Milwaukee Line - Project Process & Schedule

The Pulse Milwaukee Line is live and in service!

Details of the new service can be found here, and the full Milwaukee Line schedule can be found here.

How did Pace create the Pulse Milwaukee Line?

At its June 19, 2019 meeting, the Pace Board of Directors approved the launch of the Pulse Milwaukee Line to take place August 11, 2019. "Pulse represents the next generation of Pace service," said Pace Chairman Richard Kwasneski. "The frequency and affordability of this service will improve access to jobs, education, medical care, shopping and entertainment for the residents we serve." As Pace finishes work at several stations this fall, passengers may have to use a temporary bus boarding area in some locations after the August launch. The launch of the Pulse Milwaukee Line corresponds with a reduction in frequency on the mostly-overlapping Route 270.

Milwaukee Line timeline graphic

Project Study

The launch of the Pulse Milwaukee Line follows a robust planning, engineering, and public involvement process. As part of the initial study, Pace developed the following elements for the Milwaukee Pulse Line:

  • Capital and operating cost estimates
  •  Service and operating plans
  • Ridership projections
  • Vehicle and equipment needs
  • Final selected station locations and conceptual layout plans

Per federal regulations, Pace conducted an Environmental and Technical Study to analyze existing conditions, potential environmental impacts, and ways to mitigate potential impacts.

Preliminary study findings were presented and discussed at the first public meeting on April 22, 2015. The meeting also provided an opportunity for public input. The final environmental documentation for the Pulse Milwaukee Line was submitted to and approved by the Federal Transit Administration. In addition, the Historic Resources Report was approved. Further analysis and public input were used to identify the final selected station locations, which were presented at the second public meeting on August 26, 2015. The public hearings at which Pace proposed the final implementation plan for both the Pulse Milwaukee Line and Route 270 were held July 16, 2018 (in Chicago) and July 18, 2018 (in Niles). The Pace Board voted to implement those changes at its June 19, 2019 meeting.

Public input has been a key component of the project process and includes public involvement activities such as the Pulse website, newsletters, public meetings, and one-on-one stakeholder meetings. Public outreach efforts are outlined in the Stakeholder Involvement Plan.

Funding

The Pulse Milwaukee Line is funded by a federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant through the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, as well as local and regional funds, including Pace operating funds. Total capital construction costs are estimated at approximately $9.5 million and new vehicle costs are estimated at $4.5 million.