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‘MCTS NEXT’ Route Redesign Project Receives Approval


MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) is excited to announce that ‘MCTS NEXT’ – the agency’s first comprehensive redesign project in decades – received approval from the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors on Thursday, September 24.

A lot has changed over the years, especially when it comes to the locations of job centers, shopping destinations, schools, and homes. This means transit services must continue to evolve in order to meet the community’s needs.

MCTS spent nearly three years conducting a comprehensive review of the entire transit system. Planners examined and evaluated every route and bus stop across the MCTS service area to identify opportunities for improvements, enhanced efficiency, and faster service.

A massive public outreach effort – including 13 open house events and more than 40 stakeholder meetings – resulted in hundreds of comments and thousands of interactions with passengers, bus drivers, businesses, community groups, and elected officials. Additionally, MCTS received input from the Milwaukee County Office on African American Affairs (OAAA). This valuable feedback helped shape plans that will advance racial equity by improving access for people of color to employment, education, healthcare, grocery stores, and other essential destinations.

Benefits of MCTS NEXT include:

  • Expanded high frequency service. This means there will be a larger number of routes where buses come every 15 minutes or better. 160,000 more people and 43,000 additional jobs will be served by these high frequency routes.
  • More service along high-demand corridors.
  • New service to major job centers and grocery stores.
  • Less waiting when transferring between routes.
  • Faster travel times.
  • Service that is easier to use and understand.

Click here to view watch videos explaining the changes that will be coming to specific routes.

MCTS NEXT is cost-neutral – meaning it was created based on the existing budget to ensure that operating costs remain consistent. MCTS will now prepare a schedule for making incremental changes starting in 2021. MCTS will engage in coordinated outreach efforts to inform employees, passengers, stakeholders, and the public about what to expect with the new and improved system.

MCTS wants to acknowledge and thank the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors for approving MCTS NEXT. We are also grateful to passengers and employees who supported the plan as well as the dozens of stakeholders who submitted letters of support – including MICAH, NAACP and SEWRPC.