Milwaukee County Transit System

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Milwaukee County Transit System
MCTS.png
ParentMilwaukee County Government
FoundedJune 1, 1975
Headquarters1942 North 17th St.Coordinates: 43°03′18.5″N 87°55′59″W / 43.055139°N 87.93306°W / 43.055139; -87.93306
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Service areaMilwaukee, Ozaukee and Waukesha counties
Service typebus service
Routes50
HubsDowntown Transit Center (Wisconsin Ave)
StationsKinnicknnic Ave Garage North 17 Street Garage
Fleet416 buses
Daily ridership151,000
(2011 avg. weekday)[1]
Fuel typeDiesel
OperatorMilwaukee Transport Services, Inc.
Websiteridemcts.com
 
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Milwaukee County Transit System
MCTS.png
ParentMilwaukee County Government
FoundedJune 1, 1975
Headquarters1942 North 17th St.Coordinates: 43°03′18.5″N 87°55′59″W / 43.055139°N 87.93306°W / 43.055139; -87.93306
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Service areaMilwaukee, Ozaukee and Waukesha counties
Service typebus service
Routes50
HubsDowntown Transit Center (Wisconsin Ave)
StationsKinnicknnic Ave Garage North 17 Street Garage
Fleet416 buses
Daily ridership151,000
(2011 avg. weekday)[1]
Fuel typeDiesel
OperatorMilwaukee Transport Services, Inc.
Websiteridemcts.com

The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) is the largest transit agency in Wisconsin, and is the primary transit provider for Milwaukee County. It ranks among the top 50 transit agencies in the United States for total passenger trips.[2] The county-run agency was formed in 1975 after it took over the assets of the Milwaukee & Suburban Transport Company, a private operator. Milwaukee Transport Service, Inc. (MTS)is the current operator of the system. Its contract with Milwaukee County was extended for one year and will continue to operate MCTS through 2014.[3]

Bus fleet[edit]

MCTS bus 4413, a 2001 New Flyer D40LF

MCTS operates a fleet of over 400 New Flyer low floor buses. All 40 feet (12 m) long

Fleet numbers[edit]

Active[edit]

NumbersBuilderModelDelivered
Notes
4600-4639New FlyerD40LF2002A few still in service.
4700-4750New FlyerD40LF2003
4800-4829New FlyerD40LF2004
4900-4914New FlyerD40LFlate 2004officially “2005” as that is when they were paid for; a future purchase for 15 more buses (4915-4929) were canceled due to cuts.
5000-5008New FlyerD40LFJanuary 2006A future purchase for 23 buses (5009-5031) were canceled due to cuts.
5100-5189New FlyerD40LFRJuly 2010first to feature near-zero emissions
5200-5234New FlyerD40LFRMay 2011
5300-5354New FlyerD40LFR2012
5400-5454New FlyerXcelsior2013Clean air buses; first fleet in MCTS' history to feature rear destination signs on the back of the bus
5500-5534New FlyerXcelsior2014Clean air buses

Retired[edit]

NumbersBuilderModelDeliveredWithdrawn
Notes
Pre-MCTS (ex Transport Co. fleet)
1320-1483GMCTDH-51051953-1957 & 195919801329 & 1343 painted in UWM black & metallic gold in 1975;

1335, 1336, 1339, 1406, 1411, 1415, 1421, 1428, 1430, 1432, 1446 & 1456 painted in two-tone county green in late 1975/early 1976. (All were painted for WTMJ Ch. 4 except 1456)

1466, 1467, 1470, 1473, 1474, 1477, 1479, 1481, 1482 & 1483 painted in dark green and white for Downtown ShuttleBug (Route 7) in 1975.

1484-1503GMCTDH-530119601985
1504-1586GMCTDH-530119621985
1601-1675GMCTDH-530319631986
1701-1730GMCTDH-530319641986
1751-1760GMCTDH-530119601985Originally operated by Triboro Coach and acquired in early 1965
1761-1770GMCTDH-530219601985Originally operated by Triboro Coach and acquired in early 1965;

1761 and 1762 were used as sightseeing buses and can be distinguished by their scenic windows.

1761 used at Mitchell Field (1982-1990)

1801-1863GMCTDH-530319651987Were in the plan to be rehabilitated and later dropped.
1901-1960GMCTDH-530319662001Refurbished in 1982-1987 and repainted into MCTS' white with green stripe except 1911 and 1945, retired early and not rehabilitated.
2001-2030GMCTDH-530319672001Refurbished in 1982-1987 and repainted into MCTS colors except 2024, retired early and not rehabilitated;

2001 was converted into a special bus that was used for handicapped and elderly use (1979-1994);

2003 was used as a shuttle at Mitchell International Airport (1996-1998).

Post-MCTS (1975 to present)
3000-3099Flxible53102-8-119781991First order to feature handicapped seating and lifts and first with air conditioning; introduced MCTS' new color scheme.

3032 used at Mitchell International Airport (1990-1996).

3100-3249GMCRTS-II19802000First group to display route numbers on right end rear windows. Refurbished in 1987-1990 to add new vertically opening windows and new air conditioning units.
3300-3325NeoplanN4161982199640-ft. Ordered with wheelchair lifts which were removed before entering service. Only 76 of this model built, only MCTS & Atlanta (MARTA) had them plus one demo.
3326-3343NeoplanN4161982199135-ft. Only 18 built and for MCTS. 3334 used at Milwaukee County House of Correction as C3334 (1993-1996).
3400–3439Crown-Ikarus2861984[4]200060-foot articulated buses
3500-3571NeoplanAN4401985-19862002Second generation; non-wheelchair
3600-3656NeoplanAN44019872002Third generation: longer wheelbase moved rear axle further away from exit door; non-wheelchair.
3700-3816Orion05.5011990-199120043700-3801 was the last order without wheelchair lifts; 3802-3816 were assigned to the Metrolink route and were identified by an orange stripe adjacent to MCTS's green; wheelchair lifts; last buses to display route destination numbers on right side rear windows.
4000-4145New FlyerD40LF1996-19972011A number placed in storage from mid 2009 to early 2010 due to cuts
4200-4208New FlyerD30LF19972010Placed in storage in 2008 due to cuts
4300-4389New FlyerD40LF20002014
4400-4468New FlyerD40LF200120144418 was the only bus in MCTS' history in which a homicide took place on board.[5]
4500-4519New FlyerD30LF20022012
3900-3911GilligSpirit19912001First used on light routes in 1991. MetroLink orange stripe added in 1992 and used primarily on feeder routes that connected to the Metrolink Route 1.

Very few systems had these mini-buses such as Dayton RTA, Monterey-Salinas, Colorado Springs and others.

1000-1004GilligAdvantage20022014Used exclusively for Ozaukee County service. Officially retired on June 8, 2014, with 4 examples of this series being purchased by Wausau Transit System to replace buses that had structural problems. Bus 1004 has been out of service before the retirement due to transmission problems

Relationship with New Flyer[edit]

MCTS has had a very long and exclusive relationship with New Flyer since 1996, as their buses have all been first and second generation D40LFs.[6][7] In Summer 2013 MCTS added 90 New Flyer Excelsiors to its lineup, thus continuing their partnership with NFI as their coach of choice.[8] On October 6, 2014, a Release of Request for Proposal for 75 new buses by the Milwaukee Transport Services, Inc., (MTS), was issued. An award on this contract is expected to be issued on December 30, 2014. The order calls for 75 new buses to be delivered within a 3 year delivery span that begins in 2015 and ending in 2017

Bus routes[edit]

Most of the year, MCTS operates more than 50 bus routes covering about 90% of Milwaukee County and parts of Waukesha County and Ozaukee County. In addition, special routes are run for certain festivals, sports games, and other special events. 3 New MetroEXpress routes, a new Industrial Express to Germantown and local route service changes are to be implemented beginning Sunday January 18, 2015

Fares[edit]

As of September 2013, the adult, regular, non-discounted bus fare on MCTS is $2.25. 10 pack tickets or a weekly pass can be purchased for $17.50. A monthly pass is $64. Free transfers are given within 1 hour of paying fare.[9]

In 2013, MCTS finalized plans for a transition from paper fare media (tickets, printed passes, and paper transfers) to a contactless smart card known as the M-Card, with the project completion by the end of 2014.[10] While exact fares will still be accepted in cash, the M-Card allows passengers to add daily, weekly, and monthly passes, store a declining value, and receive transfers automatically. The transition into the M-Card Smartcard System began on Monday September 29, 2014, with the new M-Cards being sold at select retail locations throughout the Metro-Milwaukee area. The transition into the M-Card is expected to be completed by January 2015 (or the 1st quarter of 2015), with paper passes, tickets and transfers fully becoming integrated into the M-Card fare media.[11] The new fare system was funded predominantly by federal stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Other transit services[edit]

MCTS is a partner in the Southeast Wisconsin Transit System, a joint-venture transit partnership that also includes Waukesha Metro Transit and Wisconsin Coach Lines in Waukesha, Washington County Commuter Express operated by Riteway Bus Service in Richfield, Belle Urban System (THE BUS) in Racine and Kenosha Area Transit (KAT) in Kenosha.

Other projects[edit]

Milwaukee Streetcar[edit]

MCTS is currently involved in the Milwaukee Streetcar project, which is planning a streetcar line between Milwaukee's downtown and East Side neighborhoods. The streetcar project is being led by the city of Milwaukee after the failure of earlier guided bus and BRT proposals to gain political approval. The City Council approved the project on July 26, 2011, with construction to begin in the fall of 2012, and new streetcars to arrive in 2015. The service is scheduled for a 2016 launch.[12]

Regional Transit Authority[edit]

In 2010, a proposal to form a regional transit authority that would incorporate MCTS was made in the Wisconsin State Legislature. The move faced opposition from some lawmakers, and was vetoed by then Governor Doyle.[13]

References[edit]

External links[edit]