DOT Will Pay $13M In Milwaukee Zoo Interchange Lawsuit Settlement

Lawsuit Alleged Interchange Renovation Project Discriminated Against Mass Transit Users


The Walker administration agreed to pay $13 million in a lawsuit settlement involving mass transit and a highway interchange project in Milwaukee.

The Black Health Coalition and a Milwaukee inner city church group took the Department of Transportation to court two years ago. The lawsuit that alleged the Walker administration was not adequately addressing the needs of mass transit riders as the state prepared to rip up and redo the Zoo Interchange on Milwaukee’s west side.

On Monday, the DOT said it would provide about $13 million to extend existing buses from Milwaukee to job growth areas in suburban counties and take other steps to promote mass transit use. The Milwaukee County Board’s transportation committee then quickly gave preliminary approval to one express bus from downtown Milwaukee to Menomonee Falls.

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County Supervisor Deanna Alexander says some Milwaukee residents have not had reliable transportation to the suburbs.

“This new proposed route would not meander through Milwaukee County, but would be more of a direct, express-style route,” said Alexander.

Alexander is known as a fiscal conservative, but says the state has agreed to pay for the bus route for four years. She says when the state money runs out, the county will have to assess whether ridership was high enough and if urban job seekers and suburban employers are happy.