By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published May 31, 2023 at 5:00 PM

Milwaukee County Transit System on Wednesday unveiled its second employee-designed Pride Bus in honor of LGBT Pride Month.

The bus, designed by Brianne Mueller, graphic artist and print coordinator for the bus system for four years, was revealed at a Milwaukee County Pride Month kickoff at Cathedral Square Park Wednesday afternoon.

Pride BusX

The bus – an 11-ton Gillig Clean Diesel Bus #6248, one of the newest buses in the MCTS – will serve as a big, mobile inclusivity advertisement.

This is the second time that MCTS has had a Pride-wrapped bus. The first was in 2021, when Mueller’s artwork was on the bus for a limited time. This year, the bus will remain painted for a year instead of just for Pride Month.

“Our 2021 Pride Bus was such a hit that we were excited to bring (it) back,” Mueller says.

“While our 2021 design incorporated the pride flag into the design of our regular fleet, this year I wanted to make the entire bus an abstraction on the pride flag with the Progress Pride Flag colors wrapping around the sides and rear of the bus to call specific attention to those communities.”

On a rainbow background, Mueller strung a heart and the letters mke, along with a banner near the top that reads, “the bus is for all of us,” which is the bus company’s theme for 2023.

“We opened up voting to all MCTS employees and as a company we chose this design to show our support a specific community and to let Milwaukee County to know that the bus is a safe and welcoming place for everyone,” Mueller says.

“I am so honored to have the opportunity to design a second Pride Bus for MCTS. The bus wrap will be up for an entire year and I'm so excited to have such a wonderful and welcoming message being seen all over Milwaukee County for everyone to see nearly 24 hours a day, every single day of the year.”

MCTS says that the interior of the bus inclues the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) Safe Place decal, which can be seen on every MCTS bus.

The Safe Place program aims to provide the LGBTQ+ community and victims of human trafficking a safe place to call for police assistance.

“Pride Month is a time to celebrate the great strides we have made to create a more tolerant, accepting community, and also to continue our fight toward true equality,” says Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

“I am thrilled to see Milwaukee County continue its tradition of being a welcoming, inclusive community for the LGBTQ+ community and know the ‘Pride Bus’ will serve as an important symbol of that commitment. Happy Pride, Milwaukee!”

In addition to the Pride Bus, Milwaukee County plans to mark the annual June Pride Month with a historical display by the Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project in the rotunda of the County Courthouse and a “large presence” at the Milwaukee Pride Parade, Sunday, June 4 at 2 p.m.

Find complete parade details here.

“The Milwaukee County Pride Month Kick-Off serves as a powerful affirmation that Milwaukee County celebrates diversity, recognizing that regardless of one's sexual orientation, every individual contributes immense value as a cherished member of our community,” reads a statement released jojntly by Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson and Supervisor Peter Burgelis.

“When each Milwaukee County employee and resident can authentically express their true selves, our County thrives, taking one step closer to being the healthiest county in Wisconsin.”

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.