Republican National Convention | View Alert

We welcome RNC delegates and visitors from around the world to Milwaukee County. Note that from approximately Thursday, July 11-Friday July 19, security measures during the RNC will impact bus stops in the downtown area and traffic will impact service systemwide. Please expect delays and service changes with short notice. Visit for the complete list of stops served & interactive map with detour routing.

Art courtesy of Kristen Lopez

Bus Shelter Art Project


The Bus Shelter Art Project is a unique effort by MCTS to spread art across the community. This innovative program gives local artists access to the most exclusive canvases in town: MCTS bus shelters!

The program originally started in June 2018 as a collaboration with The Bus Art Project MKE and its founder, Libby Olbrantz. MCTS now manages the program. We are grateful to our partners at Brilliant DPI, who print and install the artwork on shelters, for their continued support.

See below for locations of the shelters and to learn more about the participating artists and their visions.

We invite all who believe in the positive impact of art in public spaces to join us by sponsoring a mural on a bus shelter near you. For interested organizations, neighborhood groups and businesses, here’s how you can get involved. Click here to watch a webinar about the project.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Art Contest

2020 Winners

Above: MCTS Bus Shelter Outside Golda Meir School Upper Campus, MLK Drive & Pleasant Street

Above: MCTS Bus Shelter Outside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School at MLK Drive & Concordia Avenue

Murals on two Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) bus shelters now feature winning artwork from the Marcus Performing Art Center’s 2020 Martin Luther King, Jr. Art Contest, which was open to K-12 students in Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, and West Bend.

The first shelter is located across the street from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School at MLK Drive and Concordia Avenue in Milwaukee. The second shelter is alongside Golda Meir School Upper Campus at MLK Drive and Pleasant Street.

Each mural includes multiple designs — inspired by Dr. King’s life and values — created by children and teenagers enrolled at Fairview Elementary School, Fernwood Montessori, Golda Meir School, Luther Burbank School, McLane Elementary School, Milwaukee Spanish Immersion School, Roosevelt Creative Arts Middle School, Wauwatosa East High School, Wedgewood Park International School, and West Bend West High School.

MCTS installed the murals as part of its annual sponsorship of the Marcus Performing Art Center’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration. This year’s event, which will be virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is taking place January 17 at 1:00 p.m. Members of the public are invited to watch here.

Dr. King was an activist committed to peace, justice, and equality. As a visionary leader of the civil rights movement, King fought for racial and economic justice for the oppressed.

“We’re looking forward to highlighting young people in our community who interpret Dr. King’s words and actions through art, speech, and writing,” said Kendra Whitlock Ingram, President and CEO of the Marcus Performing Arts Center. “Showcasing winning artwork on bus shelters along MLK Drive is a creative way to make sure these important messages are seen by a wide audience.”

“This weekend’s event – including the debut of these special murals on bus shelters – is a celebration of the milestones already achieved and also a reminder of the important work yet to come,” said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley. “We stand on the shoulders of giants like Dr. King as we move forward on the path to achieve racial equity in order to become the healthiest county in the State.”

César Chávez Student Art Contest

2020 Winners

MCTS is a proud sponsor of the Marcus Performing Arts Center third annual César E. Chávez Birthday Celebration that was held virtually on Wednesday, March 31, 2021. The digital event can be viewed anytime here.

César E. Chávez was an activist who fought for equal rights for farm workers across the United States beginning in the 1960s until his death in 1993. He, alongside Dolores Huerta, founded the United Farm Workers (UFW) Union where he fought for civil rights for Latinos and farmworkers. He believed in nonviolent demonstrations and civil disobedience, including protests, marches, and fasts, with his longest fast being 36 days. César E. Chávez inspired others to fight using nonviolent methods and to stand up for their rights. The infamous phrase “Si Se Puede” (Yes We Can) was coined during this movement and is still used to unite the Latino community in their fight for la causa (the cause).

Through our sponsorship, MCTS added two murals to our Bus Shelter Art Project. They feature the winning artwork from the Marcus Center’s César Chávez Student Art Contest. The murals are located at National & César E. Chávez Drive and at Greenfield & César E. Chávez Drive.

Downtown Milwaukee

'The Collide'

Artist: Tzeng Lee

Location: 6th Street & Michigan Street, Downtown Milwaukee (Note: This artwork was originally displayed on a bus shelter at Water & Mason, but has since been moved to this new location).

Vision: "I've always had a love for prints and patterns which inspired me to create my own. My designs are based off kaleidoscope patterns which play with repetitive symmetry. It's four different patterns which are similar in design, to play with your eyes and stimulate the mind. I'm excited to collaborate with the Bus Art Project MKE to inspire and intrigue people with my art."

The artwork at this location is sponsored by Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21.

'28 ZIP Codes, 1 City'

Artist: Dominic Inouye / ZIP MKE

Location: Water Street & Wisconsin Avenue, Downtown Milwaukee

Vision: "ZIP MKE's mission to represent — through photographs — the faces, places, and experiences of all 28 ZIP Codes aligns nicely with Bus Art Project MKE's mission to connect the city through art. We are happy to share selections from our galleries of over 2,000 photos on this downtown bus shelter and add to the work of so many talented local artists. We hope that the shelter becomes both a reflection of the city and a mirror for each viewer."

The artwork at this location is sponsored by Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21.

Bay View

'Girl in the Woods'

Artist: Libby van de Bunte

Location: Oklahoma Avenue & Howell Avenue, Milwaukee

Vision: "I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression at a pretty young age, and it's something that I always carry with me. Last year, I told myself that I was going to put myself out there more in terms of my artwork. When offered the opportunity to be part of the Bus Project, I said yes immediately. For me, it's not only a chance to push myself far out of my comfort zone, it's also a chance to contribute to a growing and diverse community of MKE artists."

Note: Unfortunately, this mural had to be removed in Fall 2020 due to vandalism of the bus shelter.

'Raining on Your Parade'

Artist: Charity Ekpo

Location: Kinnickinnic Avenue & Bay Street, Milwaukee

Vision: “I wanted to participate in this project because I think it’s a great way to continue showing just how creative Milwaukee is. That we’re capable of taking something people maybe wouldn’t normally consider exciting, and turning it into something fun and visually intriguing. Art is a great way to express yourself. I hope these awesome designs will inspire others to want to channel their creative side, and make something amazing for themselves and/or others to see.”

Note: Unfortunately, this mural had to be removed in Fall 2020 due to vandalism of the bus shelter.

'Through the Haze'

Artist: Kristen Lopez

Location: Oklahoma Avenue & Kinnickinnic Avenue, Milwaukee

Vision: “I became a part of the Milwaukee bus project because it's a great way to connect all the neighborhoods of this city. I hope that it inspires people to take the bus to part of town they've never been before.”

Note: Unfortunately, this mural had to be removed in Fall 2020 due to vandalism of the bus shelter.



Artist: CK Ledesma

Location: North Avenue & Humboldt Boulevard, Milwaukee

Vision: “I’m thrilled to take part in the project because it intersects several interests of mine, community and art, as well as, representation through diversity. “Cluster” represents a gathering of faces with different colors, shapes, sizes and expressions; a vision of what our neighborhoods and communities can be through unity.”

'Flower Faces'

Artist: LaNia Sproles

Location: Center Street & Humboldt Boulevard, Milwaukee

Vision: "I wanted to remind people that they are worthy of happiness. That pain and vibrancy go together so that growth can follow."

'Back at the Labyrinth'

Artist: Shawn Bhatti

Location: Locust Street & Dousman Street, Milwaukee

Vision: "I've always adored musicians for being able to display raw emotion, and fine tune their craft, while telling their story. The same way that a chef will help and teach others who love food. And are able to break it down to a science for folks to enjoy. Art is all around us. And it pushes the limits everyday, to the dark corners of our minds. I'm grateful that, from a young age, I've stayed on this path... one that's lit by colors and driven by music. One that allows me to stay hungry as well as humble. Art, to me, is love. And love is life."

Walker's Point

'Big, Giant Hugs'

Artist: Matt Juzenas

Location: 1st Street & National Avenue, Milwaukee

Vision: “I've made it a personal mission to put out as much love and positivity into the world as I can. As a happy-go-lucky guy who stands at six foot, eight inches tall, friends and family often call me the 'Big Friendly Giant.' Many years ago, I started signing my posts on social media with 'Big, Giant Hugs' and it took off. For this project, I wanted to create a piece that would simply make people smile when they saw it. Maybe they'll feel the warmth of a big hug from the giant heart of our city and pass along that love to someone else that day. I am beyond honored that this fun message of positivity has been chosen to be displayed in a neighborhood where I have personally experienced the love and support of our LGBTQ community. I love our city, and this is a way for me to give one of my big, giant hugs to all of Milwaukee!"

This artwork was installed on June 7, 2019 to help celebrate the start of PrideFest weekend in Milwaukee!

'Colourful Serape'

Artist: Gloria Ruiz-Santos

Location: 6th Street & National Avenue, Milwaukee

Vision: “One of the main things about Mexico that I love are the colors, which is something I've always felt Milwaukee lacked. This project is a beautiful addition to add more color to the city. For my design I went for a 'serape' print to represent my proud heritage and to show some love to my fellow Mexicans in Milwaukee."

Video: Gloria Ruiz-Santos Talks About Her Artwork

Note: In September 2018, someone stole this beautiful piece of artwork from the bus shelter at 6th & National. The artwork was returned to the shelter a few weeks later, but it was badly damaged and needed to be replaced. The design was reinstalled on October 4th. Then, in May 2019, the artwork was once again torn down by a vandal.


Artist: Dena Nord

Location: 1st Street & Scott Street, Milwaukee

Vision: "I am so excited to be part of this project and have my work in Walker's Point. My work titled, Dress, is from my painting to music series. In the series, I would break down a song by beats per minute and translate that to a series of notes and sketches. I used the notes and stop motion photography to record the process of the painting being created. In the final piece, not only is the work inspired by the song, but it also has a video to match that shows the painting coming alive beat by beat to the music. The song Dress is by the band Sylvan Esso, who always have had a sweet spot in my heart because the band members met at the Cactus Club in Bay View, where I live. See the video at"


'Chaos Emerald'

Artist: Dré Black (@artbydreblack)

Location: Dr. M.L.K. Junior Drive & Clarke Street, Milwaukee 

Vision: "This piece captures the beauty and diversity that Milwaukee offers. Growing up here, I rarely saw images that represented the people and culture of my neighborhood. I want my art to make people feel welcomed and at ease. My goal is for people to see pass the negative and focus on the positive because within the chaos there is beauty."

Metcalfe Park

'Wisconsin Wildflowers'

Artist: Nellie Gehrig

Location: Fond du Lac Avenue & Center Street, Milwaukee 

Vision: "Milwaukee has access to many beautiful parks and nature and I wanted to illustrate some of the native flora of our state. I hope it acts as a reminder to stop and smell the flowers and to slow down and look a little closer. There is beauty all around us."


'Seasons 414'

Artist: Tyler "Tystarr" Copes

Location: 27th Street & North Avenue, Milwaukee 

Vision: "From morning to night, buses keeps Milwaukee moving through freezing snow, sweltering heat and just good ol' sunny days. But no matter the weather, there is beauty to be appreciated. As a Brooklyn native, I was basically raised on public transportation and I loved seeing the diversity, every day, with people from all walks of life trying to get to their destinations. Milwaukee is no different. This is my love letter to the city that adopted me and to all the passengers who rely on the bus no matter the season."

Note: Unfortunately, this mural was badly damaged during a crash and had to be removed in Fall 2020.

Morgandale / Polonia

'Here Live Our River Gods' (Version A)

Beautiful murals are displayed on two different bus shelters at the intersection of 13th Street and Oklahoma Avenue on Milwaukee's south side.

Full Title of Artwork: Here Live Our River Gods/Nuestros Dioses Viven En El Rio, 2018

Artist: Gabriela Riveros

Location: 13th Street & Oklahoma Avenue, Milwaukee 

Vision: This project is a celebration of the diversity and culture within the neighborhood Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers serves and Milwaukee. In honor of the restoration of the Kinnickinnic River, Riveros has illustrated the water deities that dwell and protect the river. Each of these dieties and their stories represents our relationship with water, the world, and each other.

The artwork at this location is sponsored by Sixteenth Community Health Centers with funds made possible by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.

'Here Live Our River Gods' (Version B)

Beautiful murals are displayed on two different bus shelters at the intersection of 13th Street and Oklahoma Avenue on Milwaukee's south side.

Full Title of Artwork: Here Live Our River Gods/Nuestros Dioses Viven En El Rio, 2018

Artist: Gabriela Riveros

Location: 13th Street & Oklahoma Avenue, Milwaukee 

Vision: This project is a celebration of the diversity and culture within the neighborhood Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers serves and Milwaukee. In honor of the restoration of the Kinnickinnic River, Riveros has illustrated the water deities that dwell and protect the river. Each of these dieties and their stories represents our relationship with water, the world, and each other.

The artwork at this location is sponsored by the Crisol Corridor Business Improvement District (BID 50).

Sherman Park

'Milwaukee Topo'

Artist: Larry Booth

Location: Sherman Boulevard & North Avenue, Milwaukee 

Vision: "When looking at a city, all that most people see are buildings and streets. But there is a hidden artistic design to a city that few people ever notice; the topographic contours of a city that have been carved into the earth's surface by the random forces of nature (water, wind and Tectonic movement).      

My bus shelter abstract, "Milwaukee Topo", draws upon the topography of Milwaukee for its inspiration. The piece is an exact topographic representation of the actual landform that lies beneath the buildings and streets of Milwaukee.  Each color represents a different elevation in height from Lake Michigan. The light blue line running through the middle of the art is the Milwaukee River. The lakefront and Veterans Park can be seen at the lower right.

My hope is to inspire people to look at the world around them in a different way; to realize there is so much more wonder to behold in the landscapes of both Nature and Humankind than first meets the eye."

'Patchwork City'

Artist: Noel Clark

Location: Sherman Boulevard & Burleigh Street, Milwaukee 

Vision: "Driving around the northwest side of Milwaukee every day during the winter months always leaves me wanting more color in the landscape. So I created a bright patchwork of blues, greens, yellows, and reds that stand out against the monochromatic Milwaukee sky. I hope it lifts the spirits of those passing by."

'The Future's So Bright'

Artist: Libby Olbrantz (Founder of Bus Art Project MKE)

Location: Sherman Boulevard & Fond du Lac Avenue, Milwaukee 

Vision: "This was one of the first canvases I painted when I started painting again in 2014. Then I started revamping old canvases with new designs in 2018. This was one of my favorites from that collection because there was so much darkness and uncertainty of what it could be in the first rendition, but in this piece the girl has turned her inner light all the way up and is using it to forge her path through the darkness and spreading all her love, light and joy along the way! I chose this shelter specifically because this is the shelter I grew up using to catch the MCTS bus and the house I was born and raised in is a block away. So to me it’s my own gift back to the neighborhood I grew up in and loved, like the piece itself is shining it’s own light."

Note: Unfortunately this mural is no longer on display due to damage caused by a vehicle crash.

Villard Avenue

'Becoming Villard'

Artists: Dominic Inouye & Caressa Givens

Locations: There are four similar designs on bus shelters along Villard Avenue, including: 35th & Villard, Hopkins & Villard, and Sherman & Villard.

These wonderful murals are sponsored by the Villard Avenue Business Improvement District (BID 19). Thank you!

South Milwaukee

'Rooted in Nature'

Artist: Kasia Drake-Hames

Location: 10th Avenue & Milwaukee Avenue, South Milwaukee 

Vision: "This piece is inspired by the natural features in South Milwaukee including Grant Park, the beach and the Oak Creek. I would like people to consider our interconnectedness to nature every day. As a resident of South Milwaukee, I am deeply moved by the city's natural beauty and have enjoyed many hours exploring Grant Park with my family. I'm honored to have my design featured on our bus shelter, and I hope that it inspires others to explore the city's natural spaces.”

South 27th Street

'Historic Highway 41' Metal Panels

Three Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) bus shelters along S. 27th Street in Milwaukee have received a creative makeover that helps beautify the neighborhood while also celebrating the business corridor’s rich history.

The shelters at 27th and Oklahoma Avenue and 27th and Ohio Avenue now feature custom-made metal panels with die-cut U.S. Route 41 (Historic Highway 41) logos and messaging. The sturdy paneling, which is covered in a graffiti-resistant coating, replaces standard glass and plexiglass, which can easily become weathered, scratched, or broken.

Click here to watch a video about the project!

The project was spearheaded by the South 27th Street Business District Association, Milwaukee County Supervisor Jason Haas, Milwaukee Alderman Mark Borkowski, and Milwaukee Alderman Scott Spiker.

The panels were designed by conceptual design artist Ryan Laessig. FINAL CUT Waterjet and Fabrication fabricated the panels and adjusted the artwork to accommodate cut outs that allow passengers to see through the paneling while they are waiting for the bus. Lake Auto Group polished the panels, coated them with anti-graffiti material, and then delivered them to MCTS maintenance crews for installation.

"We are delighted to deliver a fresh new beautification concept for bus shelters in the Historic Highway 41 business corridor,” said Tara Cavazos, Executive Director of the South 27th Street Business District Association. “Our organization is committed to moving our vision progressively forward to continue growth and improvement throughout and around our district. We extend our sincere thanks to our city, county, residential and business partners for their strategizing, dedication, participation and contributions."

Historic Highway 41 was built in 1926 as the major north-south highway between Chicago and Milwaukee. It served as the main connection between the two regions until Interstate 94 was completed in the 1960s. The stretch of Highway 41 through Milwaukee County remains one of Wisconsin’s largest and most vibrant business corridors.

“The creation and installation of these beautiful shelter panels is an excellent example of the public-private partnerships that make Milwaukee County a great place for residents and businesses alike,” said Milwaukee County Supervisor Jason Haas. “Thanks to each and every person and group who has been involved with this successful collaboration. I also want to extend a very special thanks to Ryan Laessig, who designed the amazing artwork, which is a treasure for our community to see.”

Laessig is a Milwaukee resident who continues to build community by coordinating the Milwaukee Makers Market – which recently won a Best of Milwaukee 2020 Award from the Shepherd Express. Laessig is also a local high school arts educator and practicing photographer/mixed media artist.

“It is so great to help bring more art and creativity to Milwaukee and Historic Highway 41,” Laessig said. “I am honored to have been selected to be part of this exciting beautification project.”

"This is an exciting illustration of what happens when everyone works together for the betterment of their community,” said Alderman Scott Spiker, City of Milwaukee-District 13. “The South 27th Street Business District Association – working with MCTS, the County, and the City – has taken another huge stride forward in order to beautify one of the area’s most thriving commercial corridors. The Garden District continues to improve thanks to these sorts of unique partnerships between business and government.”

"The upgrades in curb appeal and beautification due to this project have already led to positive reactions throughout the community,” said Alderman Mark Borkowski, City of Milwaukee-District 11. “The South 27th Street Business District Association consistently works at keeping their business corridor vibrant, welcoming, and unique."

"Lake Auto Group was happy to partner with the South 27th Street Business District Association on this first-of-its-kind initiative,” said Todd Reardon of Lake Auto Group. “It's great to see more beautification within the business district and our teams were glad to donate our services and be part of the effort.”

Two of the newly-refreshed bus shelters are served by the MCTS PurpleLine, one of Milwaukee County’s most highly-utilized bus routes, which operates between Bender Road on the north to Drexel Avenue on the south. The other shelter is served by Route 51, which runs from 122nd Street on the west to the lakefront on the east.