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“Tough decisions:” 9 MCTS bus routes being eliminated due to budget cuts

MILWAUKEE -- Bus route cuts are coming to the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS). Nine routes are being eliminated this year due to cuts in the county's 2018 budget.

At the Milwaukee County Board's transportation meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 17, the impending bus route cuts were a concern for frequent riders.

"I'm out there every day. Matter of fact, I can call bus drivers by name," said one bus rider. "I'm only one part of the public, but I'm speaking for quite a few people."

Milwaukee County Transit System

The changes come as the country struggles with nearly $900,000 worth of cuts in the system's 2018 budget. It is a move that got the green light from the transportation board last year.

"As we look at a nearly million dollar cut, some tough decisions had to be made," said Brendan Conway, MCTS spokesman.

The nine routes in jeopardy are all considered low performing. They include:

  • 42U
  • 50
  • 85
  • 87
  • 88
  • 89
  • 219
  • 223
  • 276

"As opposed to cutting a route that serves thousands a day, these others serve very few people," Conway said.

Brendan Conway

The earliest any of the routes will be eliminated is mid-March.

"We're going to do our best to let people know what's going on," Conway said.

That means signs will go up soon at bus stops -- and audio messages will be played on the buses. Officials say they will work hard to let riders know of what is to come.

No bus drivers are expected to be laid off as a part of these changes.

Milwaukee County Transit System