‘The best we could ask for on a slow rollout’: Metro Transit launches updated routes

Metro Transit’s redesign, meant to make routes, maps and schedules more efficient, officially launched Sunday.
Published: Jun. 11, 2023 at 6:38 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 11, 2023 at 6:42 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - After years of public meetings and planning, a highly anticipated day for the City of Madison and commuters has arrived.

Metro Transit’s redesign, meant to make routes, maps and schedules more efficient, officially launched Sunday. According to employees, the soft launch could not have gone smoother.

“Today’s been going actually as well as can be expected,” Interim Chief Development Officer Mick Rusch said. “As you know everyone else has said that too but it’s a huge change, something we haven’t done in 20-25 years.”

Rusch said many employees, including designated ‘Ride Guides,’ are out and about, assisting riders with the new routes.

“Our planners are already out riding buses today, our general manager is out riding buses today, we’ve got supervisors out in cars driving around basically driving at stops that closed to make sure nobody is standing there,” he said. “We’re picking people up if there’s like an issue with the connections so that we can give them a ride. So basically, we’re there to make sure it’s a smooth transition to this new service.”

David Alvarado moved to Madison in 1997 and was immediately disappointed by Madison’s mass transit.

“I was surprised by the lack of public transportation. Back home in Mexico City there’s a bus everywhere, all the time it seems like.”

Now, Alvarado is a Ride Guide, helping metro transit riders navigate the new and improved routes.

“With the new lines you can just walk out on the street and wait for the next bus instead of having to look at a schedule, then a schedule. It cut out 15 minutes of my commute coming here,” he said.

Rusch said riders are encouraged to call their office at (608) 266-4466, or speak to a Ride Guide to give them feedback, as they will continue to make adjustments to the routes.

“We know it’s not perfect today,” he said. “With a big thing like this, we’re updating all these signs, we’re updating all of our bus data, website, all that kind of stuff, just the routes in general, so we know it’s not going to be perfect.”

For more information on the updated routes visit, https://www.cityofmadison.com/metro/routes-schedules/transit-network-redesign.

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