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The North-South Transit Enhancement Project – CONNECT 2!

PREGUNTAS FRECUENTES

  • How will BRT be funded?
    Federal programs are anticipated to fund 80% of the project’s capital costs, and a local match will provide 20% of the funding.
  • Why BRT?
    BRT is a key part of the regional transportation plan, called Vision 2050, building on existing Milwaukee County Transit System routes and providing opportunities to spur the development of and connection to additional rapid transit corridors in the region. BRT plays a vital role in a healthy, multimodal transportation system that connects people to jobs, and businesses to their customers. BRT is cost-effective, efficient and has been proven to increase transit use with improved service frequencies, travel time and reliability. BRT supports and sparks millions of dollars in economic development.
  • How does BRT impact road safety?
    An American Public Transit Association report states that BRT transit is 10 times safer than car travel. BRT features calm traffic, increase driver awareness and help reduce reckless driving. For example, exclusive transit lanes reduce weaving and cars won’t get stuck behind idling buses. Enhanced boarding stations provide lighting to make safer, more visible locations. They also remind motorists to watch for buses and passengers getting on and off at the stations.
  • How does BRT operate in residential neighborhoods?
    BRT operates safely and successfully in residential neighborhoods across the country. BRT is flexible and will be customized to fit the unique needs of individual neighborhoods. Stations will be designed to fit within the existing neighborhood scale and aesthetic, and will incorporate lighting to make the station safe and visible for the community.
  • What environmental analysis will be done for this project?
    Milwaukee County, in coordination with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), is currently completing an environmental review of the project. The project team is evaluating the project’s benefits and impacts, covering topics including noise, air quality, historic resources, traffic, communities and neighborhoods, environmental justice, land use and economics.
  • How fast do BRT buses travel?
    BRT bus drivers are trained to never go faster than the legal speed limit. The “rapid” in “bus rapid transit” refers to the travel time savings realized by BRT service features that make travel more efficient compared with normal bus service. For the North-South Transit Enhancement project, riders will see a travel time savings of up to 15 minutes during congested periods compared with existing bus service.
  • If I have to walk further to get on the bus, am I really saving time?
    It is true that the BRT will consolidate local bus stops in the corridor. However, we have studied the current number of people riding the bus along this alignment and have placed the BRT stations in areas with the highest number of bus riders and where MCTS currently has bus routes intersecting the BRT line. Additionally, BRT will operate more frequently and more reliability in dedicated bus lanes. With dedicated bus lanes, BRT can maintain a precise schedule and the travel time for riders will significantly improve.
  • Why is this better than existing PurpleLine service? Could we just upgrade the PurpleLine service?
    Conventional bus services like the PurpleLine use general traffic lanes, which can be slow due to traffic congestion. The speed of the bus service is further reduced by the time spent at bus stops for passengers to board the vehicle, pay the fare, and pull back into traffic. BRT would include features such as transit-only lanes, off-board fare collection, traffic signal priority, and more frequent service levels to provide an enhanced transit experience. Also, BRT will provide level boarding platforms to allow quick and easy boarding for every rider, including persons with wheelchairs, strollers or carts.
  • What is the North-South Transit Enhancement project?
    The North-South Transit Enhancement project is Milwaukee County’s planned bus rapid transit (BRT) route along the 27th Street corridor connecting Glendale, Milwaukee, Greenfield, Oak Creek, and Franklin to jobs, healthcare and education. The project includes 33 station pairs along the 18-mile route. The feasibility study completed in 2022 identified bus rapid transit (BRT) as the recommended type of transit enhancement for this corridor. See the final report here. The project is currently in the environmental review and design phase, the phase where the community will provide input on key project features.
  • How will this affect my property value or property taxes?
    Incorporation of BRT systems in similar cities (e.g., Cleveland, Pittsburgh) has shown BRT as a catalyst for economic development. The 2012 FTA Research report, Land Use Impacts of Bus Rapid Transit, found evidence from exiting BRT systems to support the assumption that access to high-quality transit such as BRT can induce increases in property values.
  • How much will it cost to build the North-South Transit Enhancement project?
    BRT is a cost-effective mobility solution that delivers significant public transit enhancements at a fraction of the cost of rail technologies. Milwaukee County estimates the BRT capital cost is about $150 million. As the project is designed, the cost estimate will be refined.
  • Where is BRT used?
    BRT is used successfully in hundreds of cities worldwide and dozens more are under construction across the country. Cities similar in size to Milwaukee that have BRT operations include Kansas City, MO; Jacksonville, FL; San Antonio and El Paso in Texas; and Cincinnati and Cleveland in Ohio. MCTS launched the start of a BRT system for Milwaukee County with the opening of the CONNECT line in 2023. This project will be the second line in Milwaukee County’s BRT system.
  • How will this new BRT service affect quality of life issues such as traffic congestion, noise and safety? How will this help congestion on 27th Street during rush hour?
    BRT has a proven track record of reducing traffic congestion and noise and improving safety – particularly by reducing the number of cars and buses on the road. Milwaukee County is in the process of analyzing traffic and parking to evaluate potential impacts and benefits for the motoring public along the route. Traffic simulation models will use existing and projected traffic data to understand the impacts of introducing BRT service on the corridor during peak travel periods. These models will also help to understand impacts to intersecting or parallel roads nearby.
  • What is BRT?
    BRT, is a cost-effective way to provide enhanced public transportation service. BRT features specialized bus vehicles, exclusive transit lanes along at least half of the route, technology improvements and added amenities at transit stations. For example, BRT can include real-time arrival signs at stations or queue-jumps at busy intersections to help buses increase reliability and maintain schedules. MCTS launched the start of the CONNECT BRT system for Milwaukee County with the opening of CONNECT (East-West BRT) in 2023. This project will be the second line in the BRT system.
  • How can I provide feedback on this project?
    The project team is looking for feedback throughout the environmental review and design. Contact us to provide comments and sign up for the project email list. We encourage you to provide feedback and stay informed throughout every phase of the project to help us provide the best transit enhancement alternative for the community.
  • How does this project fit within the regional transportation plan?
    The region’s transportation plan, Vision 2050, recommends significant improvement to and expansion of the public transit system to provide enhanced service that is time-competitive with a car. The regional plan focuses on high travel demand corridors and recommends the development of eight BRT lines. This project will be the second BRT line and will intersect with the newly launched CONNECT service on Wisconsin Avenue—leveraging that transit investment to better connect people, jobs, and other services along both corridors.
  • Who will use this project?
    The North-South Transit Enhancement project will serve the current MCTS PurpleLine riders and attract new riders. More than 118,000 people live within one-half mile of the corridor, which provides essential transit trips to the following destinations: Nearly 50,000 jobs 2,500+ businesses 4 major medical facilities 63 K-12 schools 31 grocery stores and 5 big box discount stores 12 community resource centers, such as community service centers, senior centers, social security offices, food pantries and youth centers
  • How much will a BRT ride cost?
    MCTS’s BRT system, CONNECT, is fully integrated into MCTS, and the cost to ride BRT will be the same as the cost to ride other MCTS services.
  • How will the North-South Transit Enhancement project work with existing transit services?
    BRT will provide opportunities to modify other MCTS routes in the corridor to provide an enhanced transit experience. Based on further analysis and public input, Milwaukee County will determine bus service modifications during the project’s design phase. While most MCTS routes will be unaffected, some potential modifications may include integrating some routes with BRT; replacing some route segments; and relocating some existing routes to adjacent streets.
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