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I wonder how many passengers and operators have been murdered on CTA buses? :(

Too many. One that sticks in my mind the most was in about 2007 or so, when a high school kid was shot on a 103 after leaving Julian HS. My memory of the details are fuzzy, but IIRC, he was trying to shield a friend (possibly his girlfriend) from the bullets when he was hit. I'm thinking he may have been the son of a police officer or firefighter or something like that.

I remember the MCTS incident, too.

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Too many. One that sticks in my mind the most was in about 2007 or so, when a high school kid was shot on a 103 after leaving Julian HS. My memory of the details are fuzzy, but IIRC, he was trying to shield a friend (possibly his girlfriend) from the bullets when he was hit. I'm thinking he may have been the son of a police officer or firefighter or something like that.

I remember the MCTS incident, too.

That's the Blair Holt one. Also the one with the guy with the mutlicolor sweater shooting into the 71 bus. Apparently both Juilan HS students killed in the 2 incidents.

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Join & Support the Friends of the Milwaukee Transit Archives & Museum Today. Located @ 2270 S. 102nd St (102nd & Lincoln), You can ride Route 53 (Lincoln Avenue) to see an amazing exhibit of Milwaukee Transit History. Memberships are available in several categories that are offered to the public as Friends of the Museum. Hours are Monday's & Thursday's 11:00 am until 4:00 pm or by appointment. Contact John Glove @ 414-345-7210 & Support Transit History TODAY!!!!!!! Also visit https://m.facebook.com/groups/170972686415034?_mn_=1&_rdr#!/groups/170972686415034?ref=bookmark&__user=100000025116488 for extended content on MCTS issues & discussions today.

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This is something I think is overdue. The same company has held the contract since the county took over in 1975. Maybe some transit oriented leaders who are forward thinking will come on board. Listening to public works transit committee meetings the last general manager sounded like he was in over his head. Not just him but also some of the top people as they were constantly told to work with the union, and work withe drivers and include the drivers on items like the new fare box design.

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For basically forever, MCTS was managed by Tom Kujawa, and then Ken Warren. Neither of them had any real vision for transit, and just did things their way because that's the way they'd always done them. Once Warren (and then Mike Vebber, who took over for a short period) left, things started to turn around as far as the system becoming a bit more open about trying new things, and letting people know what they were thinking.

Take the cuts they nearly implemented two years ago. They posted the proposed route restructuring online several months before they would have gone into effect (in fact, a few months before the budget was even voted on by the county). The old guard would never have done anything like that. Often, the first time any passengers found out about service changes were four or five days before they went into effect, when the new timetables were posted on the racks.

There was a serious disconnect between the management of the company and the daily experience of the passenger. Things got better in the last few years, but perhaps a complete replacement of the top management is what is needed to give a boost to transit operations in Milwaukee. It really depends on who ultimately comes in to run the place.

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I will say this, MCTS has never engaged in customer feedback since i remember. They just kinda figure we provide, you ride. Without them posting proposed 2012 service changes in Spring 2011, all we would have known is that more cuts & added express services & then they would have softened the cuts by bragging about the Express service (which they did anyway ) By the way, The GreenLine Oakland Branch was a horrible choice to put an express route, but then federal grants are paying for the new express routes, so who's to say public input would have changed the way the GreenLine was developed

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I think See Tea Eh hit the nail on the head saying they did things because that's the way they always did them maybe alternative fuels such as CNG will be pursued. The city and county of Milwaukee have CNG vehicles. Maybe there will be better customer service training because there are some drivers who could use it.

Communication with passengers have improved as Juniorz pointed out. As I think about more 35 years with the same provider promotes complacency on the county's part and the company's part. A few years ago it was recommended that the county seek competitive bids and the contract continued to this day. Listening to public works, airport, transit committee audio many drivers spoke about concerns regarding safety, security, and having no input regarding fare boxes. Its as if management hasn't paid attention or cared.

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  • 2 months later...

Sounds like a mess. If there is still a 90 day out, I don't see how the employees feel any better. A new operator would still have to assume the existing union contract (unless there is some technicality if MCTS employees are considered county employees instead of employees of a private independent contractor).

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Sounds like a mess. If there is still a 90 day out, I don't see how the employees feel any better. A new operator would still have to assume the existing union contract (unless there is some technicality if MCTS employees are considered county employees instead of employees of a private independent contractor).

To answer the last bit, no, MCTS employees are not considered county employees.
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For basically forever, MCTS was managed by Tom Kujawa, and then Ken Warren. Neither of them had any real vision for transit, and just did things their way because that's the way they'd always done them. Once Warren (and then Mike Vebber, who took over for a short period) left, things started to turn around as far as the system becoming a bit more open about trying new things, and letting people know what they were thinking.

Take the cuts they nearly implemented two years ago. They posted the proposed route restructuring online several months before they would have gone into effect (in fact, a few months before the budget was even voted on by the county). The old guard would never have done anything like that. Often, the first time any passengers found out about service changes were four or five days before they went into effect, when the new timetables were posted on the racks.

There was a serious disconnect between the management of the company and the daily experience of the passenger. Things got better in the last few years, but perhaps a complete replacement of the top management is what is needed to give a boost to transit operations in Milwaukee. It really depends on who ultimately comes in to run the place.

FWIW, there's an ongoing issue in Westchester County, NY (north of New York City) where the FTA threatened to withhold funding for the Westchester system unless the system was competitively bid. Westchester's Bee Line system had been operated by Liberty Lines, Inc. since the county took that system over in the early 1980s and had not been competitively bid since that time. I'm wondering if someone in Milwaukee was paying attention and feared a similar fate for MCTS.

With that said, MV recently took over our local transit system outside of Pittsburgh from First Transit. Granted, it's not fair to compare a bus fleet of over 300-400 buses (not sure the exact count offhand) with a small 25-30 bus operation, but I can say that other than a uniform change (green shirts instead of the older shirts with First Transit vest), riders hadn't noticed too many changes; the big changes took place internally as MV went from deadheads for relief to on-street relief, reducing the number of buses used in a typical operating day.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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