Graham Kilmer

Bus Capacity Increasing to 15

The social distancing precautions and mask-mandate remain.

By - Aug 13th, 2020 08:15 pm
MCTS Bus. Photo by Michael Horne.

MCTS Bus. Photo by Michael Horne.

Starting Friday, August 14, the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) is increasing the number of people that can ride a bus at once from 10 to 15.

In April, less than a month into the COVID-19 pandemic locally, MCTS announced they would limit bus passengers to no more than 10 per bus at any given time. At this time, mask wearing was not as common as it is today and the county was experiencing its peak in COVID-19 deaths.

When the bus capacity goes up to 15, all of the precautions that have been in place for the past five months will remain. 

The system still asks that its passengers stagger bus seats, to keep a safe distance. If you’re sick, please stay home, MTCS says. And please wear a mask, and if you don’t have one MCTS will provide you with one. Use contactless payment, like the MCARD, if you can. And enter through the front door and exit through the back door. 

MCTS has also recently started putting hand sanitizer on the buses, according to a press release. Though not all of them have it at this point. Bus operators have gloves and cleaning supplies and clean their area throughout the day.

MCTS estimates that approximately 80 percent of bus passengers have been wearing masks since the transit system’s mask-mandate went into effect on August 1, and the buses started offering free masks to passengers. “Just weeks ago,” MCTS said, mask wearing was estimated at about 30 percent.

Increasing bus capacity, MCTS said, is in line with phased reopening happening in municipalities around the county, which are permitting gatherings to increase in size. That and the increase in mask wearing.

The increased capacity will likely lead to shorter waiting periods at the bus stop. For the past five months, buses wouldn’t make a stop unless they had less than 10 people on them.

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