Bus Rapid Transit Expected by 2021
9-mile line, $54 million project by Milwaukee County mostly funded by federal grant.
A nine-mile-long, bus rapid transit (BRT) line will likely be up and running in Milwaukee County by 2021.
Planners expect to finish design and engineering for the line by late fall to early winter of this year on the $54 million project. Construction is projected to begin in Spring 2020.
The line will run east to west from downtown Milwaukee along Wisconsin Ave. out to Wauwatosa, then along Bluemound Rd., eventually turning north at 95th St. and then west again once it connects with Watertown Plank Rd., where it will have a connection at the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center. More than 50 percent of the line will have a dedicated lane just for the BRT vehicles.
It is expected that the project will be financed mostly through a grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The project was included in the federal budget signed in March and has been assigned a project consultant by the FTA.
The cost to operate the line is equivalent to roughly 1 percent of MCTS’ annual budget. Meyers said, though, that the line should add efficiency to the entire system. The grant, if realized, will also supply funds for off-board fare boxes at bus stops.
The idea behind BRT is a high frequency line that provides shorter travel times and has connections to a number of the county’s heavily used bus lines. This sort of high frequency service is expected to induce gains in ridership. The corridor the BRT line will serve has a population of more than 69,000, many of whom need public transit: an estimated 21 percent of the households don’t own a car, 37 percent are minority and 23 percent live below the poverty level.
BRT is being implemented by cities all over the United States, and Milwaukee County Transit System officials have said Milwaukee is falling behind in this regard. “This project is a great opportunity to catch up to our peers,” Booth said.
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- Transportation: Trump Announces Funding for Milwaukee Bus Rapid Transit Line - Jeramey Jannene - May 28th, 2020
- Transportation: Committee Approves City BRT Agreement - Jeramey Jannene - Oct 23rd, 2019
- Transportation: Bus Rapid Transit Expected by 2021 - Graham Kilmer - Jul 12th, 2019
- East-West Bus Rapid Transit Project Receives Milestone Federal Approval - Milwaukee County Transit System - Nov 30th, 2018
- MCTS Submits Updated Application for Bus Rapid Transit Funding - Milwaukee County Transit System - Sep 8th, 2017
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Council Approves BRT Route Restrictions - Jeramey Jannene - Aug 1st, 2017
- Council approves amended bus rapid transit resolution - Ald. Michael Murphy - Jul 31st, 2017
- Eyes on Milwaukee: City Fighting County on Rapid Transit - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 19th, 2017
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Give Your Input on BRT Project - Jeramey Jannene - Jun 7th, 2017
- Plenty of Horne: $2 Million BRT Study Underway - Michael Horne - Feb 6th, 2017
Read more about East-West BRT Line here