Milwaukee County Transit Unveils First BRT Electric Bus

Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) has celebrated the arrival of its first all-electric vehicle that will operate on its new MCTS CONNECT Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route.

The zero-exhaust-emission LFSe+ buses are being supplied by Nova Bus. An initial delivery of 11 vehicles is estimated to reduce MCTS’s fossil fuel usage by more than 67,000 gallons annually. By autumn 2023, four more buses are then scheduled to arrive, bringing the total fleet to 15 units.

The first of MCTS’s all-electric vehicles was unveiled at a special celebration on Wisconsin Avenue at the heart of the BRT route

The new nine-mile MCTS CONNECT route will provide passengers with reliable services thanks to dedicated bus lanes and traffic signal priority, as well as off-board fare collection and raised platforms for easy boarding.

The route also features battery charging stations to keep the buses operational throughout the day. The units can operate for up to 247 miles on a single charge and will recharge for nine minutes every third lap of the 18-mile roundtrip route. They will then be fully charged overnight for two additional hours.

As the buses produce much less noise than diesel models, a chime will ring as they approach a stop so that riders with visual impairments know the bus is arriving.

MCTS Interim President and Managing Director Denise Wandke, said:

“The quest to bring the East-West Bus Rapid Transit System to Milwaukee began years ago. Many stakeholders played a vital role in making the idea a reality for our community. We can’t wait to share the fruits of all this labour when CONNECT begins next year.”

Passenger service along MCTS CONNECT is scheduled to begin June 2023.

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