Support Us Button Widget

The rundown on Madison’s Bus Rapid Transit system

Calling all commuters. We’re diving into the details regarding Madison Metro’s new BRT system.

Madison Metro Transit bus facing the camera, with the capitol in the background

How often do you take the bus? | Photo via Metro Transit

Driving through Madison lately, you may notice a few new bus stops popping up on medians throughout the city. These are part of Metro Transit’s new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.

Here’s the 411 on all things BRT in less than 300 words.

What is it?

As Madison experiences rapid growth, Metro Transit hopes to accommodate transportation needs during expected job and population increases. This includes 31 new covered boarding stations, zero-emission electric buses, and comfortable seating to enhance the rider experience.

Large Madison Metro TRansit bus with an accordion center

Larger buses will allow for more passengers per trip. | Photo by Metro Transit

The BRT system promises a reliable and efficient mode of transportation by implementing:

  • Larger buses for increased capacity
  • Frequent service and direct routes
  • Special traffic signals and dedicated bus lanes to mitigate traffic
  • Off-board fare payment kiosks to streamline boarding
  • Real-time schedule updates


The first phase of the BRT overhaul is Rapid Route A: the east-west line. It will span from Junction Road to the East Towne Mall area through downtown and campus. Rapid Route A is expected to be up and running by the end of the year.

Phase two, Rapid Route B, is the north-south line. It will run from the north side (near Cherokee Marsh), across the isthmus, between lakes Monona and Wingra, and end in Fitchburg. Rapid Route B is slated to be ready to roll come 2028.

Note: These Rapid Routes are in addition to existing local routes (see the key on the map below).

Bus Rapid Transit map

Check out the BRT map. | Map via City of Madison

Talk to experts

Metro employees will be available to answer all of your BRT questions at these upcoming Go By Metro events:

  • Tuesday, May 28 | 2-4 p.m. | Goodman Library, 2222 S. Park St.
  • Tuesday, June 4 | 2-4 p.m. | Pinney Library, 516 Cottage Grove Rd.
  • Friday, June 7 | 11 a.m.-1 p.m. | Sequoya Library, 4340 Tokay Blvd.
  • Monday, June 10 | 2-4 p.m. | Central Library, 201 W. Mifflin St.
More from 608today