MCTS adjusts rider limit from 10 to 15 per bus amid pandemic

Updated: 11:45 a.m. on Aug. 13, 2020 

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Beginning Friday, Aug. 14, the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) will adjust its limit from 10 to 15 passengers on a bus at any given time. 

According to a news release from MCTS, the increase in capacity is also aligned with local, phased reopening plans – which increase size limits for gatherings while still requiring social distancing and other protective measures.

MCTS says just weeks ago, an estimated 30 percent of passengers wore masks or face coverings while on board. After MCTS implemented a new mask requirement and started offering free masks on buses on Aug. 1, that rate increased to an estimated 85 percent and continues to rise each day. MCTS thanks its passengers for their cooperation.

Now that the majority of passengers are doing their part by wearing masks, MCTS is able to slightly increase the number of passengers permitted on each bus – while still allowing enough space for social distancing and continuing to follow these policies and procedures:

  • MCTS is providing free masks on buses (one per customer), while supplies last.
  • MCTS has started making hand sanitizer available on a number of buses.
  • Passengers are asked to use staggered seating in order to avoid close contact with others.
  • Passengers are encouraged to wash hands, cover coughs and sneezes, stay home when sick and limit conversations and interactions while on board.
  • Passengers are encouraged to use contactless fare payment methods.
  • Passengers must enter the bus through the front door and exit via the rear door (unless they need to use the ramp or kneeling feature of the bus).
  • Buses go through an extra daily disinfection process using EPA-approved and CDC-recommended products. That’s in addition to the standard cleaning that vehicles receive on a regular basis.
  • Bus drivers are positioned behind an industry-leading plexiglass shield and are supplied with masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, sanitizing wipes, disinfectant spray, and cloths to clean their workspace throughout the day.
  • MCTS continues to use on-board signage, audio announcements, and other communications channels to make sure passengers are aware of all relevant information.


Published: 12 p.m. on April 8, 2020 

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) will limit a maximum of 10 passengers allowed on a bus at any given time, in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus. 

MCTS says the new rule will start Thursday, April 9 and last until further notice. Capping the number of riders on each bus should help occupants avoid close contact with others.

MCTS is also adding incremental service to help overcrowding and reduce wait times if buses are full.

Here’s what riders need to know:

  • Buses continue to be for essential trips only. Unless obtaining necessary supplies and services to sustain your life and the lives of others, or traveling to and from employment at an "essential business" that is "necessary to sustain life," you should stay home.
  • No leisure riding, loitering, or sleeping permitted.
  • Plan for extra travel time.
  • As buses become full, drivers will not stop to pick up additional passengers.
  • Do not ride the bus If you tested positive for the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), are currently awaiting test results, or think you may have been exposed to someone who has the virus.
  • Continue to enter and exit the bus through the back door only (unless you need help with a mobility device or other ADA accommodation). Be patient and leave plenty of space between yourself and others while entering and exiting the bus.
  • If possible, wear a face mask or another type of cloth covering your nose and mouth to prevent illness from spreading.

While MCTS has taken several precautions to protect passengers and employees, it is important that the general public does its part. MCTS bus drivers are on the front lines providing service to those who serve the public – like doctors, nurses, cleaners, grocery store clerks, stockers, and so many others. Please be respectful by following all guidelines and policies listed above and most importantly, only ride the bus for "essential services only." For bus-riding guidelines and more information, visit

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