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Picking Up the Pace

This report explores common strategies that transit systems around the country have utilized to enhance the speed and efficiency of their bus services, and considers their potential for implementation in the Milwaukee area. These strategies may hold promise to improve transit connections for the regional workforce and enhance its appeal to the general population, including those who currently do not use transit. Major sources for our analysis include research conducted by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies and conversations with transit system planners from around the country.

With 17 different bus routes currently using portions of Wisconsin Avenue, and with several years of I-94 highway reconstruction approaching, the east-west corridor may be the ideal place to consider this range of possible bus system enhancements in Milwaukee. A few options include:

  • Small Modification: Buses could be equipped with transit signal priority technology, which would allow buses to trigger green lights at busy intersections.
  • Larger Modification: Dedicated bus-only lanes could be introduced, and bus-only shoulders that already exist in Waukesha County could be extended into Milwaukee County.
  • Major Improvement: BRT could be added to the east-west corridor, providing faster service to the region's two largest employment centers - downtown Milwaukee and the Regional Medical Center in Wauwatosa.

Executive Summary | Full Report | Video Blog | Press Release

Related Blog Posts

UWM students add vision to BRT planning efforts
December 16, 2015

Pressing Pause on Transit Improvements in the East-West Corridor
October 22, 2015

Coordination Key to Bus System Improvements 
July 24, 2015

Forum Transit Research Triggers County Action on BRT 
June 4, 2015

Midwest cities tapping into federal support for BRT 
May 6, 2015

Speeding Up Bus Services in the Milwaukee Area 
March 2, 2015


Media Coverage

"Officials: Bus rapid transit route would attract new riders"
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Bus rapid transit planning switches into high gear in hopes of securing grant money"
Milwaukee Business Journal

"Officials to fast track bus rapid transit plan in funding quest"
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Study: Bus rapid transit to medical center has benefits"
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Bus rapid transit is still an idea worth exploring"
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Barrett, Ehley back Milwaukee-Wauwatosa bus rapid transit line"
Milwaukee Business Journal

"Abele proposes bus rapid transit service for county"
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Wheels on the Bus"
Milwaukee Magazine

"Don't forget about the bus system"
Milwaukee Business Journal

"Getting to suburban jobs remains a challenge for city workers"
Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

"Improving bus service can help roads, economy and commuters"
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Milwaukee County Transit Report, Sustainability Summit, Precious Lives"
WUWM Lake Effect

"Report gives strategies for speeding Milwaukee County bus routes"
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Rapid transit bus line in Milwaukee could compete with car travel, report says"
Milwaukee Business Journal

"Buses have important place in Milwaukee's transportation debate
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel