Greater Madison MPO

Public Transit

Transit Development Plan

The Transit Development Plan (TDP) is a short- to medium-range strategic plan intended to identify transit needs and proposed improvements for a five-year planning horizon. The Greater Madison MPO is responsible for developing and maintaining the TDP with assistance and cooperation from Metro Transit and other transit providers.

A 2024-2028 update to the TDP is currently underway, with staff preparing the updated plan and collecting feedback from the City of Madison, Metro Transit, and service partner community staff. Once approved for public review, draft chapters will be posted on this web page.

The 2013-2017 Transit Development Plan for the Madison Urban Area was adopted in Spring 2013. Key recommendations include:

  • Improve the utility of existing transit service by improving the directness and frequency of routes where appropriate.
  • Extend service to areas that are currently unserved by transit, including new commuter express service.
  • Adopt a bus stop consolidation program to remove or relocate excessive bus stops in central Madison.


Public Transit in Dane County

Public transit service is available to many communities in Dane County.

Metro Transit (City of Madison) (608) 266-4466
Public transit and paratransit in Madison, Middleton, Fitchburg, Verona, and Sun Prairie.
Monona Transit (608) 222-2525
Peak-period commuter service and specialized transportation for seniors and people with disabilities.
Stoughton Transit (608) 873-7233
Shared-ride taxi service around Stoughton


For a list of maps related to public transit, click here.

For more information and analysis of existing transit services and recommendations for future transit improvements, see the Transit Development Plan below.

In addition, specialized transportation service is available for qualified individuals and trips.

Bus Rapid Transit

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a fast, frequent, high-capacity, limited-stop transit service that offers an improved rider experience on busy travel corridors. It offers many similar advantages to rail transit.

The Greater Madison MPO, in cooperation with the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission, SRF Consulting Group, Inc., and Metro Transit, completed a feasibility study to investigate how BRT may be used in the Madison Area. This study investigated four corridors radiating from Central Madison – west, south, east, and north – connected through a central spine through the Isthmus.

The City of Madison Common Council approved a revised Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) on January 5, 2021. The revised LPA will run along East Washington Ave., around the Capitol, through the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) campus, continuing west on University Ave. and Mineral Point Rd., to the West Towne Mall.

This alignment is approximately 15 miles in length and will connect key activity centers such as Madison College, Downtown Madison, the UW-Madison campus, the Capitol and government buildings, and major employers located throughout the corridor, including CUNA Mutual, University Research Park and several shopping centers. The route includes 31 station locations and the 60-foot buses will run in a combination of dedicated lanes and mixed traffic with priority at traffic signals and stations.

The City of Madison’s $80 million request for federal support through the Capital Investment Grants Small Starts program was included in President Joe Biden’s budget, released May 28, 2021.


Construction began in late 2022 and will continue through 2023 and the first half of 2024. Both North-South and East-West corridor routes and schedules began operation in June of 2023 using traditional 40-foot buses and bus stops. Full BRT service will begin on the East-West route in late 2024; construction on the North-South corridor is expected to begin in 2025. Learn more at Metro Rapid.

Bus Stop Amenities Study

Having the correct amenities at a bus stop is critically important. A 2018 study of the Impact of Bus Stop Improvements found statistically signification increases in overall stop-level ridership as well as reduced paratrasit demand at improved stops. The Bus Stop Amenities Study contains recommendations for additional stop amenities and offers guidance on design for new transit stops. Further, the study evaluates existing stops based on the newly established guidelines, identifying areas where amenities should be added or relocated.

Metro Transit Onboard Passenger Survey

The Greater Madison MPO, in cooperation with Metro Transit, Cambridge Systematics, and others, conducted a transit passenger survey in winter/spring 2015. Click on the link below to download the summary and see the results.

Spring 2015 Metro Transit Onboard Passenger Survey

Transit onboard surveys are generally completed every five years. The 2015 Metro Transit onboard survey updates the last onboard survey completed in 2008. Information requested from participants includes trip information such as origin and destination, demographic information such as age and household income, and satisfaction on specific aspects of Metro Transit service. The onboard survey is primarily used for two purposes:

  • General purpose transit planning – The onboard survey will help planners better understand the demographics and travel patterns of transit users. It helps identify trips that are difficult to make due to excessive transferring and out-of-direction travel. It assists in Title VI planning, assuring that Metro Transit can continue to provide equitable service to Madison area residents.
  • Bus Rapid Transit planning – The onboard survey will be used to update the MPO’s mode choice component of the regional travel model, which will in turn be used to provide ridership estimates for the planned bus rapid transit system.

The survey was conducted on weekdays, generally Monday through Thursday on Routes 1 through 75. UW circulator routes, supplemental school day service, and paratransit service were not included in the survey. Survey staff used two methods to survey riders – personal interviews with a computer tablet and self-administered paper surveys. 5,763 complete and valid surveys were collected. As a comparison, about 45,000 rides per weekday were taken on Metro Transit on Routes 1 through 75.