Significant downtown bus route changes coming

This fall, the Downtown Transit Center will close for demolition to make way for the Couture high-rise luxury apartment tower. The prime lakefront location at the southwest corner of the Lincoln Memorial/Michigan intersection is being sold to private developers for a bargain price of $500,000.

What does this all mean for bus riders? Several downtown bus routes are proposed to change.

Affected routes: 12, 31, 33, 42U, 44, 79, 90 & 137.

Under this plan, the popular Route 12 will no longer travel on Wisconsin east of 6th and the #31 will turn around at 10th/Wisconsin.

The Transportation, Public Works and Transit Committee of the Milwaukee County Board will be considering the plan at their July 13, 2016 meeting.

One of the goals of this rerouting plan is to move service off of Wisconsin Avenue and onto neighboring streets, according to a Milwaukee Business Journal interview with MCTS Spokesman Brendan Conway. Downtown businesses along Wisconsin Avenue have requested less bus service on the avenue, while businesses elsewhere have requested more service.

Over the years many routes have been moved out of the Downtown Transit Center; south side flyers were moved out of it during the Marquette Interchange project, the #23 was moved out of it in 2012 when the route was changed to run on National and the #14 was moved out of the center when it was changed to run north to Bayshore in 2014. Some routes serving the center have been eliminated altogether, such as the 47 (S. 27th St. Flyer), 39 (Timmerman Flyer) and 45 (Watertown Plank-Capitol Flyer). Today the Center is mostly empty and mostly serves as a layover and break area for drivers.