MCTS Launches First BRT Line in Wisconsin


THE MILWAUKEE COUNTY TRANSIT System (MCTS) launched its CONNECT 1 service, Wisconsin’s first BRT line, with a recent ribbon-cutting event attended by federal, state and local public transportation champions.

The nine-mile service includes 33 well-lit stations, each with raised platforms and real-time arrival signage. Nova Bus LFSe+ battery-electric buses provide high-frequency, cleaner transportation and feature such amenities as on-board charging ports and stroller storage and bike racks on the front of the bus. Enhancements for riders with disabilities include wider doors, near-level boarding and ramps for mobility devices.

bus rapid transit bus stop

CONNECT 1 is predicted to average more than 9,500 weekday riders by 2035 and increase overall public transit ridership in the corridor by 17 percent. Ridership will be fueled by employers, tourism, learning institutions and medical systems within the half-mile station area around the route, including nine colleges and universities, 120,000 jobs, more than 100 businesses with 250 or more employees, seven medical facilities, 25 hotels and attractions including Summerfest, Milwaukee Public Library, Wisconsin State Fair Park and the Milwaukee County Zoo.

The $55.05 million project is made possible through an FTA Small Starts Grant Award of $40.9 million, $11.85 million in Milwaukee County dollars and $2.3 million in other federal funding sources.