September 21, 2023

New Bus Speedy Transit line gives 16,800 rides throughout first week

One of many new all-electric, CONNECT 1 buses prepares to select up eastbound riders at North twenty seventh Avenue and West Wisconsin Avenue. (Cara Spoto/BizTimes)

The Milwaukee County Transit System’s new East-West Bus Speedy Transit line (BRT) supplied 16,800 rides throughout its first week of service, in response to ridership figures launched Wednesday by MCTS.

Known as CONNECT 1, the brand new route replaces the standard MCTS Gold Line, that beforehand related the Milwaukee Regional Medical Heart (MRMC) and Wauwatosa to downtown Milwaukee, with a streamlined route that has fewer stops and a devoted bus lane aimed toward shifting passengers alongside the busy hall sooner.

Service launched on Sunday, June 4, and the ridership figures replicate the variety of rides supplied to individuals from June 4 by way of June 10. Rides on the route are at the moment free to all passengers, due to an settlement with Umo Mobility, the MCTS new ridership app supplier. Rides on the road will stay free till Sept. 30, below the partnership.

Planning for the BRT route, which concerned capital enhancements topping $55 million, started again in 2016.

“We’re thrilled with the early outcomes on CONNECT and recognize all the optimistic feedback we’ve obtained about our new BRT line,” mentioned MCTS president and managing ddirector Denise Wandke. “Thanks exit to all our supporters who’ve championed this challenge: elected officers, enterprise leaders, transit advocates, and our devoted riders.”

The highest CONNECT 1 locations throughout the 9-mile route are downtown Milwaukee, Marquette College and the Milwaukee Regional Medical Heart. The most well-liked station is at Water Avenue, with 300 rides a day.

Ridership numbers from CONNECT 1’s first week additionally present that passengers are profiting from the connection to Waukesha’s Metro Route 1 to entry jobs and companies in Waukesha County. Metro 1 ridership has elevated from roughly 300 rides per day to 700, in response to MCTS.

The BRT achieves sooner journey time by eradicating the types of issues that may sluggish buses down. As a substitute of stopping each quarter mile, like numerous buses, the BRT stops each half mile. Relatively than stopping on the farebox to pay a fare or present a bus driver a cross, riders pay for his or her tickets at a ticketing machine at one of many BRT’s 33 new stations or use the MCTS app, WisGo.

Having a marked, and devoted bus lane throughout half of the nine-mile route, additionally helps to hurry issues up by taking the bus out of combined visitors for a very good chunk of the experience. Though MCTS buses have all the time traveled within the far-right lane. These lanes at the moment are marked as “bus solely” all through a lot of the route’s Milwaukee portion.