MCTS Submits Updated Application for Bus Rapid Transit Funding
East-West BRT Route could save riders more than 60 hours on their commute each year
Milwaukee County and MCTS submitted an updated grant to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) this week for funding for the East-West Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project. The nine-mile regional BRT will run from Milwaukee’s lakefront to Wauwatosa. The route connects major employment, education and recreation destinations through downtown Milwaukee, Marquette University, Milwaukee’s Near West Side, Wauwatosa and the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center. This first-of-its-kind project in Wisconsin will provide improved access to the region’s most vital, most traveled and most congested corridor.
After receiving input at more than 60 public meetings, outreach events and stakeholder gatherings, the final route features dedicated bus-only lanes along 53% of the route, with up to 19 stations for riders to access the BRT and connections to and from more than a dozen other MCTS routes.
This service is expected to save up to 16 minutes a day for riders taking the bus roundtrip, that’s a 20% time savings compared to current MCTS service. Thanks to BRT, riders traveling the full corridor could save more than 60 hours on their commute each year!
With the increased speed and reliability, comes more transit users. More than 9,500 riders are projected to use the East-West BRT every week day by 2035, a 31% increase over current bus service. Similar systems have seen ridership increase more than 40%.
“Milwaukee is home to world-class education opportunities, cutting edge technology and research, numerous fortune 500 companies, a thriving arts and culture scene, second to none professional sports teams and the World’s Largest Music Festival – yet we are one of few metro areas with over 1 million residents in the U.S. without an enhanced transit system. This project will change that,” said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. “The East-West BRT will get more people to work and school than ever before. This route will improve service for riders that rely on the bus while getting people out of the cars and onto transit. The BRT will cut congestion on the roads and spark economic development from end to end. Milwaukee is a world-class city that deserves a world-class transit system.”
Not only will the East-West BRT increase transit usage and cut down on congestion on the roads, it will also better serve current riders along the corridor by reducing the time they spend riding the bus while increasing their access to jobs, school, shopping and recreational activities.
The BRT capital cost is estimated at $50 million. The financial plan for the project anticipates the capital cost will be funded up to 80 percent through the federal Small Starts program and other funding, with 20 percent funded at the County level. Funding for the day to day operation of the East-West BRT will be part of the existing MCTS budget.
Project construction will start in 2019 with full service beginning in 2021.
East-West BRT the Numbers
- Length – 9 Miles Long
- Stops – Up to 19 Stations
- Frequency – Every 10 minutes 6am to 6pm, 20 to 30 minutes early, late and weekends
- Time Savings – Up to 16-minutes roundtrip each day
- Ridership – 9,500 daily riders
- Along the route
- 47,000 residents
- 120,000 jobs
- 9 colleges and universities
- 7 medical facilities
More about the East-West BRT Line
- 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
- Quito’s BRT, a Model for Milwaukee? - Ken Smith - Nov 14th, 2016
- Eyes on Milwaukee: City Approves Bus Rapid Transit - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 26th, 2016
- Eyes on Milwaukee: City Panel Approves Bus Rapid Transit - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 13th, 2016
- Murphy’s Law: Does Anyone Oppose Bus Rapid Transit? - Bruce Murphy - Jun 7th, 2016
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Bus Rapid Transit Meetings This Week - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 12th, 2016
- County Plans for Bus Rapid Transit - Matthew Wisla - Jan 16th, 2016
Mentioned in This Press Release
Recent Press Releases by Milwaukee County Transit System
Natalie Barnes made international headlines in November when a MCTS Excellence video went viral, showing her taking extraordinary steps to help a homeless man.
East-West BRT will be the first rapid transit corridor in the region, providing a “central spine” for MCTS and paving the way for future rapid transit corridors.