Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) buses will return to full passenger capacity beginning Thursday, July 1. Per federal regulations, both passengers and drivers must continue wearing masks while on board, even if they’re vaccinated.

This will be the first time MCTS has been at full capacity since April 2020. Most recently, capacity was capped at 20 riders.

The full-capacity news was revealed at a media briefing Tuesday afternoon by County Executive David Crowley, who was sporting a Giannis jersey:

Here’s the press release. GO BUCKS.

MCTS to Lift Passenger Capacity Limit Starting July 1

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) announced today that it will lift its passenger capacity limit starting Thursday, July 1. Per federal regulations, passengers and employees must continue wearing masks while on board, regardless of one’s vaccination status.

The return to full capacity on MCTS buses — for the first time since April 2020 — comes as a growing number of people in Milwaukee County become vaccinated. The adjustment also aligns with national transit trends, local reopening plans, and relaxed guidelines from health officials.

Returning to full capacity on buses enables MCTS to better serve those who need reliable, on-time transportation to work, school, medical appointments, pharmacies, grocery stores, and other important destinations.

Since the start of the pandemic, MCTS has worked tirelessly to keep passengers and employees safe while still offering essential transit services that the community depends on. Continuing to wear masks and getting vaccinated are the most effective steps we can all take moving forward.

Below are reminders of current COVID-19-related policies and procedures that passengers should be aware of:

• Federal regulations still require the use of masks while riding public transportation, regardless of vaccination status. This federal requirement from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) supersedes any local or state mask policies and is expected to last until September 13.

• MCTS has free mask and hand sanitizer dispensers available on all buses.

• Passengers are encouraged to use best practices: wash hands often, cover coughs and sneezes, stay home when sick, limit unnecessary conversations and interaction, and use staggered seating when possible.

• MCTS is using an innovative air filtration treatment that coats each bus’s regular HVAC filters with a specialized polymer system that is independently tested to control bacteria and pathogens that house viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2.

• Buses go through extra disinfection processes using EPA-approved and CDC-recommended products in addition to the standard cleaning that vehicles receive regularly.

• Passengers are encouraged to use contactless fare payment methods like the M-CARD and Ride MCTS app to ensure fast, touch-free experiences while boarding.

• Passengers should enter the bus through the front door and exit via the rear door (unless the ramp or ‘kneeling feature’ of the bus is needed).

Additionally, the MCTS Administration Building, 1942 N. 17th Street, will reopen to the public starting July 1. Visitors must wear masks while indoors and any guests staying for an extended period of time will have to undergo a temperature check. The building will be open to the public Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more on MCTS’s response to COVID-19, please visit

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Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.