Zoo Interchange lawsuit settlement will increase Milwaukee County bus service

The Milwaukee County Transit System will get $2.875 million annually from 2014 to 2018 to create new bus routes or to extend existing bus services, as the result of a settlement agreement that has been reached from a lawsuit that alleged that the $1.7 billion Zoo Interchange reconstruction project fails to address the needs of people who rely on mass transit, according to a Milwaukee County report.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is proposing to fund additional transit service during the Zoo Interchange project, with a focus on improving connections between Milwaukee and suburban job centers.

The lawsuit was filed in 2012 by the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin and Midwest Environmental Advocates on behalf of Milwaukee Inner City Congregations Allied for Hope and the Black Health Coalition of Wisconsin.

As part of the settlement, WisDOT and MCTS are developing a plan to create an express bus service route from Milwaukee’s central city, northwest along Fond du Lac Avenue, to Park Place Business Park on the far northwest side of Milwaukee and to the Menomonee Falls industrial park. The service will start on Aug. 24. It will cost $245,000 in 2014 and $668,000 in 2015, which will be paid by WisDOT.

Additional routes have been identified and are under review. As a result of the settlement WisDOT, MICAH and BHC must agree on any newly created route.

WisDOT also plans to provide $500,000 annually for marketing efforts for the new routes created by the Zoo Interchange settlement.

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