Milwaukee County Transit Announces Prepay Timeline to Ride CONNECT 1

The first prepay validator has been installed at the CONNECT 1 BRT station at Watertown Plank Park and Ride. Prepayment is one of the features that makes a Bus Rapid Transit service quicker to ride.

Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) has announced WisGo fare collection is anticipated to begin April 8, 2024 on the CONNECT 1 Bus Rapid Transit service. Since the launch of the state’s first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service in June 2023, riders have been able to explore the regional, 9-mile route that reaches major employers, education, recreation, and medical destinations, at no cost. Starting in early April, riders are expected to pay before they board the CONNECT 1. Pre-board payment is one of the features that saves riders time, making it faster to ride the bus.

Prepay. Board. Ride. Riders can follow three easy steps to prepay, board, and ride the CONNECT 1.

  • Prepay - Each of the CONNECT line’s 32 stations will have a payment validator located on the platform. Riders will need to scan their WisGo card or Umo app at the validator. Cash and credit card users must purchase a ticket at the Ticket Vending Machine (TVM) at the station and then scan the ticket at the validator before boarding.  
  • Board - After riders prepay and validate, they can then board at any door.
  • Ride - Enjoy the ride. WisGo card, Umo app and TVM tickets include a 90-minute transfer with your ride.

 CONNECT 1 riders can watch an instructional video showing how to use the new validators.

Tip: Use the real-time arrival screen at each CONNECT 1 station to see when the bus will arrive and validate your fare as the bus approaches to allow quicker boarding and bus departure.

Community Education Schedule MCTS will begin a rider education campaign in March. Riders are encouraged to sign up for a free virtual or in-person session at one of the times below:

Thursday, March 14 at 12:30 p.m. (virtual) Tuesday, March 19 at 3:00 p.m.  (virtual) Wednesday, March 27 at 4:00 p.m. in person at the Milwaukee Public Library

The community can register in advance at

The week of April 8, MCTS Brand Ambassadors will be available at various BRT stations along the Connect 1 line to help riders with prepayment.      

Fare Collection Enforcement Riders are encouraged to keep their proof of payment available. A Transit Security Officer at the stations or on board the bus may ask riders to show their WisGo card, Umo app, or TVM ticket.

For more information about riding CONNECT 1, visit