By Autumn Misko, Resource Specialist
This year Milwaukee County faced another difficult budget process, and it appeared that the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) would need to reduce its fixed route bus service by 12 percent. Thanks to the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program funds, MCTS was able to avert such drastic cuts, at least for 2012. Despite this, there will still be many changes to the fixed route service as well as a fare increase for Transit Plus.
There is a fare increase for Transit Plus from $3.25 to $4.00 which will go into effect on January 1, 2012. Transit Plus will still accept the $3.25 tickets from people who have them, and will not be charging the extra $0.75. If the rider does not have one of the $3.25 tickets, they must pay the full $4.00 or purchase tickets for $4.00. Van drivers and taxicab drivers are instructed to take the $3.25 tickets and not to charge riders more if they present these tickets.
There is also a fare increase for the Commuter Value Pass from $196.00 to $201.00 each quarter which will also go into effect on January 1, 2012.
Bus Schedule Changes
Milwaukee County bus schedule changes will go into effect on Sunday, January 29, 2012. Schedules will be available on the MCTS website (www.ridemcts.com) on January 12. The printed schedules will be available by January 25.
There will be temporary signs posted in early January for bus stops that are being eliminated. For all other changes, the special issue of Bus Lines and route guides should be reviewed. MCTS Customer Service can also be contacted at (414) 344-6711 V/Relay with questions. Since there are many bus stops changing, MCTS is unable to put temporary signs at all stops.
The names of the new MetroExpress buses are RedLine (Capitol Drive), BlueLine (Fond du Lac – National), and GreenLine (Bayshore – Airport). The express service will have fewer stops as compared to the local service. According to MCTS, the stops are spaced 1/2 mile apart on the express service routes when there are other buses serving the routes and 1/4 mile apart when there are not other buses serving the routes. The local service that is not express has stops located about every 1/8 of a mile.
There will be changes to existing routes to avoid duplication of the new express routes or as a result of budget constraints. Please use the Milwaukee County Transit website to learn about these changes: www.ridemcts.com.