quickly discovered the missing person on his bus and notified Dispatch. Kevin alighted the bus with the passenger at his relief point to keep an eye on him, updating dispatch with the person's location. Dispatch was able to quickly direct the group home to the person's location. Thank you, Kevin, for potentially saving that person’s life.


A customer reported that Tracie is an exemplary driver. The customer, who is a teacher, boarded with a visually impaired student. Tracie was pleasantly talkative with the student, discussing the student’s destination. She informed the student that a relief driver would be taking over and then Tracie made sure to inform the relief driver where the student needed to get off and to let the student know that the relief operator had been notified. Thank you for making that student’s riding experience a good one, Tracie!


A customer reported that Kelly is very kind, cordial and considerate. There was a visually impaired passenger who needed to get off of the bus. Kelly not only escorted the passenger off of the bus, but she also assisted the passenger until she was inside the MCTS Administration Building. Keep up the good work, Kelly!




A customer reported that Ocie goes above and beyond his duties. He helps vision impaired passengers on and off the bus and also helps them get safely to a seat and he is always kind. In the past, a passenger was tired and fell asleep on the bus. Ocie made sure to stop at her stop and called it out a few times to make sure she heard him. Your kindness has not gone unnoticed. Great job, Ocie!





A group of Summerfest riders lost two wallets and a pair of house keys. They realized the items were missing at the Ryan Road Park-Ride Lot at the end of the night. Donald contacted dispatch and discovered the items had been found at the Summerfest loop downtown. Donald helped the passengers by driving back to Summerfest and then making an additional, voluntary trip back to the Ryan Road Park-Ride Lot. The passengers were very happy to have their items back. Donald should be recognized for his extra efforts in customer service. Keep up the good work, Donald!




While operating a Route 10, Tiffany noticed a person lying on the ground in need of medical assistance. She immediately contacted dispatch to request medical assistance. Tiffany stayed in the area until she was certain that help was on the way. This was reassuring for those who were giving aid to the person in trouble. She did a really great job handling an unfortunate situation. Thank you, Tiffany!



Route 31 to Detour when Watertown Plank Road Closes - Updated 1/2/2014

- January 02, 2014

Route 31 (State – Highland) will detour due to a long term closure of Watertown Plank Road between 92nd Street and Innovation Drive/Swan Boulevard. To help ensure public safety, accessibility and mobility during the project, pedestrians will receive assistance to ride the bus free of charge in the detour area through a partnership between the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and Milwaukee County Department of Transportation. Route 31 (State – Highland) will begin the detour as soon as Watertown Plank Road is closed to through traffic. MCTS has been informed that the closure will take place at 9:30 pm on Sunday, January 5, 2014.

Pedestrians needing to travel on Watertown Plank Road between 92nd Street and Innovation Drive/Swan Boulevard will not be required to pay a fare when boarding a Route 31 bus on 92nd Street near Curative Care Network, Inc., 1000 N. 92nd Street, on Connell Street west of 92nd Street, or on Watertown Plank Road at Innovation Drive/Swan Boulevard. However, if a transfer is requested the passenger must pay full fare. This will begin the same day as the detour begins.

Route 31 (State – Highland) Detour routing is as follows:

Westbound Detour Routing
West on Watertown Plank Road, north on Discovery Parkway, southwest on Swan Boulevard and continue south to Watertown Plank Road and west to regular route.

Eastbound Detour Routing
From Innovation Drive: north on Swan Boulevard, continue northeast to Discovery Parkway and south to Watertown Plank Road and east to regular route.

Click here to view a map of the detour.

Please note: During this time there will be no stops along the detoured portion of the route.

Who is MTS?

- August 26, 2013
Milwaukee Transport Services, Incorporated (MTS) is a private not-for-profit corporation, contracted by Milwaukee County since 1975 to manage and operate the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS), in conjunction with the Milwaukee County Board and the Milwaukee County Department of Transportation. All employees who work at the transit system are employees of MTS not Milwaukee County. Mike Giugno is the President of MTS and has more than 32 years of transit experience.

Under MTS management, the highest portion of every dollar goes directly into providing services, not paying management expenses.  MTS has the lowest percentage of general and administrative expenses of any of our peer systems, with nearly 90 percent of the cost going directly to the provision of services. MTS’s “G&A” expense was 10.9 percent. The average for our peer systems was 17.5 percent, with one system more than double our rate at 23.2 percent.

MCTS Adds Fifty-Five New Clean Diesel Buses

- June 11, 2013



Passengers on MCTS buses will experience more of that “new bus smell” on their rides this year. The first of the fifty-five new clean diesel buses have arrived and will be in service soon.

New clean diesel buses will make up the majority of the MCTS fleet. The added buses along with the 180 new clean diesel buses purchased between 2010 and 2012 will total 235 of 420 buses. The vehicles emit 80% less particulate matter, 95% less oxides of nitrogen and 88% less non-methane hydrocarbons than the older buses they replace.

The Milwaukee area will benefit from improved air quality and lower emissions along with several other improvements. The buses will have an exciting new design. Made by the same manufacturer, New Flyer, the new Xcelsior model has some added features:

  • Additional electronic route number sign at the rear of the bus
  • Added operator shield
  • Electronic radiator fans designed to provide fuel savings of up to 5%
  • Improved accessibility with wider doorway and more gradual slope of entry ramp
  • More roomy interior with modified seating and more head room
  • Energy efficient LED headlights
  • Improved readability of front destination sign
  • Updated longer life battery system
  • New driver’s seat with added comfort
  • Updated wheelchair securement system
  • Fiberglass body panels replace aluminum for longer life and easier maintenance

Funding for the 2013 bus purchase comes from remaining Interstate Cost Estimate Substitute (ICE) funds and a local match.

MCTS tries to replace buses every twelve years or those driven more than 500,000 miles. Older buses are taken out of service when new buses are added to the fleet. Additionally, you will notice MCTS is repainting older model buses that still have a service life to create a unified look. Eighty-one older buses have been repainted to date.

Posted June, 2013.



Real-time Tracking Status Update

- June 06, 2013
Milwaukee County Transit System wants to clarify a few recent misunderstandings about the real-time bus tracking that will be coming our way. Real-time will enable passengers to track exactly where their bus is and when it is predicted to arrive at their stop through a computer or smartphone. We, like our customers, are excited for this development, but we need to wait a while longer - it is not available yet.

The basic building blocks for this technology are now in place here at MCTS; however the data is still very raw. MCTS is working toward procuring a vendor that will assist in the translation of this data into a clean, usable feed that will power real-time tracking features on, smartphones, our automated phone system, etc.

Currently, MCTS has made the raw data available to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's new App Brewery as they work to develop an app that, in the future, will have the capacity to give users real-time bus locations.  It will also include other Milwaukee County information on parks, the zoo and the airport.

Much like our Google Transit feed, once the real time data has been cleaned and tested, we will make it available to any and all developers who wish to build their own app.  

In the coming weeks we will have a better picture of what the time line will be for MCTS's real-time tracking availability to our community. Stay tuned for more information on this service enhancement and others.

Posted June, 2013. For more updates on Real-Time information, please click here. 

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:

  • 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.