East-West BRT Proposal Finding Little Resistance in Milwaukee

The proposed East-West Bus Rapid Transit project has already built the political support that doomed a previous attempt at light rail along the corridor.
June 8, 2016, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The Locally Preferred Alternative for East-West BRT routes and station locations, according to a recent feasibility study.

Bruce Murphy reports on a proposed bus rapid transit line in Milwaukee, on the "heavily trafficked, east-west corridor from downtown Milwaukee to Wauwatosa, parallel to I-94." According to Murphy, former Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist proposed a light rail line along the corridor, "but Waukesha County politicians adamantly and successfully opposed it."

"Now we have a proposal to create an nine-mile BRT or Bus Rapid Transit line," reports Murphy, "championed by Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, and the response is radically different, suggesting this proposal could succeed."

The article offers an introduction to the concept of Bus Rapid Transit, assuming there are readers in the Milwaukee area who might not be familiar with the quickly growing transit mode. Murphy also points to a model for the proposed Milwaukee line: the 7.1-mile Healthline in Cleveland, which opened in 2008 and "has generated $6.3 billion in new development along the line, including 7,200 housing units," according to Murphy.

The Milwaukee County Transit System has already completed a study of the proposed BRT route, plotting a potential 19 stops, daytime headways of ten minutes, and an estimated price tag of $42 million to $48 million.

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Published on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 in Urban Milwaukee
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