Alternatives for Transportation Improvement

Several alternative systems for improving transportation in the Greater Madison Metropolitan Area are being developed and refined by the technical study team and the project Implementation Task Force. The locally preferred alternative from the first phase of Transport 2020 (PDF) – and several variations of it – are included; the alternatives will undergo technical analyses during the study, and will continue to be reviewed by the public.

Alternatives undergoing detailed analysis (September 2006)

Download a PDF (2MB) of updated alternatives maps.

No-Build Alternative

The No-build alternative reflects the region’s transportation system as it currently exists, including improvements that are already planned and for which a funding source has been identified.

Baseline Alternative

The Baseline alternative includes providing enhanced transit features such as traffic signal prioritization, exclusive bus lanes on arterial streets, express bus service along existing routes, adding amenities to bus stops and providing real time passenger information. The Baseline alternative includes implementation of improvements that don’t require large capital expenditures, to make transit service more efficient.

Alternative 2a: Railroad Right-of-Way

Alternative 2a is similar to the LPA from the first phase of study. Utilizing standard commuter rail cars or selfpropelled cars (called Self Propelled Rail Cars or SPRCs), the transit system is designed to serve many of metro Madison’s major employment, entertainment and shopping destinations from a dozen stations on the existing rail corridor that travels through the Isthmus. Bus transfer points would be available at many stations and commuter trains would share tracks with freight trains, but would be scheduled to minimize conflicts.

Alternative 2a LPA, Railroad Right-of-Way includes a rail alignment along railroad corridors with stations at Reiner Road/West Sun Prairie (includes Park and Ride), Lein Rd (East Towne Mall), Fair Oaks (includes Park and Ride), Union Corners, Schenck-Atwood, Baldwin St, Paterson St, Hancock St, Monona Terrace, Park St/Kohl Center, Union South, UW Medical Center, Shorewood Hills, Midvale Boulevard, HillFarms/Whitney Way, Downtown Middleton, Highways 12 and 14 (includes Park and Ride), and Greenway Station.

Alternative 3: Airport via Railroad Right-of-Way

Alternative 3 is identical to Alternative 2a in the area west of the Isthmus while turning north along the railroad right of way to Dane County Airport. This alternative offers access to many of Dane County’s main employment centers, along with improved access among the University, downtown Madison, and the airport and nearby neighborhoods. It also provides a connection to Metro buses at the North Transfer Point. Alternative 3 could contribute to redevelopment of the north side rail yards as well. As with Alternative 2a, the rail cars would share tracks with freight rail operations in central Dane County, but would be scheduled to minimize neighborhood disruption and operational conflicts.

Alternative 3 LPA/Airport, Railroad Right-of-Way includes a rail alignment along railroad corridors with stations at the Airport, North Transfer Point, Fordem Street, Baldwin St, Paterson St, Hancock St, Monona Terrace, Park St/Kohl Center, Union South, UW Medical Center, Shorewood Hills, Midvale Boulevard, HillFarms/Whitney Way, Downtown Middleton, Highways 12 and 14 (includes Park and Ride), and Greenway Station.

Alternative 5: Mineral Point Road/Railroad Right-of-Way and Street-Running

Alternative 5 utilizes different vehicle technology and alignment, running along both existing railroad right of way, in downtown streets and on the city’s west side. This alternative uses electric or diesel-electric hybrid vehicles typically somewhat narrower than standard rail passenger cars and with a smaller turning radius. Alternative 5 provides transit in rail right of way in some of the region’s most congested areas, but transitioning to street running service in the area near Capitol Square and on the west side to bring passengers close to destinations.

Alternative 5, Street Running includes a rail alignment along railroad corridors with stations at Reiner Road/West Sun Prairie (includes Park and Ride), Lein Rd (East Towne Mall), Fair Oaks (includes Park and Ride), Union Corners, Schenck-Atwood, Baldwin Street, Paterson Street, then transitioning to street running along Doty and Wilson Streets, then continuing on railroad right-of-way to the Kohl Center, Park UW Medical Center, Shorewood Hills, Midvale Boulevard, and Whitney Way. At Whitney Way the alignment transitions to street running along Whitney Way to Mineral Point Road to the Beltline. Stops are at Regent Street, Mineral Point Road, Island Drive, Gammon Road, High Point Road, and Prairie Town Center

Download a PDF (2MB) of updated alternatives maps.


Build Alternatives from Scoping Process (April 2006)

Alternative 1 - Bus Rapid Transit (PDF)

This map shows Alternative 1 Bus Rapid Transit. The route includes mixed traffic from East Towne Mall to Commercial Avenue along US Highway 151, diamond lanes along East Washington Avenue to and around the Capitol square, diamond lanes headed west along University Avenue and Johnson Street to the UW campus, a busway on the railroad right-of-way to and through Shorewood Hills, then continuing west along University Avenue in mixed traffic through downtown Middleton to Greenway Center. Diamond lanes are also shown on Whitney Way from University Avenue to Mineral Point Road and along Mineral Point Road to the Beltline. Twenty-four stations are also shown.

Alternative 2a - LPA, Railroad Right-of-way (PDF)

Alternative 2a LPA, Railroad Right-of-Way includes a rail alignment along railroad corridors with stations at East Towne, Commercial Avenue, Fourth Street, Ingersoll Street, Monona Terrace, Kohl Center, Park Street, Breeze Terrace, UW Medical Center, Shorewood Hills, Whitney Way, Downtown Middleton, and Greenway Station.

Alternative 2b - LPA / Isthmus, Railroad Right-of-Way, Street Running (PDF)

Alternative 2b LPA/Isthmus, Railroad Right-of-Way, Street Running includes a rail alignment along railroad corridors with stations at East Towne, Commercial Avenue, Fourth Street, Ingersoll Street, and Blair Street, then transitioning to street running along Doty and Wilson Streets, then continuing on railroad right-of-way to the Kohl Center, Park Street, Breeze Terrace, UW Medical Center, Shorewood Hills, Whitney Way, Downtown Middleton, and Greenway Station.

Alternative 3 - LPA / Airport, Railroad Right-of-Way (PDF)

Alternative 3 LPA/Airport, Railroad Right-of-Way includes a rail alignment along railroad corridors with stations at the Airport, North Transfer Point, Fordam Avenue, Ingersoll Street, Monona Terrace, Kohl Center, Park Street, Breeze Terrace, UW Medical Center, Shorewood Hills, Whitney Way, Downtown Middleton, and Greenway Station.

Alternative 4 - LRT Study, Street Running / Railroad Right-of-Way (PDF)

This map shows Alternative 4 LRT Study, Street Running/Railroad Right-of-Way. The route includes a street running segment from East Towne Mall to and through the Isthmus along US Highway 151 and East Washington Avenue, then continuing on railroad right-of-way to the Kohl Center, Park Street, Breeze Terrace, UW Medical Center, Shorewood Hills, Hill Farms, and then street running along Whitney Way to Mineral Point Road to the Beltline.

Alternative 5 - LPA / Isthmus / Mineral Point, Rail Right-of-Way, Street Running (PDF)

Alternative 5 LPA/Isthmus/Mineral Point, Railroad Right-of-Way, Street Running includes a rail alignment along railroad corridors with stations at East Towne, Commercial Avenue, Fourth Street, Ingersoll Street, and Blair Street, then transitioning to street running along Doty and Wilson Streets, then continuing on railroad right-of-way to the Kohl Center, Park Street, Breeze Terrace, UW Medical Center, Shorewood Hills, and Whitney Way. At Whitney Way the alignment transitions to street running along Whitney Way to Mineral Point Road to the Beltline.

Additional details regarding alternatives will be posted on this page as the study progresses.