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MCTS releases proposed transit budget, outlines ending several routes

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Milwaukee County Transit System is proposing cutting more than a dozen bus routes as a way to balance their budget.

MCTS officials say no employees would be laid off as a result of the proposed budget and that if approved by the County Board, 97% of ridership would not be impacted. 

The routes MCTS is proposing to cut include:

  • 6 Freeway Flyer routes - 40, 43, 44, 46, 48, 49
  • 4 UBUS Routes - 40U, 42U, 44U, 49U
  • 5 Shuttles - 17, 137, 219, 223, 276
  • Route 52 Clement - 15th Avenue
  • Route 55 Layton Avenue: would no longer have service west of S.76th Street
  • Route 80 6th Street: would no longer have service south of MATC South Campus

MCTS is also proposing cutting seasonal bus lines to save money which would include services to Brewers games, Summerfest, State Fair, and ethnic festivals. 

MCTS officials are pushing for an initiative called Fair Deal for Milwaukee County that would be a partnership between local and state government. They say they need more funding from the state to keep the transit system strong. 

A spokesperson says they did everything they could to lessen the impact for drivers. 

"You can see that we really worked hard to keep the core of the system intact and that's really important for any transit system, but it's just critical that Milwaukee has as strong of a transit system. So, our planning department took a lot of time and effort into analyzing data while looking at ridership numbers, ridership trends, how people connect to other bus routes, one bus route to another, and came up with these proposals," says MCTS Spokesperson Matt Sliker. 

The budget will be finalized at the end of October. 

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – The Milwaukee County Transit System released its 2020 proposed transit budget.

The proposed budget includes cutting several bus routes that MCTS says wouldn’t impact 97 percent of annual ridership.

The routes include:

  • 6 Freeway Flyer routes - 40, 43, 44, 46, 48, 49
  • 4 UBUS Routes - 40U, 42U, 44U, 49U
  • 5 Shuttles - 17, 137, 219, 223, 276
  • Route 52 Clement - 15th Avenue
  • Route 55 Layton Avenue: would no longer have service west of S.76th Street
  • Route 80 6th Street: would no longer have service south of MATC South Campus

The following seasonal routes would also be cut in the proposed budget:

  • Brewers Line buses for Miller Park
  • Wisconsin Avenue Downtown shuttles for ethnic festivals and Summerfest
  • Freeway Flyer service for Summerfest may also be impacted
  • Freeway Flyers for German Fest, Irish Fest and Festa Italiana
  • Shuttle and Freeway Flyer services for Wisconsin State Fair

MCTS says the proposed changes are needed to bring expenses down. Residents are encouraged to voice their concerns at upcoming budget engagement sessions. A list of those meetings can be found on Milwaukee County’s website.

More information on the proposed budget can be found on the MCTS website.

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2 Comments

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josephtklein 120 days ago
The streetcar is not funded or operated by Milwaukee County, but by the City of Milwaukee.

In a time when we all should be concerned about androgenic climate change, cutting transit seems exceedingly short-sighted and foolish.
KathyLock 121 days ago
Clearly, the county is not dedicated to providing bus service for the citizens of Milwaukee County, but they want to spend more on the streetcar to no where. For our elected officials, it's all about downtown, and what's good for tourism, everyone and every place else is an afterthought. Bus drivers have been working without a contract of over a year now, my guess is that this outrageous budget cutting layout, is meant to send a message that, they can't afford to give the drivers a decent contract. Personally, I think a bus strike is way over due.
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