On the rails and the roads, City of Milwaukee planning for DNC

MILWAUKEE -- Fifty-thousand people are expected to travel to Milwaukee for the 2020 Democratic National Convention. The city is already working on a plan to make sure the visitors can get where they need to be.

Jason Rae

"Transportation is an issue with every convention," said Secretary of the Democratic National Convention, Jason Rae. "Buses and transportation will obviously be a part of that."

With events scattered across Milwaukee, the people in town for the DNC will need a ride.

"We're going to be our A game," said Kristina Hoffman, the director of marketing and communications for the Milwaukee County Transit System.

Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) plans to carry much of the load, transporting thousands of delegates and journalists to and from their hotels, Fiserv Forum and other meeting spots.

Kristina Hoffman

"I know our drivers are really going to be excited about this opportunity to showcase their compassion," Hoffman said. "They do this day in and day out so I know they will be super excited to help with this event."

MCTS bus drivers will share the spotlight with the city's streetcar, The Hop. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says the DNC wants convention-goers to ride for free.

"(Potawatomi) sponsored it for free for the first year," Mayor Barrett said. "We don't know what's going to happen with that but we think there will be an opportunity just for that four-day period."

Fiserv Forum

Also in the works is an expansion of the streetcar. Mayor Barrett wants to extend The Hop's track to the lakefront and north, near Fiserv Forum and to the Bronzeville neighborhood.

The Hop

Tom Barrett

"We want to complete the expansion to the lakefront. Obviously the Summerfest grounds, Discovery World. The lakefront because we think that those are all attractions," said Mayor Barrett.

To pull it off, the city needs all hands on board.

"This is really going to be a joint effort," Rae said.

Navigating the road and rails to DNC success.

Taxi companies and rideshare services are also expected to help transport convention-goers and their guests who want to check out Milwaukee's restaurants and other local attractions.