Jeramey Jannene

MCTS Updates RNC Bus Detours To Better Serve Downtown, Riders

The initial plan left a 1.4-mile gap between stops on many routes.

By - Jul 9th, 2024 04:53 pm
Revised Milwaukee County Transit System detours during the RNC. Image from MCTS.

Revised Milwaukee County Transit System detours during the RNC. Image from MCTS.

The initial detours released by the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) Monday for the Republican National Convention were a doozy.

Because of the system’s heavy downtown focus, and the convention’s large footprint on the west side of Downtown, detours included some bus routes going more than a mile off course and onto streets that don’t typically see buses.

Expect delays, said the transit system.

But buried in the detour announcement was an even more challenging factor: no temporary bus stops would be established.

“For safety reasons, riders are asked to go to an existing bus stop as there are no temporary stops,” said MCTS in a statement Monday.

The result would have been a 1.4-mile-long gap through the Historic Third Ward and East Town where riders would not have been able to get on or off a bus despite being many blocks from the convention.

While city officials have repeatedly said Downtown will be open for business during the convention, the county was poised to make it much harder for visitors and workers alike to get there.

But, after Urban Milwaukee inquired, MCTS is changing course and adding five temporary stops

The move will substantially reduce disruptions to riders of bus routes that utilize Water Street: the GreenLine, 15, 18 and 57.

Buses will be shifted two blocks east to N. Milwaukee Street, away from the convention, and temporary stops will be added at E. Chicago Street, E. St. Paul Avenue, E. Wisconsin Avenue and E. Kilbourn Avenue

The temporary stops will also serve routes 19, 34 and 80, which typically operate on N. 6th Street in Westown.

Same-stop transfers to east-west routes like Connect 1, 30 and 33 will be available from many of the temporary stops.

The initial plan would have had northbound riders unable to disembark anywhere north of S. 1st Street and W. Pittsburgh Avenue in Walker’s Point until reaching E. Juneau Avenue on the 15 or E. Pleasant on the GreenLine. The same situation would have played out in reverse heading southbound.

Because of the layout of the city’s freeways and rivers, and location of the RNC security fencing, bus riders and those using virtually any other form of transportation could still see notable delays in traversing Downtown.

MCTS remains uncertain when exactly the detours will begin. As fencing goes up, they may need to start as early as July 11. The detours will last through July 19, which covers the convention (July 15 to 18) and one day after.

The transit system will host two virtual question-and-answer sessions for the community on Wednesday to address questions about the detours.

The first session will occur from noon to 1 p.m., the second from 6 to 7 p.m. Registration is required.

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Categories: Transportation

One thought on “MCTS Updates RNC Bus Detours To Better Serve Downtown, Riders”

  1. 45 years in the City says:

    Thanks for being on top of this, UM!

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