graphic of 2 buses at a bus rapid transit system

The City of Madison is working to implement a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system as part of an effort to improve its existing transit system and reduce travel times across the region.

The proposed BRT will include an initial corridor that will operate east/west through Madison's downtown and the University of Wisconsin campus areas.

BRT Construction

Construction of the Bus Rapid Transit system will start in the fall of 2022 and continue through 2023 and 2024.

Contractors are preparing to start work on the “Early Works” project, a series of changes to remove bumpouts and pull-outs on East Washington Avenue. This is likely to start in early November. 

Download selected plans and documents:

Locally Preferred Alternative

The City of Madison Common Council approved a revised Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) on January 5, 2021. 

The revised LPA will run along East Washington Ave., around the Capitol, through the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) campus, continuing west on University Ave. and Mineral Point Rd., to the West Towne Mall.

This 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 shopping centers.

The LPA includes 31 station locations and the 60-foot buses will run in a combination of dedicated lanes and mixed traffic with priority at traffic signals and stations.

BRT map
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Small Starts Program

In August 2020, the City of Madison’s proposed East-West Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System was accepted into the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) 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.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 Avenue and Mineral Point Road, as well as refine the station locations.

Construction is expected to begin in 2023 with a targeted start date of Fall 2024.

Complete Project Timeline

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For new meeting updates and the latest information on the Madison East-West BRT Project Development Project.