By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Feb 13, 2023 at 9:04 AM

Milwaukee County has announced that it is launching a new WisGo fare collection system in April and it with it will come a cap on daily fares for riders.

The new system will roll out over a couple months, with the transition beginning on April 1.

First, in March, MCTS will add validators on its buses for Umo mobile app users that will allow riders to store value on their apps. This will allow for fare-capping to begin for these users.

The new fare structure will be $2 per ride for regular fare riders with $4 daily cap, and $1 per ride for reduced fare riders – seniors, kids ages 6-11, and those with a qualifying disability – with a $2 cap. There will also be weekly ($19.50 and $11) and monthly caps ($72 and $32).

The onboard validators can see how many times a rider has paid a fare and automatically deducts the lowest amount owed. This means no more daily, weekly or monthly bus passes.

The WisGo structure will launch fully in April with the issuance of WisGo cards joining the Umo app. The cards will be sold (and can be reloaded) at more than 100 area retailers.

M-Card users can exchange cards for a free WisGo card from April through June. Reduced fare riders will get new WisGo cards in the mail. Those holding Commuter Value Passes and U-Passes will automatically be enrolled in WisGo.

BRT service launches on June 4 and will not accept M-Cards, so if you plan to ride BRT, exchange your card for a WisGo card before that date.

Beginning July 1, regular fare WisGo cards will cost $2.

Ambassadors will assist riders in downloading the app or getting a WisGo card.

The Umo mobile app accepts credit and debit cards, along with Apple Pay, Google Pay and WisGo cards.

Riders can continue to pay cash on all bus routes, but they will not qualify for fare-capping.

Fare capping is a feature that is becoming more and more common on public transport around the globe.

“Milwaukee County deserves what transit-savvy cities around the globe offer: a flexible, easy-to-use fare collection system. With WisGo’s account-based system, riders get access to the best price through fare capping, a simpler fare structure, and the convenience of multiple ways to pay,” said Interim Managing Director Denise Wandke on Monday.

“We are always looking at ways to enhance the rider experience and introducing Milwaukee to a more regional and national travel planning system is not only going to do that but make it easier for new riders to try public transit.”

Virtual sessions explaining the program are slated for March 16, March 25 and April 6. Full details and signup can be found at

More information on the changes and programs can be found at

“I’m glad to see MCTS removing cost barriers and improving the transit experience for riders,” said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley. “This is a key piece of transportation equity, and a way to grow loyalty among riders at time when residents are looking for alternative transportation options.”

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.