MCTS BRT Groundbreaking Event Brings Together Key Stakeholders for Project Milestone

Target Audience: The goal of the MCTS East-West Bus Rapid Transit Groundbreaking event was to bring together the many supporters of the project. Federal Transit Director Kelley Brookins, Governor Tony Evers, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, and Waukesha Mayor Dennis McBride made up just a few of the many county leaders, alderpersons, federal, state, and city officials, as well as the Milwaukee community members in attendance. All of these individuals came together to generate enthusiasm and praise the importance of public transportation in our community. In addition, many different media outlets were in attendance, recognizing and publicizing this major milestone in a multi-year project.

Strategy Objective:The objective of the groundbreaking event, and this entry, was to demonstrate the successful collaboration of the city, the state, the federal government, and the general public which came together to make the East-West Bus Rapid Transit a reality. These groups advocated to get dedicated state highway lanes, county building permissions, City of Milwaukee and Department of Transportation, among others. These varying communities came together with a shared goal of generating excitement for future riders as well as bringing cultural and economic opportunities to Milwaukee through enhanced public transit.

Situation Challenge: The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS)'s East-West Bus Rapid Transit project is the first of its kind in Wisconsin. Providing improved access to the region's most vital, most traveled, and most congested corridor, the BRT system is changing and improving the landscape of Milwaukee. This project will affect the state's largest population by revitalizing downtown, changing the entire pedestrian environment, fostering electric vehicles, and connecting employees to jobs. To reach this stage, major hurdles had to be overcome and MCTS strove to bring together as many stakeholders and supporters as possible to show that they all play a vital role in the health of the region.

Results Impact: The groundbreaking event was attended by more than 200 attendees, including local, state, and federal officials, county leaders, alderpersons, and the general public, both riders and non-riders. "I've never seen so many prominent public officials at a transit event," remarked Donna Brown Martin, Director of the Milwaukee County Department of Transportation. The event livestream was viewed more than 970 times, and news articles about the event were featured on OnMilwaukee, BizTimes, Fox6, The Milwaukee Independent, WUWM 89.7, and more, reinforcing the partnership strength and its cohesiveness to further the success of this multi-year project.

Why Submit: The quest to bring the East-West Bus Rapid Transit System to Milwaukee began years ago and since then, numerous departments and entities have come together to make this idea a reality for our community. The groundbreaking event was intended to bring these departments and entities together to celebrate their success thus far and generate excitement about the project going forward. The support and large attendance at the groundbreaking event, coupled with media coverage from all major local outlets across television and digital media, help to paint the picture of the immense collaboration it takes to improve life for the Milwaukee community, and to show that it can be done.