transportation

Jeramey Jannene / Flickr

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).

Chuck Quirmbach

Updated on June 7

Thursday night, the state Legislature's budget committee approved $35 million for expanding Amtrak Hiawatha train service between Milwaukee and Chicago. But the panel nixed spending an additional $10 million for a second daily Empire Builder passenger train across Wisconsin to the Twin Cities.

Chuck Quirmbach

A series of metal sculptures taking shape in Milwaukee's Menomonee Valley honors the men and women who worked at a now-lost transportation giant. The "People of the Road” monument is a tribute to the thousands who labored for a passenger and freight-rail service best known as the Milwaukee Road.

LaToya Dennis

Cold, snow and ice — Milwaukee has had a lot of all three lately. The winter weather is hard on most people, but when that snow and ice are not removed from public walkways in a timely manner, it can make getting around for people with disabilities even more difficult, sometimes verging on impossible.

“A lot of times when plows plow the streets the snow gets kind of piled up, unfortunately, right at a lot of curb cuts," says 32-year-old Milwaukee resident William Crowley.

Brittany Venzke/Facebook

Authorities say one person is dead and several others are injured, after a huge pileup on Interstate 41 southbound near Neenah on Sunday. The crash happened amid whiteout conditions.

The Winnebago County Sheriff's office confirms one fatality and says several other injured people were taken to hospitals. Police reportedly used buses to get people off the highway and to safe locations. 

Chuck Quirmbach

The Wisconsin Association of Railroad Passengers, a railroad passengers group with nearly 700 members, is trying to steer the idea of a second daily Amtrak train across Wisconsin into reality. Town hall meetings will be held Wednesday and Thursday evenings on the possibility of a shorter, more reliable, Empire Builder. 

Amtrak's current Empire Builder train runs from Chicago, through Milwaukee, to the Twin Cities, all the way to the West Coast.  

soupstock / Fotolia

The new Wisconsin Transportation Secretary Craig Thompson recently announced the creation of a task force to explore ways of patching holes in the department’s funding for road repairs and improvements. Transportation planners throughout the U.S. say the nation's interstates are overdue for a complete modernization, but that won't come cheap.

Chuck Quirmbach

Updated 3:10 p.m.

The City of Milwaukee says daily ridership on The Hop increased last month, compared to November 2018, the streetcar's initial month of service. But monthly ridership declined slightly in December.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says the daily December average was 2,453 rides, compared to 2,297 in November.

READ: How The Hop Works

Chuck Quirmbach

One science and technology area expected to keep rolling toward reality this year is driverless cars (also known as autonomous vehicles). But industry experts say much work is needed before we see many such vehicles in Southeastern Wisconsin. Still, a lot of time and money are being spent on the concept, including elsewhere in the Midwest.

chalabala / Fotolia

Why isn’t there a high-speed rail line connecting Milwaukee with other cities in Wisconsin and the region? This question has been on the minds of many in the area for decades, including one person who wrote to Bubbler Talk — our series that allows you to ask questions about Milwaukee.

The answer is complicated, but simply put: there was a plan for a higher-speed rail line, but Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was against it.

Over the past year, companies have been rolling out electric scooters by the thousands in cities across the country — from Milwaukee to Washington, D.C., to Lubbock, Texas. People download the app, find a nearby scooter and then just unlock and ride. But as these shared scooters have spread, so have concerns about safety.

When Adam Stephens walked into his office in Milwaukee one morning in late June, he found messages complaining about the Birds. The deputy city attorney was not amused.

He went for a walk. "Within a couple of minutes, I found one parked on a sidewalk and was able to visually examine it and kind of figure out what it was," Stephens says.

Bird is the name of an electric scooter company. Unannounced, it dropped off somewhere between 70 and 100 rental scooters throughout Milwaukee, where it's illegal to ride motorized scooters in public.

Teran Powell

The downtown freeway is in the middle of a makeover. Part of the High Rise Bridge is getting a concrete overlay, with construction affecting traffic within the Marquette Interchange.

There are long-term closures of a number of lanes and freeway ramps. To many drivers, work on the freeway has become a nuisance -- and feels like it's never-ending, but some experts on highway construction say the bridge is right on schedule.

Elliot Hughes

After years of traffic fatalities and injury accidents trending down, both are now on the rise and are soaring to levels not seen in recent years. As police regroup, Milwaukee residents are grappling with the idea that a green light doesn’t mean it’s safe to go.

One night last November, Nicole Demmith was washing the dishes at her home near the intersection of Muskego and Becher streets when she heard yet another car accident outside her door — only this one came with a particularly awful clap of thunder and metal.

MCTS

Milwaukee lawmakers are getting creative when it comes to trying to ensure city residents are not left out of the expected job boom that will be created by Foxconn. One alderman is now floating the idea of expanding the footprint of the city.

Annexation, the act of incorporating new territory into the domain of a city, country or state, is not a term thrown around a lot these days. At a Milwaukee common council committee meeting on Tuesday, it got some play.

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