By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published May 09, 2023 at 3:05 PM

When Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) launches its new CONNECT 1 Bus Rapid Transit line service on June 1, ridership will be free through Sept. 30.

The four months of free rides come courtesy of Umo Mobility, which is the provider of MCTS’ new fare collection system, WisGo, which kicked off last month.

The MCTS CONNECT 1 route will connect the County Regional Medical Center in Wauwatosa with Downtown Milwaukee, passing near American Family Field and through the Marquette University campus.

MCTS expects the line to boost ridership in that busy corridor.

“MCTS and Umo services are aligned to grow regional connectivity. Waukesha Metro recently agreed to join the WisGo fare collection system, which is powered by Umo, and other regional transit agencies are considering it,” said MCTS President and Interim Managing Director Denise Wandke.

“This sponsorship not only benefits our riders, but it also introduces the benefits of regional mobility to other transit agency riders across the state.”

A second route is being evaluated for 27th Street. You can learn more about that at

“We’re proud to support the evolution of mobility across the state of Wisconsin with WisGo,” said Umo Mobility General Manager Bonnie Crawford. “Together CONNECT and WisGo will provide the communities served by MCTS with an improved transportation experience that is made to fit the needs of all riders regardless of how they pay.

"We wanted to make it easy to try the new BRT service and introduce riders to the many benefits of WisGo and the summer sponsorship was the perfect way to do both.”

MCTS Chief Financial Officer Tim Hosch said that 85,000 riders have already downloaded the Umo app. He expects that number to double by year’s end.

“Umo has been a strong partner for MCTS,” Hosch said. “Before WisGo even launched, Umo helped by providing our riders with an early version of the Umo app when our existing app left the market on short notice.”

For more information about MCTS CONNECT, visit


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 can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.