New Milwaukee County Bus Rapid Transit project to begin in June; enhanced transit system will better connect Marquette with downtown, Regional Medical Center

Construction is set to begin next month on Wisconsin Avenue for the Milwaukee County Transit System’s new East-West Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service that will connect downtown Milwaukee to the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center in Wauwatosa. MCTS, which is fully funding and managing the project, anticipates it will be complete in October 2022.

UPDATED 5/28/21: The majority of the work done on Wisconsin Avenue within the campus area will take place from July through October 2022

The two existing MCTS stops on campus — at 12th and 16th streets and Wisconsin Avenue — will be converted to the new state-of-the-art platform stops, which will help improve pedestrian rights-of-way and campus aesthetics. Additionally, the stops will feature lane bump-outs that will improve pedestrian safety by helping to mitigate speeding on Wisconsin Avenue. Additional bump-outs will be installed on Wisconsin Avenue at 14th and 15th streets. There will be some lane closures as the Wisconsin Avenue work progresses. Watch Marquette Today for details.

The existing MCTS stop at 12th Street and Wisconsin Avenue will be converted to a state-of-the-art BRT platform stop.

The nine-mile East-West BRT will better connect major employment, education and recreation destinations through downtown Milwaukee, Marquette, the Near West Side, Wauwatosa and the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center. BRT passengers will enjoy more efficient, higher frequency service through battery-electric buses, dedicated bus lanes, traffic signal priority, off-board fare collection, optimized stop locations, state-of-the-art platforms that allow for easy boarding, and other amenities.

According to MCTS, the East-West BRT will average more than 9,500 weekday riders by 2035 and increase overall transit ridership in the corridor by 17 percent. Ridership will be fueled by activity generators within the half-mile station area around the preferred route including:

  • 9 colleges and universities, and 8 high schools
  • 47,000 residents
  • 120,000 jobs
  • 100+ businesses with 250 or more employees
  • 7 medical facilities
  • 25 hotels
  • Countless attractions including the county zoo, Miller Park, Milwaukee Bucks arena, art museum and Summerfest.

More information, including frequently asked questions, a route map and project renderings are available on the MCTS BRT project site.


Planned MCTS route changes
The BRT project will alter current transit routes, including those on Wisconsin Avenue that are used by members of the Marquette community. To help transit riders plan, the following is a breakdown of currently available routes and expected changes:

Current Wisconsin Avenue routes:

  • Routes 12, 14, 30, Blue and Gold

Wisconsin Avenue routes after June 6, 2021 (facilitated by MCTS):

  • Routes 14, 30, Blue and Gold
  • Route 12 will be off Wisconsin Avenue (via Wells Street between 12th and 6th Streets)

Wisconsin Avenue routes effective fall 2022 with the introduction of the BRT service:

  • BRT and Route 30
  • The Gold Line will be retired (replaced by BRT)
  • Route 14 and the Blue Line will move off Wisconsin Avenue (Iocation TBD)