By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jun 10, 2021 at 2:02 PM

Gov. Tony Evers, U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride were joined by other dignitaries Thursday morning at the corner of 27th Street and Wisconsin Avenue to celebrate the official groundbreaking of the new East-West Bus Rapid Transit line.

The nine-mile BRT route – which will run along Wisconsin Avenue, Bluemound Road and 92nd Street – is the first such system in the state and aims to provide access to what Milwaukee County Transit System says is, “the region’s most vital, most traveled, and most congested corridor.”

Service is expected to begin on the route by autumn 2022.

The route will extend from Wisconsin and Van Buren on the east to the Watertown Plank Road Park and Ride lot on the west, serving employment, education, health and recreation sites like the Milwaukee County Zoo, Marquette University, American Family Field, the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center (MRMC), Downtown Milwaukee, Watertown Plank Road Park & Ride lot and others.

BRT station rendering
Sample rendering shows the design of an East-West Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) station on Wisconsin Avenue at Water Street.

Eleven battery-powered electric buses will serve 33 new stations being constructed along the route, operating in dedicated bus lanes that get traffic signal priority to help make the system quicker and more efficient, allowing for more frequent service.

The buses are being manufactured by Canada’s Nova Bus.

The new stations will be elevated to facilitate easier boarding and fares will be collected off-board. Fares will be the same as on other MCTS bus routes.

The projects is being funded in part by a $41 million federal grant.

You can see answers to frequently asked questions, construction updates, route maps and more at

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.