Milwaukee Intermodal Station: What you need to know
MKE Milwaukee Intermodal Station

Milwaukee Intermodal Station: What you need to know

The Milwaukee Intermodal Station is the central hub for surface transportation in Milwaukee, providing Amtrak train services and various connecting options. It serves three Amtrak routes: two regional trains (the Hiawatha and Borealis) and the long-distance (Empire Builder), plus Amtrak connecting services. Additionally, the station connects to several bus companies, including Greyhound. You can easily access Milwaukee County Transit System buses, The Hop streetcar, taxis, and rideshare services outside the station.

Learn about what this station can provide you with!

An abridged history of the Milwaukee Intermodal Station

Milwaukee Intermodal Station
Milwaukee Intermodal Station

The Milwaukee Road Railroad constructed this station in the early 1960s. During that time, it served passengers on the Milwaukee Road and Chicago & Northwestern railroads and provided office space. 

From 1965 to 2007, it was called Milwaukee Union Station until 2007, when it was renamed the Milwaukee Intermodal Station. 

Subsequently, the Wisconsin DOT acquired the building, where they continued to host rail service and brought in bus lines to create a surface travel hub in Milwaukee.

The Milwaukee Intermodal Station Today

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation modernized the station in 2007, giving the building an updated look.

Later, in 2016, the train shed received much-needed updates to improve the passenger experience. With these updates, the Milwaukee Intermodal Station is ready for future rail expansion in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the Midwest. Today, the station is a surface travel hub for Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin.

Station hours

The waiting areas at the Intermodal Station are open seven days a week from 5:30 AM – 8:00 PM. Ticket hours may vary.

Where To Find The Milwaukee Intermodal Station

You will find the Milwaukee Intermodal Station in the heart of downtown Milwaukee.

Address:

433 St. Paul Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53103

Nearby paid parking lots are available.

Parking at the Station

There are 279 parking spaces west of the station at 701 West St. Paul St., but other parking lots and facilities are also nearby. ​The daily parking rate is $10, which is good until midnight that night. If you need to park longer, here is a guide for prices:

Machines for paying for parking at MKE Intermodal Station
Parking machines for the Milwaukee Intermodal Parking lot.
  • A 4-day pass is $35​
  • 5-day pass is $40
  • 7-day pass is $60
  • 10-day pass is $90
  • 16-day pass is $120
  • Sat-Sun pass is $12
  • Fri-Sun pass is $24
  • A monthly pass is $106
  • Last checked February 2024

To get the most up-to-date prices or pre-pay for parking check, check out the parking lot’s page.

Milwaukee Intermodal Station Facts

A look at the Milwaukee Intermodal Station
The Milwaukee Intermodal Station
  • Amtrak Station Code: MKE
  • Annual station ticket revenue FY 2032: $14,815,638
  • Annual station ridership FY 2023: 509,107
  • WDOT owns the platform, station, and parking lot (managed by an outside vendor)
  • The Soo Line/Canadian Pacific Kansas City Southern Railroad owns and maintains the tracks.

Amtrak at the Milwaukee Intermodal Station

The Milwaukee Intermodal Station currently hosts the Amtrak train routes and is set up for additional service in the future.

Amtrak booking note

There are three Amtrak stops in Milwaukee, and you must ensure you have the right one! If you want to leave from the Downtown Statin but have a layover, you may have entered the wrong station.

For service from the Milwaukee Intermodal Station, use the station code MKE!

MKA and MKB are Amtrak stops at Milwaukee’s General Mitchell Airport. MKA is the Hiawatha stop, and MKB is the connecting bus stop.

Empire Builder

The Empire Builder is a daily Amtrak long-distance train between Chicago and Seattle/Portland. Its southern endpoint is Chicago Union Station.

The train offers coach and sleeper car accommodations.

Note: you cannot purchase Empire Builder tickets to ride the train between Milwaukee and Chicago; for that, use the Hiawatha or Borealis.

Empire Builder in Milwaukee
The Empire Builder in Milwaukee, WI

Hiawatha

Hiawatha in MKE

Amtrak’s Hiawatha is a regional train funded by the WDOT and IDOT.

The Hiawatha operates six round-trip trains daily, Monday through Saturday, and six on Sundays.

This train only has a coach class, but there is also a Quiet Car. It does not have food service.

Borealis

The Borealis trains 1333 and 1340 run daily between Chicago and the Twin Cities and makes all of the Empire Builder’s stops, including Sturtevant and the Milwaukee Airport.

The train is a partnership of the DOTS of Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

Amtrak Connecting & Thruway Services

Amtrak offers destinations beyond the rails with Amtrak Connecting and Thruway Service.

This service is Amtrak chartered busses that take people up I-41, including stops in Green Bay.

You may need to incorporate a train ride when booking a trip.

Checked bag service is not available with bus transfer, so plan accordingly,

Amtrak thruway bus
Amtrak’s Thruway Bus service

Amtrak Thruway I-41 Bus Service

This bus line could become a train service in a few years.

Green Bay, WI (GBY)Transportation Center, 901 University Avenue
De Pere, WI (DPE)Park & Ride – 100 Lawrence Drive
Appleton, WI (APP)Transit Center – 100 East Washington Street. Motor Coach loads on Oneida Street.
Oshkosh, WI – UW (OSU)Gruenhagen Conference Center – 208 Osceola Street
Fond du Lac, WI (FDL)Radisson Hotel and Conference Center – 625 West Rolling Meadows Drive
Milwaukee, WI – Amtrak (MKE)Intermodal Station 433 West St. Paul. Bay #7
Milwaukee, WI – Airport (MKB)Motor Coach loads outside Baggage Claim Door #1. Walk across lanes to the median/island. Look for signs.
Milwaukee Amtrak Connecting Bus Stops

Amtrak services at Milwaukee Intermodal Station

The ticket counter at the Milwaukee Intermodal Station.
The ticket counter at the Milwaukee Intermodal Station.

This station offers ticket agents for making reservations, checking bags, and helping with train boarding.

Baggage Services

Checked bag service is available for passengers whose final destination offers baggage services. Otherwise, Amtrak has a generous carry-on policy. You can also store bags (at the time of publishing), often around $10.

Bike and shipping boxes and ski bags are available for purchase.

Getting to airports from the Milwaukee Intermodal Station

This station can connect you to several airports!

Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport

MKE Shuttle
This shuttle runs at the Milwaukee Airport, taking passengers between the airport, parking lots, and the Airport Amtrak Station.

There are several ways to connect to Mitchell from this station.

By train

Amtrak’s Hiawatha stops at the airport station (MKA) seven times daily. If you take the train, a shuttle will take you from the train station to the airport and back.

By bus

Amtrak connecting bus service also has stops at this station (MKB).

The 80 MCTS bus, which stops near the station, can also take you there.

There are also taxis and rideshare options too.

Chicago O’Hare

The easiest way to get to O’Hare from this station is the Coach USA Bus Line. The bus drops off and picks you up at the airport’s transportation center.

The other option is to take Amtrak or a bus service to Downtown Chicago and then take the CTA Blue Line north, which terminates at the airport.

Chicago Midway

Take Amtrak or a bus to Chicago and walk to the CTA Orange Line from the Loop to the airport, which terminates there.

Southbend International Airport

Take Amtrak or a bus to Chicago and do a self-trainer to Millennium Station to catch the Southshore Line, which will take you to the airport. Please note that not all routes go to the airport; check before you board.

Bus services at Milwaukee Intermodal Station

My first Greyhound Bus Trip
My first Greyhound Bus Trip

Greyhound staffs the bus side of the station on the west side of the lobby. The ticket office is open from 5:30 am – 9:00 pm. If you need in-person help, call or check the Greyhound website to ensure service is there; times can change.

All buses load outside the West end doors. The city bus stop is close to the station with access to the Blue Line, 12, 31, 34, 57, and 80.

Coach USA – Wisconsin Coach LineGreyhound
Jefferson LinesIndian Trails
LamersBadger Bus
MCTSMegabus
This information can change at anytime

Station amenities that are available for all

Retail spaces at the Milwaukee Intermodal station.
Retail spaces at the Milwaukee Intermodal station.

The station’s passenger waiting area has three regions: the far East side is Amtrak, the West side serves the buses, and the middle passenger comfort (retail spaces, bubblers (drinking fountain), and vending machines). The station does have Wi-Fi, but not from Amtrak.

Public bathrooms are on the station’s West side before you reach the Greyhound ticket desk.

Food And Coffee In The Station And Nearby

A grab-and-go cafe in the boarding hallway across from the ticket counter offers coffee, pastries, and more.

There are vending machines with food and drink, so you can grab something while you wait or grab something to go. At the time of publishing, the coffee shop/cafe was closed.

Nearby

Bagel. spread, and coffee from Stone Creek Coffee.
Delights from Stone Creek Coffee

Food and coffee places are available within blocks of the station, and here are a few of my favorites that are within walking distance.

One of my favorite coffee shops is half a block north of the station, Stone Creek Coffee’s Factory Cafe. It serves brewed coffee, espresso drinks, food, and accessories.

Various shops and food are .4 miles east, including the Milwaukee Public Market, which offers multiple food vendors, coffee, and more, with indoor and outdoor seating.

This place works great for solo travelers but is fantastic for groups of travelers because there is something there for almost everyone. That way, there are fewer arguments. There are other places near the Public Market as well.

Wrap-up

If your next Amtrak adventure starts or ends at the Milwaukee Intermodal Station, be prepared to leave the station for fresh food.

Get train travel tips and updates

Join my email list today for exclusive access to my latest articles, travel tips, and Amtrak news.​

Take advantage of the latest updates and exciting travel opportunities.​

See what will appear in your inbox, and sign up now to stay in the loop!

* Information from The Great American Station

10212021

Kevin Monteith

Kev Monteith has been traveling on Amtrak since 2012. With over a decade of experience, he has been on over 800 trains, covering over 200k miles of rail. Kev enjoys helping others achieve their travel dreams by providing support and information. Outside of travel, Kev enjoys making music as an organist and outings with family.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.