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Funding set to run out for MCTS routes helping to connect Milwaukee residents with suburban job opportunities

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Funding is set to run out for two bus routes linking the inner city to the Milwaukee suburbs.

Routes 6 and 61 both travel out of Milwaukee County and into Waukesha and Washington counties. Many riders use these busses to get to their jobs in the suburbs.

"People's lives have been improved because of this work and we want to maintain that," said Pastor Marilyn Miller with Reformation Lutheran Church.

Community organizations started the joblines routes with money won in a lawsuit settlement. MCTS operates the buses but the funding will dry up at the end of the year.

"We're trying to draw from anybody who is interested in seeing it continue. We know it's not going to be one agency, one group that's responsible but we need a concerted effort here to keep this alive," said Jim Addison with the Black Health Coalition of Wisconsin.

An MCTS spokesperson says there have been talks with Waukesha County to find ways to continue the joblines. The problem he says is an already tight budget, other routes would have to be cut.

"They have not been a huge success. It's 1,000 rides a day. That would be a couple hundred people a day," said Brendan Conway with MCTS.

Despite low ridership, leaders in the community say the loss would hit families hard.

"They don't have ways to get to places. They can't do Uber. They can't do Lyft," said Miller. 

"People not being able to get life-sustaining jobs, the kind of job you can support a family on," Addison said.

An event on May 19th at the Wisconsin Black Historical Society will discuss potential solutions.


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