Thursday, May 24, 2012

Getting Around Milwaukee

There is so much to explore in Milwaukee.  Don’t feel confined to only explore within walking distance!  All UWM students receive a UPass at the beginning of every semester, which they can use to ride any Milwaukee County Transit bus.  A UPass is a sticker on your student ID that you show the bus drivers.  I use my UPass all the time to take the 21 to Mayfair Mall, but it took me a little while to get used to the bus system.  There’s almost nowhere in Milwaukee that you can’t get to by bus. 

Here’s a quick MCTS how-to:

1)      Go to and enter your starting location, your destination, and the time you are planning on leaving for your destination.
2)      Make sure you know what route number you need to take.  Also, be aware if you have to switch buses during your trip. 
3)      Wait at the bus stop for the bus.   The bus stop will have the route number written on the sign.   If there is more than one bus route at a stop, check the electronic sign on the front of the bus to see what route it’s traveling.  Also, make sure you are on the correct side of the street.  If you are on the wrong side, you will travel in the opposite direction of where you want to go.  If you are not sure, just ask the bus driver.
4)      Enter the bus in the front doors and flash your UPass to the driver.
5)      Know what stop you are getting off on.  It’s a good idea to pay attention to the cross-streets.  When you are ready to get off, pull on the yellow cord by the windows.  This will signal to the driver that you are getting off at the next stop.
6)      Exit the bus through the rear doors.

That’s all you have to do to ride MCTS.  It may be confusing at first, but all you have to do is ask if you aren’t sure.
                Although there is a lot to do in Milwaukee, you may want to get out of town for a while.  Maybe take a day trip to Chicago or Madison.  Every Friday and Sunday, the Badger Bus picks up from the Union and drives to Madison, with a few stops along the way.  It only costs $10 to ride!  The Badger Bus runs every day of the week, although you would have to go downtown to catch it Monday through Thursday.  If you feel like going to the Windy City, you could take short train ride.  You can easily take a weekend and travel down to Chicago for pretty cheap.  (You’ll probably need all the money you can save to go shopping on the Magnificent Mile, anyways!)  You can take the bus down to the Amtrak station downtown, and you’ll be on your way.  Have fun exploring Milwaukee and our neighboring cities!    

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