Milwaukee BRT Proves Popular With Riders

The newly opened line is already reaching pre-pandemic ridership levels.

1 minute read

June 22, 2023, 8:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Blue electric MCTS bus sits at a charging station

Milwaukee County Transit System / MCTS bus

Milwaukee’s newest bus rapid transit (BRT) line is bringing transit riders back to the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS), reports Graham Kilmer in Urban Milwaukee, with an average of 2,800 riders per day—slightly more than 2019 ridership on the same corridor, pre-BRT.

Achieving pre-pandemic ridership levels is an achievement for any transit agency, as numbers continue to stagnate on many of the nation’s biggest systems. “Since MCTS began designing the new service it has estimated that by 2035 Connect 1 will average approximately 9,500 riders a day.”

Kilmer adds that “Since launching, the top destinations along the Connect 1 have been Downtown Milwaukee (700 rides per day), Marquette University (500 rides per day) and the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center (200 rides per day).” Connect 1 is also the first line in the system to use Battery Electric Buses (BEB), with “clean-diesels” serving as backup for peak times.

Rides on Connect 1 are free through the end of September.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023 in Urban Milwaukee

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