VISION 2050 recommends significant improvement to and expansion of public transit in Southeastern Wisconsin, including eight rapid transit lines, four commuter rail lines, and significantly expanded local bus, express bus, commuter bus, and shared-ride taxi services. Routes and areas served by the various components of the recommended transit system would provide service that is time-competitive with a car in many of the Region’s major travel corridors, and provide those without a car access to jobs, education, and other daily needs.
Develop a rapid transit network
Construct and operate eight rapid transit lines (either as bus rapid transit or light rail), to provide travel times similar to driving a car on a parallel street or highway facility during rush hour. Competitive travel times are accomplished by providing rapid transit lines with exclusive lanes, transit signal priority or preemption, and stations spaced every one-half to one mile. Stations should include off-board fare payment, real-time information screens, and raised platforms, and service should be provided every 15 minutes or better all day.
Develop commuter rail lines and improve and expand commuter bus services
Construct and operate four commuter rail lines and significantly improve and expand commuter bus services. Provide frequent service every 15 minutes during rush hour in both directions and every 30 to 60 minutes in both directions at other times. Extend commuter bus services to new areas, and run existing services in both directions throughout the day. Generally locate stops or stations at least two miles apart to provide travel times that are time-competitive with cars over longer travel distances. Where possible, commuter bus services should operate in the shoulder of a freeway segment during rush hour, allowing transit riders to bypass congestion.
Improve existing express bus service and add service in new corridors
Improve existing and operate additional, express bus services. Stops should be spaced at least one-half mile apart to provide better travel times than local bus routes. Provide service at least every 15 minutes during the entire day within Milwaukee County, and every 15 minutes during rush hour and every 30 minutes at other times in Kenosha and Racine Counties.
Increase the frequency and expand the service area of local transit
Improve the frequency and expand the service area of local transit services, extend accessible shared-ride taxi service to any areas of the Region without local bus service, and continue to provide paratransit service in areas served by local bus service.
Improve intercity transit services and expand the destinations served
As recommended in the State’s long-range transportation plan, expand the number of intercity bus and rail services and increase the speed and frequency of existing intercity rail services.
Implement “transit-first” designs on urban streets
During the reconstruction of an urban street, local governments should include transit-first features on the roadway when it carries rapid, express, or major local transit routes. Features could include transit signal priority systems, dedicated lanes for transit, and “bus bulbs” at significant transit stops.
Enhance stops, stations, and park-ride facilities with state-of-the-art amenities
Improve information on bus stop signs and poles, provide shelters at more stops, construct and maintain accessible paths to and from all stops, and add real-time information screens, radiant heating, and raised platforms for boarding.
Implement programs to improve access to suburban employment centers
Implement vanpool programs, utilize transportation network companies such as Uber or Lyft, or utilize taxis to address the “last mile” of a transit trip. Improve access to jobs at suburban employment centers by providing an accessible sidewalk network between bus stops and businesses, and enhancing job access programs that assist low-income individuals. Support
and expand the efforts of the Workforce Mobility Team, created in 2018 to assist employers in the Region who experience challenges retaining and attracting workers as a result of those workers having limited or no commuting transportation options available.