MADISON, Wis. — Madison’s city bus system will soon have another option for riders.

What You Need To Know

  • The new rapid transit line is expected to be done by fall

  • There will be 31 covered boarding stations on the line, with bike access and pedestrian crossings

  • The line will also offer new buses that can hold more passengers and trigger green lights

  • There will be dedicated bus lanes

A new rapid transit line is expected to be done by fall.

There will be 31 covered boarding stations along the line, with bike access and pedestrian crossings. The line will also offer new buses that can hold more passengers and trigger green lights to stay on schedule and reduce travel time. There will also be dedicated bus lanes.

“The overall strategy is to get people along the line faster, easier and more conveniently,” said Mike Cechvala, capital projects manager with Metro Transit.

Cechvala said it comes as more people are relying on the city bus system. Just this past fall, Metro Transit provided more than one million rides in a single month for the first time since the pandemic.

“It has since started escalating,” Cechvala said. “We’re now back up to basically where we were in ridership before COVID.”

Douglas Meier has been using city buses since starting as a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison five years ago.

“It was just the most convenient option,” he said. “Parking is really, really expensive on campus, if not impossible, and it was just a really convenient way to get around.”

Meier said he welcomes the upgrades.

“I’m excited to have an actual platform to wait on when it gets rainy or snowy,” he said. “It’s kind of sucky to sit on the curb without any shelter.”

But he said he still wishes bus wait times were shorter. According to the city, buses on this new line will still operate every 15 minutes.

“I think it could be more frequent,” Meier said. “Every 15 minutes is great, but if you miss your bus, then you’re kind of stuck waiting around for a while.”

Cechvala said the city is always looking to make public transportation the best it can be.

“We hope that the people who are currently using the bus will have a better experience,” he said. “We also hope that new people will see this service and start to use it and see it as a good option for getting around town.”