Letters sent out: End of free rides with Milwaukee County Transit System

MILWAUKEE — Officials with the Milwaukee County Transit System say more than 26,000 letters are being sent out this week to people with GO Pass cards informing them of updates to the program, including the end of free rides.

These changes will support the viability of the GO Pass program while also helping to increase the sustainability of the transit system.

In the two years since the GO Pass was launched, more than 13.5 million free rides have been given. By the time all the changes are implemented, an estimated 15 million rides will have been given.

The changes to the GO Pass Program were approved in the 2017 Milwaukee County Budget. The changes are being rolled out in stages:

  • A $5 card fee for all new recipients
    • Began January 17, 2017
  • Financial means test that ensures people who need help the most receive it
    • On June 12, 2017, riders who do not meet the requirements will have their cards turned off
  • A $1 per day fare for eligible GO Pass riders
    • Beginning June 26, 2017
  • Administration of the GO Pass program (i.e. issuing new and replacement GO Pass cards) changes hands from the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) administration to the Milwaukee County Aging and Disability Resource Centers (1220 W Vliet St, 3rd floor)
    • Beginning June 26, 2017

Officials with MCTS say the changes taking place end the free rides but still provide a discount on riding MCTS to people who meet one of the following conditions:

  • Must live in Milwaukee County
  • Must be over the age of 65 and currently receiving Medicaid or FoodShare benefits; or
  • For residents under 65:
    • Must be receiving Social Security income through SSI or SSDI, or have a Veterans Disability designation; and
    • Must receive Medicaid benefits or FoodShare benefits.

Riders who do not qualify for the GO Pass may be eligible for the MCTS reduced fare of $1.10 a ride, $2 for a 1-Day Pass, or $32 for a 31-Day Pass. Riders can visit RideMCTS.com for fare outlet locations and to see all the eligible fares.