“They’re checking in:” Milwaukee County Park and Ride lots add extra security during Summerfest

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MILWAUKEE COUNTY -- Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) provided at least 32,000 rides to Summerfest on Wednesday, June 29th. That meant a lot of vehicles potentially sitting at a Park and Ride lot at some point during the day. That can sometimes present a problem.MCTS

There are 11 Park and Ride lots in Milwaukee County. MCTS buses pick people up every 30 minutes.

Officials say while you're off enjoying yourself at the Big Gig, your car just sits in the lot for hours -- which can sometimes be a recipe for disaster.

"If you're parking outside those assigned parking stalls, we are ticketing and towing," said Captain Mike Bolender with the Oak Creek Police Department.park and ride

That means some people came back Wednesday night to the Ryan Road Park and Ride to find their car gone, a bill for a minimum of $85-$125 for a tow, and a $90 ticket.

"If someone has a medical condition, or if there's a vehicle that has a vehicle fire or something, we need to get fire and police as well as an ambulance into these spaces," said Captain Bolender.park and ride

"In past years, we've actually come here and it was completely full -- so we just went to the next one and found a spot. We never thought of parking illegally and I'm glad we didn't because we don't want the ticket," said Patty Berghauer.

Some MCTS Freeway Flyer users are happy to see the police patrolling these lots.

"I think that's great they're checking in on our property and our safety," said Kari Berkeri.park and ride

When it comes to potential thefts from vehicles parked in Park and Ride lots -- officials say there's something simple you can do to protect yourself. Keep a clean car.

"We definitely try not to leave things in sight of value, or we just don't bring them here. Makes sense to leave them at home," said Jeff Berghauer.

Oak Creek police advise if you park at night, park near or under a light and in a spot that's visible from the road.

Milwaukee police say there were no reports of break-ins or vandalism at any Park and Rides in their area Wednesday night.police

MTCS also has at least three employees on site at these Park and Ride lots while the buses run.