Transportation Day of Action: I-94 Expansion

The transportation budget has been one of the most contentious debates in this year’s state budget, and as you may have seen, the Joint Finance Committee is meeting again and has started to move this budget forward. They will be taking up transportation on next Tuesday, September 5.

That means today is our last chance to stop I-94 from being green-lit and another $1 billion of our transportation funding being spent on an unnecessary highway instead of our more important needs!

We are asking you to take action today, and our friends at the Sierra Club made it easy for you by putting together an action toolkit. All you have to do is click this link and participate in one or more possible actions in the toolkit!

Let’s demonstrate the importance of transit and our local roads rather than massive highway projects!

Take Action

East-West Bus Rapid Transit Public Open House on May 18 from 5-7PM


Milwaukee County is studying a new East-West Bus Rapid Transit line, or BRT, in the region’s  busiest, most congested corridor, connecting the region’s top job centers:  Downtown Milwaukee and Lakefront, Near West Side, and the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center in Wauwatosa, and all the neighborhoods in between.

Attend the East-West Bus Rapid Transit Public Open House on May 18, 2016 from 5-7PM

The meeting will be in an open house format, with exhibits and maps displaying the latest study information including alternatives under consideration, conceptual costs, benefits and potential impacts.

May 18, 2016  5:00pm-7:00 p.m.
Marquette University Campus
Alumni Memorial Union – 3rd Floor Ballroom
1442 W. Wisconsin Av.
Milwaukee, WI  53233
MCTS bus routes: 14, 23, 30, 30X, 44, 79, Blue & Gold; near 12 & 31 at 12th.

See and weigh-in on NEW alternatives analysis and plans and learn about important next steps in June for BRT that would provide quick, convenient, and clean energy efficient connections to the region’s top job centers, and world-class healthcare, educational, cultural and entertainment destinations.

URGENT: Your state legislator needs to hear from you

The Joint Finance Committee of the State legislature is scheduled to vote on transit tomorrow. Your legislators and the Committee need to hear from you today!

The Committee will be voting on whether to restore the 10% of funding that was cut and whether to keep transit in the transportation fund. It is essential that bus riders speak up to ensure that funding is restored and transit stays in the transportation fund.

You can find out who your legislators are and how to contact them at

Members of the Joint Finance Committee

SD 8Alberta DarlingRCo-Chair(608) 266-5830
SD 14Luther OlsenR(608) 266-0751
SD 10Sheila HarsdorfR(608) 266-7745
SD 9Joseph LeibhamR(608) 266-2056
SD 28Mary LazichR(608) 266-5400
SD 20Glenn GrothmanR(608) 266-7513
SD 32Jennifer ShillingD(608) 266-5490
SD 22Robert WirchD(888) 769-4724
AD 89John NygrenRCo-chair(800) 334-1442
AD 58Patricia StrachotaR(888) 534-0058
AD 14Dale KooyengaR(888) 534-0014
AD 30Dean KnudsonR(888) 529-0030
AD 59Daniel LeMahieuR(888) 534-0059
AD 88John KlenkeR(888) 534-0088
AD 66Cory MasonD(888) 534-0066
AD 19Jon RichardsD(888) 534-0019

Useful links

Ride with us to the Joint Finance committee

Milwaukee Transit Riders Union

Join us as we ride to the Joint Finance Committee hearing as a united group of bus riders, bus drivers and community transit advocates.

April 4, 2013 – 7:00am

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998 Hall
734 N. 26th St.
Bus Routes: 10, 27 & 30 at 27th/Wisconsin

Community Press Event to Support Public Transit in Wisconsin Jan. 23

UPDATED: January 19, 2013 at 1:37:07 PM – bus schedule added

Join public transportation advocates to support more transit service and better, stable transit funding!

Event (Facebook link) is scheduled to follow that morning’s release of the Wisconsin Commission on Transportation Finance & Policy‘s final recommendations – some of which may call for improved transit service.

The event will be held on January 23, 2013 at the Capitol in Madison. Provisions are being made for bus transportation to and from the event from Milwaukee.

Our partners at Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998 have generously provided a bus between Milwaukee and Madison for this event. Please arrive at the ATU Hall fifteen minutes before the bus is scheduled to leave.

Accessible The bus is wheelchair accessible.

Leaving Milwaukee
ATU Local 998 - 734 N. 26th St.
7:45 AM
Arriving Madison
Location TBD
9:15 AM
Leaving Madison
Location TBD
1:00 PM
Arriving Milwaukee
ATU Local 998 - 734 N. 26th St.
2:30 PM

Arrival times are estimates and may vary depending on traffic conditions.

Download a printable PDF of the bus schedule

Do you have any questions? You can contact us through the form below with ‘Community Press Event’ as the subject.

Contact Us

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Your Opportunity: Tell Feds We Need More Transit And Job Access in our region

June 26, 2012 – 5:00pm-7:30pm
Tommy Thompson Youth Center, State Fair Park [Entrance G5]
(map of State Fair Park) (Bus Route: 67 HOWARD via S. 84th ONLY)

Every major metro area in the nation has a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) that conducts planning regarding transit, highways, land use. These MPOs issue plans that are key to bus riders. They cover where bus service should go, how much bus service there should be in a given area and what kind of bus service is needed (local/regular or express, etc.). Basically, they decide where we as bus riders can go and how easy or hard it is for us to get there.

Unfortunately for us, the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC), the Milwaukee area’s MPO, pays a lot more attention to highway expansion than it does to transit. Located in a remote office park on the edge of Pewaukee far from Milwaukee bus riders, SEWRPC is not accessible and accountable to people it is obligated to represent. In fact, if a bus rider wanted to visit the offices of SEWRPC to get information or sign up for mailings he/she would be unable to do so. The nearest bus stop is over a mile away. A long, unsafe and impractical journey lies between the bus stop and SEWRPC’s office – one along a 4 to 5-lane highway with no sidewalk through intersections with no pedestrian or bicycle safety provisions, including a large freeway interchange.

SEWRPC’s disregard for Milwaukee bus riders is not limited to it’s inaccessibility to us, the commission has an established track record of favoring expressway expansion over transit and environmental justice, even ignoring the recommendations of it’s own Environmental Justice Task Force.

SEWRPC has a fundamental structural problem: disproportionate representation.

County Population
(2010 Census)
Seats on SEWRPC
Milwaukee 947,735 3
Waukesha 389,891 3
Ozaukee 86,395 3
Washington 131,887 3
Racine 195,408 3
Kenosha 166,426 3
Walworth 102,228 3

Despite the fact that other counties in the area have much smaller populations, they have the same number of representatives on SEWRPC. For instance, Waukesha County has less than half of the population of Milwaukee County but has the same number of representatives on SEWRPC. In fact, Milwaukee County representatives only make up 14% of the commission; no wonder transit ranks as such a low priority with SEWRPC.

We have a chance to hold SEWRPC accountable. On Tuesday June 26 the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration will be holding a hearing to determine SEWRPC’s status as our certified local MPO.

Let’s make our voices heard. Tell the Feds that we need more transit, and access to jobs. We need SEWRPC to do a better job.

June 26, 2012 – 5:00pm-7:30pm
Tommy Thompson Youth Center, State Fair Park [Entrance G5]
(map of State Fair Park) (Bus Route: 67 HOWARD via S. 84th ONLY)

Milwaukee Needs Funding For Transit strategy session

How does Milwaukee currently fund it’s transit system?

If you are a member of the Milwaukee Transit Riders Union or are otherwise familiar with the transit system and it’s myriad issues, you know that it’s a complicated issue. The transit system is reliant on a mix of funding sources, including the Milwaukee County property tax.

The property tax is widely acknowledged to be an outdated funding mechanism for the transit system; one that has brought on grave financial problems for the bus system. Every year transit has to compete with the County Sheriff’s Department, the parks and courts over a revenue source that only grows very slowly. Milwaukee must get transit off of the property tax or face the potential demise of the transit system.

Last year, due to cuts in state aid deep cuts were slated for MCTS. The County applied for a grant to replace some existing routes with the new MetroEXpress service in order to free up money to preserve other service. While this move was hardly ideal, it still had a lesser impact than the original cuts would have.

That said, the grant is a temporary (two-year) reprieve. The time for us to begin action on a permanent solution is now and that engaging and energizing transit-dependant people and community-based organizations is the way to get the ball rolling. We have organized this strategy session in order to decide what our next steps will be. We have the following tentative discussion points:

  • What kind of dedicated funding mechanisms are available as realistic options right now?
  • What steps would we need to take to make dedicated funding for transit a reality?
  • How to engage bus riders in the process?
  • Coalition-building and community involvement

This strategy session will take place on June 20, 2012 at 5:00pm at the ATU Local 998 hall, 734 N. 26th St. This event is open to everyone who rides public transit, works with transit-dependant people, organizes around transit issues, or who is pro-transit and has some ideas they want to add to the debate.

Bus directions
The hall is accessible via MCTS Routes 10, 27 and 30. Get off of either of these routes, and follow the walking directions below. To find out complete directions, including what route you may need to take in order to connect with Routes 10, 27 or 30, use the Google Transit trip planner on the front page of

View Walking directions from 27th/Wisconsin to ATU 998 Hall in a larger map

Jobs Not Cuts! Rally for full funding to transit April 19, 2012

Facebook event link

The Milwaukee Transit Riders Union, in conjunction with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998, Wisconsin Jobs Now and Occupy Milwaukee will be holding a rally and march on April 19, 2012 at 4:00pm at the ATU Local 998 Hall.

We are proud to be working with such a diverse coalition on this event. This event is part of the Week of Action kicking off on Monday April 16.

This event also comes on the heels of the April 4 National Day of Action for Transit. The movement for transit justice in this community is moving forward in a big way.

What do we want?
We want a fully funded transit system. We demand the restoration of funds cut in Governor Walker’s 2011-2013 budget and the establishment of a dedicated funding source at the county or regional level. Milwaukee County still funds transit from the property tax, an outdated funding source that has resulted in 20% in service cuts over the past decade, cuts that have put the transit system in a death spiral.

When Governor Walker slashed the Milwaukee County Transit System’s state funding by 10% in his 2011-2013 budget, he left Milwaukee County with few options to maintain service levels. Milwaukee County narrowly averted disastrous cuts to the transit system last year that would have made 13,500 jobs inaccessible by transit. This was possible by the use of temporary two-year grants. If we do not solve the funding problems facing transit in this time frame we will be back at square one – with the potential of facing even more severe cuts. This comes at a time when at least 40,000 jobs have become inaccessible by transit since 2001 and 29.5% of Milwaukeeans are living at or below the poverty line.

The time to act is now.
It is important that Milwaukee bus riders take action now to protect the service we have left and fight for better bus service. We will be taking to the streets on April 19 to do just that. (Facebook event link)

When and where:

Thursday April 19, 2012 at 4:00pm
Meet up at the ATU Local 998 Hall at
734 North 26th Street

View Walking directions from 27th/Wisconsin to ATU 998 Hall in a larger map