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District 11

Alder Bill Tishler

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Alder Bill Tishler

Contact Information

Home Address:

P.O Box 5252

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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Alder Tishler’s Blog

Madison East-West Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Planning Continues

October 14, 2020 5:07 PM

What: Madison East-West BRT Planning Study – Project Development Kickoff Virtual Meeting
When: Thursday, October 22, 6 – 8 p.m.
Where: Zoom link located at
Why: Join us to learn about the next phase of the East-West BRT planning study, Project Development. Review the progress completed to date. Learn about the process and outcomes for BRT Project Development. Share your perspective on BRT routes, station design, service plan, and economic development impacts. Learn about improvements to existing North-South Metro routes.


Project Description
In August, 2020 the City of Madison's proposed East-West Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System was accepted into the Federal Transit Authority's Small Starts Program. The Small Starts Program is a competitive grant program supporting rail and other fixed guideway transit systems, including BRT. Acceptance into the program authorizes the city to proceed into Project Development, the more detailed planning process required for the implementation of the East-West BRT system.

BRT systems provide a faster, more reliable, and improved user experience to access jobs, schools, and entertainment through:
· High frequency service
· Dedicated lanes (where feasible)
· Signal management
· Larger buses with multi-door boarding and bike storage
· Modern accessible stations
· Cashless automated fare collections prior to boarding
· Coordinated connections to existing local bus systems

The East-West BRT Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA), adopted by the Common Council on March 31st, 2020, will run along East Washington Avenue, around the Capitol building, through the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) campus, continuing west on University Avenue and Mineral Point Road to the West Towne Mall. The alignment is approximately 15 miles in length and will connect key activity centers such as Madison College, Downtown Madison, the UW-Madison campus, the Capitol and government buildings, and major employers located throughout the corridor, including CUNA Mutual, University Research Park and several malls.

Construction of the East-West BRT will cost $160 million with $107 million from the FTA and $53 million in City of Madison matching funds, based on the proposed 2021 Madison Capital Improvement Plan. The East-West BRT will run 55 to 59 minutes (end-to-end one way) with frequencies of 15 minutes during business hours and 30 minutes during evenings and weekends.

The East-West BRT system will include three separate service patterns, one of which will serve as a link between the North and South Transfer Points. The route will use BRT buses and will operate as BRT from Park Street to 1st Street and as local service north and south of the BRT corridor. Buses will run every 15 minutes weekdays and 30 minutes evenings and weekends. The East-West BRT budget includes funding to purchase the 60-foot electric buses needed for the North/South BRT line, making that project easier to fund in the future.

The goal of the Madison East-West BRT Project Development process is to develop the detailed design, and engineering for routes, stations, and operations. It will also analyze a few remaining route alternatives including center running on East Washington and Mineral Point and the Mendota Street, as well as the location certain stations on the near east and far west sides. The process will kick off at the first community meeting on Thursday, October 22nd (see details below) and will be completed in 2022 with construction beginning in 2023. The targeted start date for the new line is 2024.

Get Involved!
The City of Madison invites community members to learn more about Madison's East-West BRT, share input on proposed routes, station location, design, and amenities. The kickoff meeting is the first step in a broad public engagement process designed to ensure that Madison BRT reflects a range of community needs, concerns and priorities. Please share your input to make this project a success!

Project Website and Mailing List
Visit to:
· Access the map of the approved locally preferred routes
· Review previous community input and project reports
· Learn about the current planning and engagement process
· Sign up for project updates, including public meetings and events



David Trowbridge-City of Madison, 608-267-1148,
Melissa Huggins- Urban Assets, 608-345-0996,

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