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New proposed bus route would take riders from Oak Creek to Bayshore

The 18-mile route would make stops at Aurora St. Luke's and Northwestern Mutual's Franklin campus.
proposed bus route
Posted at 8:55 AM, Sep 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-16 09:55:11-04

MILWAUKEE — The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission has released a draft plan for a new bus route that would take riders from Oak Creek to Milwaukee.

According to a news release, the planning committee and Milwaukee County are finalizing a feasibility study which would be the first step toward establishing the new bus rapid transit route.

The nearly 18-mile route would stretch from the Northwestern Mutual Franklin campus all the way up to Bayshore. It would include stops at Aurora St. Luke's and the 30th Street Industrial Corridor.

Initial estimates for the proposed route show it could increase ridership by 45 to 60% on the PurpleLine.

"The effort would improve the rider experience for current transit users and attract new riders with faster travel times, greater reliability, modern battery electric buses, and amenities like high-quality shelters at stations and off-board ticketing," the planning commission stated in a news release.

The new route would cost approximately $148 million. However, the commission says about 80% of that is expected to be federally funded.

Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission is recommending that the route be made up of nearly 80% dedicated transit lanes, which they say would imp[rove reliability and would be around 15 minutes faster than the existing PurpleLine.

Stations would be located a quarter-mile to half-mile apart.

A news release states the new route would replace the existing PurpleLine but traditional MCTS bus routes would still serve many of the existing stops, and it would connect with the BRT service.

The commission also said the additional route would reduce reckless driving by introducing additional pedestrian safety measures, narrowing travel lanes, and using colored pavement and barriers to help prevent drivers from using the established transit lane.

The draft recommendation is available online, and there's a space to provide comments on the proposal. The commission will accept feedback until Oct. 2.

If approved, the service would begin in 2027 or 2028.

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