By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jun 29, 2021 at 2:32 PM

Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) will lift its passenger capacity limit beginning Thursday, July 1, it announced today.

Based on federal regulations, however, masks will continue to be mandatory for passengers and employees whether or not they are vaccinated.

Capacity limits were instituted in April 2020.

"Returning to full capacity on buses enables MCTS to better serve those who need reliable, on-time transportation to work, school, medical appointments, pharmacies, grocery stores, and other important destinations," reads a statement from MCTS.

"Since the start of the pandemic, MCTS has worked tirelessly to keep passengers and employees safe while still offering essential transit services that the community depends on. Continuing to wear masks and getting vaccinated are the most effective steps we can all take moving forward."

The MCTS Administration Building, at 1942 N. 17th Street, will also reopen to the public on July 1. Masks are required and visitors remaining for "an extended period" must undergo a temperature check.

Here are some reminders, provided by MCTS, of current coronavirus-related policies:

  • Federal regulations still require the use of masks while riding public transportation, regardless of vaccination status. This federal requirement from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) supersedes any local or state mask policies and is expected to last until September 13.
  • MCTS has free mask and hand sanitizer dispensers available on all buses.
  • Passengers are encouraged to use best practices: wash hands often, cover coughs and sneezes, stay home when sick, limit unnecessary conversations and interaction, and use staggered seating when possible.
  • MCTS is using an innovative air filtration treatment that coats each bus’s regular HVAC filters with a specialized polymer system that is independently tested to control bacteria and pathogens that house viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2.
  • Buses go through extra disinfection processes using EPA-approved and CDC-recommended products in addition to the standard cleaning that vehicles receive regularly.
  • Passengers are encouraged to use contactless fare payment methods like the M-CARD and Ride MCTS app to ensure fast, touch-free experiences while boarding.
  • Passengers should enter the bus through the front door and exit via the rear door (unless the ramp or ‘kneeling feature’ of the bus is needed).

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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.