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Milwaukee County Transit Faces Cuts Amid Call For Increased Connections

Jeramey Jannene
The Milwaukee County Transit System is facing a possible 10% cut in service.

As Milwaukee embarks on its plan to extend its streetcar line, the Milwaukee County Transit System is facing a big budget shortfall: a possible 10% cut in service.

At the same time, funding has run out for the county’s last remaining jobline — the 57 bus route, which stretches from Milwaukee into Waukesha County. These potential cuts stand in stark contrast with plans laid out by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC or Sewer Pack).

The commission’s “Vision 2050” report suggests strengthening transit connections between the city and the suburbs, as funding to do just that is running thin.

"Any cut in transit has a negative impact on the region as a whole. From an economic development perspective, the ability to move workforce around the region and labor, and then of course for the riders themselves. Depending on how any potential cuts do occur, that would certainly affect their day-to-day ability to use the transit system," says Kevin Muhs, executive director of SWRPC.

In a written statement to WUWM, Kristina Hoffman, the director of marketing and communications for MCTS stated, “MCTS is committed to providing safe, reliable, customer-focused transit service to people across Milwaukee County. While state transit funding has remained flat for nearly a decade, we will continue to work together to ensure we invest the resources we do have, where it counts, in order to best serve our community.”

Joy Powers hosts and produces Lake Effect. She joined WUWM in 2016.