MCTS officials 'very comfortable' expanding bus capacity to 20

More passengers will be allowed on all Milwaukee County Transit System buses starting Monday, April 12. The changes come as more people are being vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Starting Monday, five more people will be allowed on county buses, increasing capacity from 15 to 20 riders -- with COVID-19 precautions on board.

It's a small sign of life inching closer to normal, with the increased capacity allowing for shorter wait times for riders.

"Looking at the overall trends and more people being vaccinated in the county, we’re very comfortable with the 20-person limit," said Kristina Hoffman with MCTS.

Passengers will still be required to mask up and practice social distancing.

"The bus doesn’t reach capacity that often unless it’s a super busy time of the day," said Madison Black, MCTS rider.


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Black rides the bus about twice a week and said passengers do a good job of staying apart.

"People already social distance themselves and know how close to sit to people," said Black.

Mask and hand sanitizer dispensers will remain on all buses. MCTS officials said safety continues to be a priority.

"There’s a lot of air flow on the bus," said Hoffman. "The doors are constantly opening and closing.  We have good ventilation, so from that perspective, we feel very comfortable."


It marks a small change that's the first step toward life returning to what it was.

"We look forward to that day where we can welcome more people back on the bus," said Hoffman.

Capacity will remain much smaller than what it was pre-pandemic. Most buses hold anywhere from 35 to 42 passengers.