“USDOT is proud to help connect the people of Madison to some of the most important employers and services in the city — including the Capitol, downtown shopping, and UW-Madison — with this grant for new electric bus service,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said.
Madison’s East-West BRT battery-electric buses will run 15 miles from the west side of Madison to the City of Sun Prairie in the northeast. Along the way, it will travel through the UW-Madison campus (home to 50,000 students and approximately 20,000 staff), downtown Madison — including the state Capitol — and the East Towne Mall area. At both ends of the line, riders will be able to access the transit system through park-and-ride facilities.
“Bus Rapid Transit has been transforming communities across the country with fast, frequent service along key economic corridors, and Madison is just another community that will benefit from America’s largest ever investment in high-quality public transportation,” FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez said.
The East-West BRT will alleviate traffic congestion on roads throughout the corridor that are among the most crowded in the region. BRT provides a faster, more convenient travel option than conventional buses and is expected to appeal to the estimated 115,000 new residents anticipated to move in and around downtown Madison by 2040.
New bus stations will provide level boarding and shelters enhanced with real-time bus arrival information and security cameras. The 60-foot zero-emission, battery-electric vehicles will run on 9.5 miles of dedicated lanes and receive transit signal priority to speed travelers on their way.
The federal support for the estimated $194.3 million project comes from FTA’s Capital Investment Grants program, which helps communities carry out transit projects.