Graham Kilmer

Amazon Route a Success, MCTS Reports

Route to Amazon MKE2 facility providing an average of 100 riders per day.

By - Jul 9th, 2021 04:29 pm
MCTS Bus. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

MCTS Bus. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The Milwaukee County Transit System wants to continue operating a bus route to the Amazon facility in Oak Creek. A new report from the transit system indicates that the service is meeting ridership estimates that justify continuing to fund the route.

The Amazon MKE2 Fulfillment Center, 9700 S. 13th St., was first announced for Oak Creek in 2018. The following year, in an effort to connect Milwaukee residents with jobs, former County Executive Chris Abele included $100,000 in his 2020 budget proposal for a bus service running primarily through the city of Milwaukee and ending at the Amazon facility.

But the county board voted during the budget process to hold the money while MCTS investigated other ways to connect county residents to jobs through transit. The transit system returned with a report outlining some ways to use the funds to connect residents to jobs, but neither were as compelling for the board as the Amazon bus route, as supervisors ultimately approved the service.

MCTS worked with Amazon to develop the service so that it could serve four shifts, seven days a week at the fulfillment center, bringing residents to and from work. Dan Boehm, MCTS managing director, previously described it as “Two different trips in the morning. And then as you’re bringing some late night employees back into work, you would be taking those morning folks (back) home.”

Going north to south, Route 81 currently begins near N. 30th St. and W. Fond du Lac Ave. It runs along Fond du Lac to N. 6th St., then it runs along 6th St. to the far south side of the city of Milwaukee where it gets on I-43/94 to complete the trip to Amazon.

The route has been running since October 2020. However, some of the funding for the route in 2021 was held back, and its release was conditioned upon MCTS returning to the board in July with data on the ridership for the route.

MCTS is reporting that Route 81 sees approximately 100 riders per day, which is what the transit system was expecting. As of the end of June, the service had provided more than 13,000 rides between the city and the Amazon facility. This, MCTS said, translates to employees living in the city of Milwaukee using the service to get to and from work 6,500 times.

MCTS is asking the board to release the rest of the 2021 funding for route 81. It also said it will include funding for 2022 in its annual budget request.

2 thoughts on “Transportation: Amazon Route a Success, MCTS Reports”

  1. Mingus says:

    The business community is desperately looking for persons to fill jobs. Good public transportation in Southeast Wisconsin is needed to get people to the jobs that are open. Yet the Republicans in Madison whom the business community always supports continually refuses to adequately fund public transportation system in the region. Besides a dedicated bus line for Amazon, there could b one that could go all the way to Kenosha which make jobs available at the large number of mammoth fulfillment centers along I-94.

  2. GodzillakingMKE says:

    Support employment vs. Satisfying the White Supremacist base?

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