MCTS to Adjust Passenger Limit Starting Friday, August 14

The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) will adjust its passenger limit from 10 to 15 starting Friday, August 14 due to high mask usage on buses and other efforts to mitigate risks associated with the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic. This increase in capacity is also aligned with local, phased reopening plans – which increase size limits for gatherings while still requiring social distancing and other protective measures.

Just weeks ago, an estimated 30 percent of passengers wore masks or face coverings while on board. After MCTS implemented a new mask requirement and started offering free masks on buses on August 1, that rate increased to an estimated 85 percent and continues to rise each day. MCTS thanks its passengers for their cooperation.

Now that the majority of passengers are doing their part by wearing masks, MCTS is able to slightly increase the number of passengers permitted on each bus – while still allowing enough space for social distancing and continuing to follow these policies and procedures:

  • MCTS is providing free masks on buses (one per customer), while supplies last.
  • MCTS has started making hand sanitizer available on a number of buses.
  • Passengers are asked to use staggered seating in order to avoid close contact with others.
  • Passengers are encouraged to wash hands, cover coughs and sneezes, stay home when sick and limit conversations and interactions while on board.
  • Passengers are encouraged to use contactless fare payment methods.
  • Passengers must enter the bus through the front door and exit via the rear door (unless they need to use the ramp or kneeling feature of the bus).
  • Buses go through an extra daily disinfection process using EPA-approved and CDC-recommended products. That’s in addition to the standard cleaning that vehicles receive on a regular basis.
  • Bus drivers are positioned behind an industry-leading plexiglass shield and are supplied with masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, sanitizing wipes, disinfectant spray, and cloths to clean their workspace throughout the day.
  • MCTS continues to use on-board signage, audio announcements, and other communications channels to make sure passengers are aware of all relevant information.

Permitting more passengers on each bus will enable MCTS to better serve those who depend on reliable, on-time public transportation to access work, school, medical appointments, and more.

MCTS appreciates the commitment to public health from all community partners – including Milwaukee County, the City of Milwaukee, State of Wisconsin, FTA, FEMA, local municipalities, health officials and more. It’s important that we all continue working together to help protect residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more on MCTS’s response to COVID-19, please visit