Visit this official MCTS Web site for schedule and route information.
Since 1975, the Milwaukee County Transit System has operated the local buses in the Milwaukee area. Additional bus systems serve other parts of southeastern Wisconsin. Prior to 1975, various private companies, most notably The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company, operated all buses and electric railways in Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin.
The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company, was the most notable company to operate the area's public transportation system, operating from 1896 to 1938. The transit system subsequently changed names twice prior to the 1975 county takeover. And during much of its period of subsequent private ownership, buses were merely lettered for "The Transport Co."
Many of today's bus routes in Milwaukee have histories which can be traced back to streetcars, and even horse cars.
Buses have operated in Milwaukee since 1920. The last streetcars ran in 1958, and trolleybuses ran from 1936 to 1965.
Photos of Milwaukee buses, present and past.
Three old carhouses eventually evolved into today's modern MCTS operating stations, while additional carhouses were eventually closed.
From 1895 to 1951, various interurban railways operated in Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin. Interurban bus service began operating in 1919 to supplement the interurban railways, and buses replaced the interurban railways beginning in 1938.
Streetcars operated in Kenosha from 1903 until 1932, when they were replaced with trolleybuses. During most of those years, the streetcars were operated by Wisconsin Gas & Electric Co., which was a subsidiary of The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Co. The trolleybuses were discontinued in 1952.
A unique new light rail line opened in downtown Kenosha in 2000, operating between the Metra train station and the lakefront.
Streetcars operated in Racine from 1883 until 1940. During most of those years, the streetcars were operated by The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Co.
Never had local streetcars, but different private predecessor bus companies, including Waukesha Transit Lines, Inc.
Waukesha Metro Transit - city agency operating present bus system in Waukesha.
In 1926 and 1927, The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company operated a local streetcar route in Watertown, which proved to be unprofitable.
GETTING THERE FROM CHICAGO
The only local Chicago area transit system operating into Wisconsin is Metra, with the Union Pacific North Line terminating in Kenosha. Amtrak operates between Chicago and Milwaukee, with trains also stopping in Sturtevant. Local bus service is available between Sturtevant and Racine via the Belle Urban System. In addition, Wisconsin Coach Lines operates interurban bus service from Kenosha through Racine into Milwaukee.
Some historic information for this page is from "TM, The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company", the Central Electric Railfans' association (CERA) Bulletin 112, by Joseph M. Canfield. Additional information is from various issues of the magazine "Motor Coach Age".
Information contained on this site is unofficial. Any suggestions for additions and improvements to this site are welcome. Thanks for visiting! Bill Vandervoort
Chicago Transit & Railfan Web Site