Milwaukee County Transit System now offers two options that make buses more accessible for wheelchair users. Both low-floor/step-free and lift-equipped buses now operate on many MCTS routes. Low-floor buses are equipped with ramps which are always located at the front door. Buses with lifts have a sign indicating if the lift is in the front or rear of the bus. The wheelchair securement areas for both low-floor and lift-equipped buses are the same and require the same operator and personal securement procedures. For passenger safety, MCTS drivers must secure wheelchairs completely before moving the bus. All MCTS Route Guides indicate which routes and what individual trips on routes are wheelchair accessible. For assistance with planning your trip on MCTS or to request a Route Guide or other information about fares, routes, and schedules, call MCTS customer service at (414) 344-6711, any day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Preparing for your Trip
Routes featuring wheelchair accessibility in the Milwaukee County Transit System have increased to more than twenty due to the addition of new convenient low-floor buses. However, one should still verify that desired routes are accessible before going on a trip. To see whether a particular route is wheelchair-accessible, consult individual route guides. MCTS route guides contain detailed schedules and maps and indicate if a route is entirely or partially wheelchair-accessible. The universal accessibility logo will be noted on the cover of the route guide. Be certain to check further that desired individual trips on accessible routes are not exceptions.For route and schedule information stop at one of several MCTS information displays at major shopping centers and other locations, including the Parking and Transit office at UWM. Or call MCTS Support at 344-6711, TTY 937-3299, any day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. You can even request that a route guide be mailed to you.
At the Bus Stop
Exact fare is required on all MCTS routes as drivers cannot make a change. If you have an MCTS Reduced Fare Photo ID for persons with disabilities or a valid Medicare Card please have the card and appropriate fare ready when boarding. The card needs to be shown to the driver prior to depositing the fare. Also, when paying the fare, be sure to ask for a transfer slip if you need to transfer to another MCTS route for your trip.
Boarding the Bus
When the bus arrives remain at least five feet from the door where you will be entering to allow other passengers to get on or off, and wait for the ramp or lift to be lowered. For a low-floor ramp-equipped bus, position yourself at the front door. For a lift-equipped bus, first, determine if the equipment is located at a front or rear door. The driver will tell you when the ramp or lift is ready for you to board. In the case of a ramp, move forward onto the ramp, deposit your fare or show your UPASS and move into the bus. With a lift, board the lift backward, lock your wheels in place and when the driver indicates that the lift has elevated you to the proper level, proceed into the bus to pay your fare.Wait until the driver has lifted and locked temporary seats in place to create space for securement of your wheelchair. When the driver instructs you, maneuver your wheelchair into the safety locking device that firmly clamps your right wheel.
On the Bus
When you board the bus please inform the driver of your stop to help him anticipate when you may need assistance. This will also ensure your stop will be announced. Operators automatically announce stops at all major intersections and other stops by request.
Exiting the Bus
Push the touch strip adjacent to the securement area to notify the driver that you wish to get off at the next bus stop. Some bus drivers will ask which stop you would like ahead of time. Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop and for the driver to be available to assist you in releasing all securement devices.You can begin by unfastening safety belts, pushing down on the knob near your right wheel and unlocking your wheels. Please do not begin moving from the area to make sure the aisle to the exit is clear. Move toward the door with the ramp or lift. Proceed to the ramp or lift after the driver indicates it is in the proper position. When using a ramp, move ahead and off the ramp slowly. When using a lift, move onto the lift, lock in your wheels and wait until the lift’s safety barrier lowers to ground level, before unlocking your wheels and moving forward. Be sure to move completely off the ramp and lift equipment.For assistance with planning your trip, call the BusLine at 344-6711, any day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
More information regarding the accessibility of MCTS can be found at MCTS Accessibility.
The Prowl Line, Be On the Safe Side, and the Off-Campus Shuttle are equipped to offer rides to persons with mobility devices and/or the need for special seating.
Riders can simply wait at the Prowl Line stop and inform the driver that they require a vehicle equipped to transport mobility devices. Not all Prowl Line shuttles are equipped, however riders can download Passio GO to verify which shuttles have the proper equipment
B.O.S.S. and the Off-Campus Shuttle
A vehicle with a ramp and securements is available upon request. Riders can request an accessible vehicle by calling B.O.S.S. at (414) 229-6503. Additionally, riders using TapRide can indicate the need for an accessible vehicle when submitting a ride request by selecting the accessibility icon. Download the TapRide app from your smartphone (Android / Apple). If you do not have a smartphone, you can also request rides online through this desktop link uwm.edu/parking/saferide
In order to purchase a UWM accessible parking permit, customers must first obtain a disabled parking information card and/or license plate from the the State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Instruction on how to obtain these can be found at Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Accessible parking permit customers will have one week from the date of purchase to provide proof of a disabled parking information card or license plate. Transportation Services does not have the authority to issue temporary accessible parking without proof of a temporary disabled parking information card; it must be obtained from the state. Customers with a temporary disabled parking information card are eligible for a temporary accessible parking permit at the regular permit rate (by lot), prorated for duration. Accessible parking spaces are available in all garages and surface parking lots on campus.
Mobile payment vendors offer discounted rates for accessible parking at surface lots. Customers must enter the unique zone for accessible parking, which is different from the zone number for general parking in a lot. Please check the accessible parking signage for the zone number. Hangtag must be displayed on dash or rear. Vehicles must park in a accessible parking space. If all accessible parking spaces are full, customer may park in non-ADA space.