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Milwaukee Bus Strike Forces Riders To Find Backup Routes

Work Stoppage Coincides With Large Summerfest Music Festival

Chuck Quirmbach/WPR

Milwaukee County bus drivers went to the picket lines and displaced riders went looking for other ways to get around on Wednesday, the first day of a local transit strike.

More than 700 drivers and mechanics of the Milwaukee County Transit System are on a three-day work stoppage after talks on a new contract broke down this week.

Some union members picketed outside bus garages. Would-be transit users walked, biked, drove, carpooled or stayed home. A man named Kevin from Pleasant Prairie said he drove his family all the way to the Summerfest music festival on Milwaukee’s lakefront instead of taking a county bus partway there and back.

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“Now we’re going to have to face the traffic on the way out of here and we know it’s going to be kind of rough, especially later at night,” he said, adding they may leave Summerfest a little early.

Summerfest has announced it’s opened a new 1,000-car parking area, on a section of grass north of the festival grounds.