Milwaukee County Transit Faces Budget Shortfall

The agency is pressing ahead with the redesign of its bus system, which has led to a 15 percent increase in ridership since its launch, but ridership remains well below pre-pandemic levels.

1 minute read

June 16, 2022, 7:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Milwaukee Transit

(vincent desjardins) / Flickr

Madeline Fox of Wisconsin Public Radio reports on the state of Wisconsin’s transit agencies, which, like others around the country, continue to struggle to adapt to the dramatic changes in ridership and travel patterns that occured over the last two years. 

Despite budget deficits—“The Milwaukee County Transit System is expecting a $32.8 million budget deficit by 2025”—the agency is moving forward with its redesign plans. “The county transit system is nearly a year into its MCTS Next redesign, which includes making 60 percent of buses arrive at least every 15 minutes during service hours, up from 40 percent. The system removed some stops that were close together, shortening some routes while extending others.”

Today, the agency is seeing roughly 60 percent of pre-pandemic ridership. “Winter said Milwaukee is continuing to tweak its routes in response to rider and driver feedback — it's made sure all the bus drivers' routes have bathrooms they can access, for example.”

Tuesday, June 14, 2022 in Wisconsin Public Radio

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