After a 15-year hiatus, MCTS will again provide Freeway Flyers service to Summerfest from the Park-Ride lot near the Bayshore Town Center.

County Executive Chris Abele, Summerfest CEO Don Smiley, and Glendale Mayor Bryan Kennedy announced the special event route at a press conference on June 5 at the Silver Spring Drive Park-Ride Lot across from Bayshore Town Center.

“We are the economic engine of the Northshore. We are where everyone goes to shop, to dine, and to recreate. So we are pleased to have this opportunity to help all of the Northshore communities to have an easier way to get to and from Summerfest,” said Mayor Kennedy. “Taking the bus to Summerfest is easy, inexpensive and a great way to avoid adding to the traffic and parking congestion.”

MCTS will provide service to Summerfest 2018 from the Silver Spring Drive Park-Ride lot near Bayshore Town Center. People will be able to park in the Park-Ride lot and on the third level of the Bayshore parking structure. The Glendale Convention and Visitors Bureau will provide restroom facilities and some limited live entertainment at the Silver Spring Park-Ride lot during Summerfest.

In addition to improving rides to the Big Gig, the payment process will be streamlined as well to make trip faster and easier. Riders on MCTS Summerfest Freeway Flyers will now pay when they get to the Summerfest grounds. In the past, riders paid on the bus, which was often slow.

Riders at the 10 Park-Ride lots in Milwaukee and Ozaukee Counties that MCTS serves for Summerfest will simply board the bus when it arrives and then pay for their trip as they walk into Summerfest. The new payment process will mean an end to the long lines and slow boarding from past years as people tried to stuff crumpled bills into the farebox on the bus. The change will allow buses to get to and from Summerfest more quickly.

“This is yet another smart and innovative approach by MCTS to make riding the bus easier and better,” said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. “Every year MCTS provides hundreds of thousands of rides to and from Summerfest. By speeding up the process, we’re making sure you spend less time waiting and more time enjoying the party.”

The change is only in place for Freeway Flyers rides and does not impact regular routes or the Summerfest Downtown Shuttle. People on those routes will still pay when they board the bus.

Also new this year, when Freeway Flyer buses pull into the Summerfest lot, riders will be directed to ticket booths staffed with MCTS employees. At that point, riders will pay for the round-trip fare and receive a wristband that gets them back on the bus at the end of the night. Riders can pay for their trip with cash, credit card, the MCTS M•CARD or Pre>Fare the MCTS Digital Ticket.

When leaving Summerfest, if a rider does not have a wristband, they must purchase one for the return trip at the ticket booth, by paying the full fare.

“We are proud to once again partner with MCTS and Milwaukee County to provide a convenient way to get people to and from Summerfest,” said Don Smiley, President and CEO of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. “Taking the bus from the various park ride lots, as well as the downtown shuttle, is easy and ensures a hassle-free trip. In addition, we strongly encourage our Summerfest fans to plan ahead and leave their backpack or large bag at home, cinch bags or small purses with a maximum size 9”x10”x12” will be allowed.”

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Lee Matz