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How it works: MCTS shows off Bucks pride on 400 buses

Posted at 6:27 AM, May 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-15 08:38:40-04

Throughout the NBA Playoffs, Milwaukee County Transit System buses have displayed a special "Go Bucks! Fear the Deer!" message that flashes on the various digital screens all over the vehicles.

TODAY'S TMJ4 sought to find out how MCTS workers manage to get the custom message installed on all 400 or so buses that make up the county's fleet.

Andy Tillman, transit planner II, said the process begins when the MCTS marketing department approaches him with a message.

Tillman then creates the message on his computer.

He'll often resize the same message several times to fit the various screens mounted on different MCTS buses.

"We're usually limited by characters, and by how many numbers and letters we can fit onto each one," he said.

"So we can play with each message until it fits the way we want it," Tillman said.

Once the message is created, it's saved and sent over to an office where MCTS workers install it onto a hard drive or flash drive.

From there, employees spend a night using the drive to update the messaging software on all MCTS buses.

"They come in wearing Bucks jerseys, and every time they see that 'Fear the Deer' they give me a thumbs-up." — MCTS driver Ernie Vinson

"They work all night on that," Tillman said.

Ernie Vinson, an MCTS driver, said he can manually turn the message on and off with the flip of a switch.

According to Vinson, riders regularly show their excitement for the team, and he thinks they appreciate the "Go Bucks!" message displayed on his bus.

"They come in wearing Bucks jerseys, and every time they see that 'Fear the Deer' they give me a thumbs-up," Vinson said.