Proposed 2020 Transit Budget Includes Service Changes



**The following information about the proposed 2020 Transit Budget was posted on August 13, 2019. Updated details about the 2020 Transit Budget have since been released. Click here to read the latest.**


Fiscal Crisis

Milwaukee County has reached a fiscal crisis point, and we need your help. Over the past decade, Milwaukee County taxpayers have increased income and sales tax payments to the State by $355 million, yet shared revenue and other funding from the state has declined or remained flat over the same time period.

County Executive Chris Abele and County Supervisors have been strong supporters of transit. Unfortunately, limitations in state law have caused Milwaukee County to effectively reach the cap on the amount it can collect from property and sales tax. State and Federal transit support has been stagnant, especially in comparison to inflationary cost increases, and grant monies that have helped past budgets are increasingly scarce.

These fiscal constraints on Milwaukee County impact MCTS’s ability to maintain and expand transit services. Unless there is a new state solution, balancing future budgets will continue to involve difficult decisions that impact people who live, work, and spend time in Milwaukee County.

Proposed Bus Route Reductions

The proposed 2020 Transit Budget includes significant service changes. Although 97% of annual ridership would not be impacted by these changes, the total number of bus routes could be reduced by ending the following services:

  • 6 Freeway Flyer routes - 40, 43, 44, 46, 48, 49
  • 4 UBUS Routes - 40U, 42U, 44U, 49U
  • 5 Shuttles - 17, 137, 219, 223, 276
  • Route 52 Clement - 15th Avenue
  • Route 55 Layton Avenue: would no longer have service west of S.76th Street
  • Route 80 6th Street: would no longer have service south of MATC South Campus

Seasonal services could also be eliminated as a cost-saving measure:

  • Brewers Line buses for Miller Park
  • Wisconsin Avenue Downtown shuttles for ethnic festivals and Summerfest
  • Freeway Flyer service for Summerfest may also be impacted
  • Freeway Flyers for German Fest, Irish Fest and Festa Italiana
  • Shuttle and Freeway Flyer services for Wisconsin State Fair

The proposed changes outlined above are necessary to bring expenses in line with limited revenues. These proposed changes were informed by Racial Equity considerations and route efficiency measures to minimize impacts on total riders. There are no budgeted changes to the Paratransit Program.

FAQ About Proposed 2020 Budget

Take Our Survey About Budget

What Happens Next?

  1. We thank everyone who attended one of the County’s Budget Open Houses in August and gave feedback in person. Please watch for other public meetings hosted by County Supervisors in the coming weeks and months.
  2. Fill out our survey about the proposed 2020 budget by clicking here.
  3. Sign the petition supporting a Fair Deal for Milwaukee County — a proposed partnership between state government and Milwaukee County that will help generate the revenue Milwaukee County needs to fund essential public services and cultural amenities, and invest in our future. Click here to learn more.
  4. Another way that residents can help the County’s budgeting process is by sharing their priorities through an innovative online budgeting tool called Balancing Act.
  5. Tell your state legislators how important public transportation is to you.

Click here to download a printable two-page handout — which includes a map and details about the proposed 2020 Transit Budget.