Milwaukee County Supervisor Dan Sebring: Proposes ordinance to curb bus fare evasion

For Immediate Release: August 28, 2018

Contact: Supervisor Dan Sebring

414-278-4253 or

MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee County Supervisor Dan Sebring, Vice Chairman of the Transportation, Public Works, and Transit Committee, has proposed a change to Milwaukee County’s Code of General Ordinances to establish a policy regarding fare evasion on County buses.

“On average, someone gets on the bus every 90 minutes and either pays a partial fare or doesn’t pay the fare at all, and it can be as frequent as nearly every half hour. MCTS loses an average of $28,000 monthly or $336,000 yearly as a result of this policy. MCTS faces budget shortfalls year after year. To continue a policy that costs the taxpayers over a quarter of a million dollars every year is a violation of the public’s trust. It’s well past time that this policy is changed.” – Supervisor Sebring 

Current MCTS Fare Dispute policy states that the Bus Operator is to request the proper fare only once. If the customer does not pay, the Operator cannot request the proper fare again and the customer is allowed to ride.

Transit companies from across America were contacted by Supervisor Sebring, including the major metropolitan cities within the Midwest, and not one of them had a blatant “giveaway” policy that allows passengers to ride for free or only pay a partial fee.

Supervisor Sebring’s proposal would prohibit MCTS from providing service to passengers who do not produce a valid M-Card, Go Pass, bus pass, ticket, transfer, or pay the stated fare.

The Transportation, Public Works, and Transit Committee will consider the measure in a public hearing at their next meeting on September 5th at 9:00 a.m. in the Milwaukee County Courthouse, Room 201B before it goes to the County Board for final action.