Edited by John December
This is a summary of options for transit in and around the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area, with a focus on public transit systems1. Milwaukee has supported a wide range of transporation systems during its history. Streetcars, trains, bicycles, trolleys, horses, buses, boats, and people walking have all played a role in transit, and this legacy remains in some areas of downtown. Today, Milwaukee's role as a major air, rail, highway, and water hub give you many choices in getting to and around Milwaukee. Is something missing or incorrect? Please send a correction. Like this page? Bookmark this page and return when you are ready.
|Human||Milwaukee has some great Walk Scores approaching 100 on the East Side. Indeed, it is possible to live car-free in Milwaukee.2|
|Bicycle||There is a very good system of county (the "Oak Leaf Trail") and city bicycle trails. For maps and resources, check out Milwaukee By Bike.|
|Bike Share||Bublrbikes.com is a bike-sharing program where you can pick up a bike from a self-service bike rental kiosk and return it to any other kiosk.|
|Auto||You can use car-sharing in Milwaukee: Zipcar and Zimride for UWM provide memberships. 3|
|You can use Uber, lyft, BidRide, TAXIMKE.com (app), or yellow pages. Cabs can be difficult to get during summer festival weekends--be prepared to use MCTS festival services or ridesharing options instead.|
|Van||Limo and van service to/from Milwaukee's Mitchell / Chicago's O'Hare or Midway airports. See
Airport Town Car Express,
Corporate Limousine Service.
Note that Milwaukee County Transit Bus GreenLine also stops at the MKE airport.
American MedTrans for non-emergency medical transportation
|"The Hop" Streetcar||A 3.5 km Main Line is open in the downtown area. For information, see TheHopMKE. See my MKE Streetcar Destination Guide for info on the destinations of where the streetcar goes and my tiny.cc/mkesc Google Map showing routes and stops.|
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Concept in development. See EastWestBRT.com for the latest information on the plans.
|MCTS Bus||Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS)4 serves Milwaukee County and provides transit for festivals and home games of the Brewers and Bucks. Use real-time tracking online or by text message. Plan routing using Google Transit. Phone (414)344-6711.|
|Wisconsin Coach||Wisconsin Coach Lines connections include Milwaukee's downtown, UW-Milwaukee, Marquette Univ, MKE Airport, Waukesha, Racine, Kenosha, Oconomowoc, Delafield, Mukwonago; and Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports. Phone (877)3-AIRPORTS.|
|Badger Bus||Badger Bus provides rides to Madison and Milwaukee. Stops at Milwaukee's Intermodal Station as well as a stop at Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport. Phone (414)276-7490.|
|Greyhound Bus||Greyhound offers frequent service from Milwaukee south to Chicago, west to Madison, and north to Green Bay. Greyhound's station is at Milwaukee's Intermodal Station. Phone (800)231-2222.|
|Megabus||megabus.com connects Milwaukee to Chicago, Minneapolis/St Paul, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and more. Ticket sales online and by reservation only on Web site. Station at Milwaukee's Intermodal Station.|
|Ozaukee Transit||Ozaukee Transit connects to Ozaukee County with stops in downtown Milwaukee. Phone (414)344-6711.|
|WCCE||Washington County Commuter Express connects to Washington County with stops in downtown Milwaukee. Phone 1-888-675-WCCE (9223).|
|Indian Trails Bus||Indian Trails provides service from Milwaukee north via Sheboygan and Manitowoc to Green Bay and the UP. Station at Milwaukee's Intermodal Station. Phone (800)292-3831.|
|Jefferson Lines||Jefferson Lines provides service from Milwaukee to Green Bay and connections throughout the midwest. Bus from Milwaukee's Milwaukee's Intermodal Station. Phone (800)451-5333|
|Lamers||Lamers Bus Lines connects north to Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, Appleton, and Wausau. It also operates a regular route bus from Wausau to Milwaukee and on to Chicago. Phone (800)236-1240. Station at Milwaukee's Intermodal Station.|
|Waukesha Metro||Waukesha Metro Transit connects in and around Waukesha city and county. You can transfer at the Brookfield Square Shopping Center between Milwaukee County Transit Service buses to Waukesha Metro Transit buses. Phone (262)524-3636.|
|BUS||Belle Urban System (BUS) connects in and around Racine County. BUS connects with Kenosha Transit at the University of Wisconsin--Parkside when school is in session. Phone (262)637-9000.|
|Kenosha Transit||Kenosha Transit connects in and around Kenosha County. Kenosha Transit also connects with Wisconsin Coach Lines at the Metra Station in Kenosha. Phone (262)653-4287. Also at the Metra Station in Kenosha, you can get the Metrarail service to Chicago.|
|Train||Amtrak connects to the US and Canada. Amtrak is located at Milwaukee's Intermodal Station, downtown at 5th and St. Paul Streets. (The Amtrak code is MKE for the downtown station.) There is also a Mitchell International Airport station (code is MKA). The Amtrak rail service connects Milwaukee south to Chicago via the Hiawatha and west to Minneapolis via the Empire Builder. Phone (800)872-7245.|
|Ship||The Port of Milwaukee on Lake Michigan connects with the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway. Some Great Lakes cruise ships periodically stop in Milwaukee.|
|Ferry||The Lake Express is a high-speed ferry service across Lake Michigan from the Milwaukee terminal at 2330 S. Lincoln Memorial Drive, near the south end of the Hoan Bridge, to Muskegon, MI. Phone (866)914-1010.|
|Ferry||The SS Badger car ferry crosses Lake Michigan from Manitowoc, WI (about 128 km north of Milwaukee) to Ludington, MI (the northern part of the lower Peninsula of Michigan). Phone (888)FERRY-4U.|
|Water Taxi||You can take the Water Taxi to get to points along the River.|
|Tour Boat||You can ride on tour boats on the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan. See Edelweiss, MKE Boat, and Riverwalk Boats.|
|Air||MKE (Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport) is the largest airport in Wisconsin and connects to the US and world. The MWC Airport (Lawrence J. Timmerman Airport) is located on the northwest side of Milwaukee and serves the general aviation community.|
"We can achieve enormous social, economic, and environmental benefits at almost no cost simply by subsidizing people and places, not parking and cars."--The High Cost of Free Parking by Donald C. Shoup, p. 602.
"Place-based strategies that create walkable urbanism will attract the broad spectrum of talent required to build a great and vibrant economy."--The Option of Urbanism by Christopher Leinberger, p. 170.
"Having a real downtown, and, I would posit, having a sense of place at all, are not possible where the car reigns supreme."--How Cities Work by Alex Marshall, p. 183.
"If we want to make the most of our national highway program, we must keep most of the proposed expressways in abeyance until we have done two other things. We must replan the inner city for pedestrian circulation, and we must rebuild and extend our public forms of mass transportation."-- Lewis Mumford, "The Highway and the City," Architectural Record, April 1958.
"If you live in a city, you don't need to own a car."--William Clay Ford Jr., CEO, Ford Motor Company Ltd.