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Changes coming to MCTS buses at the end of this month

Posted at 5:36 AM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 07:32:10-04

MILWAUKEE COUNTY — For more than a year, MCTS freeway flyer buses have been suspended due to the pandemic, but on Aug. 30, buses will soon pick up passengers from park and rides lots across Milwaukee County, taking them to various destinations near downtown.

Routes 40, 43, 44, 46, 48, 49, 79 and 143 will resume service but with a limited schedule.

"What our riders will see are reduced times, but times that are critical. So getting them downtown to their destinations, there are three different time periods. Basically between 7 and 8 a.m. And then again in the evening, four routes anywhere between 4 and 5 p.m.," said Kristina Hoffman, Director of Marketing and Communications for MCTS.

Along with the freeway flyers, on Aug. 29 the last phase of the MCTS Next redesign will begin. Since 2018, MCTS has been working on restructuring its route system in an effort to create faster service for riders.

Phase 3 will impact 11 different routes. Routes 64 and 67 are no longer active, but new routes 18, 66 and 92 have been added.

Once Phase 3 begins, the MCTS system will have a 60% high-frequency service, meaning buses will arrive sooner.

"Riders can expect more predictability with the high-frequency routes because they do come on every 15 minutes," said Hoffman.

In Phase 3, there will be four new high-frequency routes: 18, 60, 76 and BlueLine.

Here is more information from MCTS on the MCTS Next route redesign (verbatim):

  • Better connections to jobs and grocery stores
    • In Phase 3, this includes routes 18, 22, 28, 54, 56, 92, and BlueLine.
    • For example:
      • The newly-modified BlueLine will be extended on the north end to reach businesses near N. 124th & Bradley like Woodman’s, Aldi, and Sam’s Club.
      • Route 22 will be modified and extended west to provide a new connection to Mayfair Mall and also businesses and residences located at N. 124th & North.
      • Route 54 will be modified on the east end to provide a new connection to an unserved job and shopping area near Holt Avenue & Chase Avenue.
      • Route 28 will be modified to expand access to multiple unserved and underserved job areas. On the north end, this includes the Mayfair Collection and other employment opportunities along N. 124th between Capitol Drive and Silver Spring Drive. On the south end, this includes businesses along S. 108th Street south of the Hales Corners Park-Ride lot.
      • Route 56 will be modified to expand access to the underserved job corridor along Miller Park Way-S. 43rd Street and also provide new service to Alverno College.
      • The new Route 92 will provide an additional way to travel to and from the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center (MRMC).
  • Simpler routing and route names that are easier to understand
    • In Phase 3, this includes routes 60, 76, and 92.
    • For example:
      • The newly-modified Route 76 is named for the street that it primarily operates on (N. and S. 76th Street).
      • The new Route 60 is named for the street that it primarily operates on (N. and S. 60th Street).
      • The new Route 92 is named for the street that it primarily operates on (N. and S. 92nd Street). It will establish one simpler route along this corridor (instead of three routes today).
  • Faster trips thanks to properly-balanced bus stops
    • Bus stop balancing means shortening many riders’ travel times by removing some stops that are too close to each other, are not used often, or do not meet standards for being accessible to persons with disabilities.
    • In Phase 3, this includes routes 18, 22, 28, 54, 55, 56, 60, and 76.

To learn more about MCTS Next, click here.

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