Milwaukee Intermodal Station (MKE)
MKE Milwaukee Intermodal Station

Milwaukee Intermodal Station (MKE)

Milwaukee Intermodal Station
Milwaukee Intermodal Station

Are you planning a trip to the brew city by rail or bus? If so, the Milwaukee Intermodal Station will be a part of your trip, and this article covers the information you need.

The Milwaukee Intermodal Station serves rail and bus passengers in the heart of downtown Milwaukee.

If you have a layover at this station, you have many opportunities to get around the city by walking, public transport, or taxi and rideshares.

A little history about this station

The Milwaukee Road Railroad built this station in the 1960s. The station housed passenger services for Milwaukee Road and Chicago & Northwestern passengers during that time. The station also housed office space.

Later, the Wisconsin DOT acquired the building, and Amtrak and bus lines started using the station, creating a surface travel hub.

What you will see 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 to and through Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Intermodal Station
A view from the Southwest of the back of the Milwaukee Intermodal Station with the Hiawatha waiting to travel back to Chicago.

The Location of the Milwaukee Intermodal Station

433 St. Paul Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53103

Fun Facts about the Milwaukee Intermodal Station

  • Amtrak Station Code: MKE
  • Annual station ticket revenue FY 2020: $8,536,034 *
  • Annual station ridership FY 2020: 311,350 *
  • WDOT owns the platform, station, and parking lot (managed by an outside vendor)
  • The Soo Line/Canadian Pacific Railroad owns and maintains the tracks.

Amtrak routes served by the Milwaukee Intermodal Station

The Milwaukee Intermodal Station hosts two Amtrak train routes and an Amtrak connecting service.

The Milwaukee Intermodal Station is the home to the Empire Builder, an Amtrak long-distance train to the Northwest, the Hiawatha, a regional train to Chicago, and an Amtrak Connecting Service Bus line up to Green Bay.

Empire Builder

The Empire Builder is the Amtrak long-distance route between Chicago and Seattle/Portland.

Empire Builder
Amtrak’s Empire Builder (Photo Courtesy of Amtrak)

The Empire Builder operates a daily train in each direction.

Be aware that you cannot purchase Empire Bulder tickets between Milwaukee and Chicago. If you need to connect between these cities, use the Hiawatha.

Hiawatha

The Hiawatha is a regional train funded by the WDOT and IDOT. The Hiawatha operates seven round-trip trains a day Monday through Saturday and six on Sundays.

While the Hiawatha is not a long route, it can be the start of many Amtrak Adventures. This train takes you to the hub (Chicago) of Amtrak’s most prominent long-distance train and Midwest Regional hub.

Amtrak Connecting Service

Amtrak thruway bus
Amtrak’s Thruway Bus service

The Amtrak Connecting Service can be a bus that Amtrak tickets and contracts, taking you to cities without rail service. Or Amtrak Connecting service could mean you use your Amtrak ticket on another bus service.

If you want to book a connecting service bus, you need to have a train trip included, be aware when you book.

Amtrak Thruway I-41 Bus Service

Green Bay, WITransportation Center, 901 University Avenue
De Pere, WIPark & Ride – 100 Lawrence Drive
Appleton, WITransit Center – 100 East Washington Street. Motor The coach loads on Oneida Street.
Oshkosh, WI – UWGruenhagen Conference Center – 208 Osceola Street
Oshkosh, WI – Wittman AirportWittman Regional Airport Terminal – 525 West 20th Avenue.
Fond du Lac, WIRadisson Hotel and Conference Center – 625 West Rolling Meadows Drive
Milwaukee, WI – Amtrak433 West St. Paul. Bay #7
Milwaukee, WI – AirportMotor Coach loads outside Baggage Claim Door #1. Walk across lanes to median/island. Look for signs.
Milwaukee Amtrak Connecting Bus Stops

Amtrak Services at the Milwaukee Intermodal Station

  • Ticket agents are available for Amtrak services.
  • Staff is available if you need help with the train.
  • Check bag service (if your final destination has baggage service)
    • Amtrak Express shipping is not available
    • Checked baggage service is available
    • Checked baggage storage is available
    • Bike boxes for sale. The number of bike boxes available in the station is limited.
    • Baggage carts available
    • Ski bags for sale
    • Bag storage is where passengers may store their bags, equivalent to “left luggage” in Europe. A storage fee may apply, often around $10.
    • Shipping boxes for sale
    • Baggage assistance provided by Station Staff

Bus service at the Milwaukee Intermodal Station

My first Greyhound Bus Trip
My first Greyhound Bus Trip

Greyhound staffs the bus side of the station on the Westside of the lobby. Buses load just outside the West end doors.

The Greyhound ticket office is open from 3:30 a.m. until 4 a.m and from 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. If you need help, make sure you call to make sure help is there, times can change.

If you want to fly in or out of Milwaukee Mitchell Airport or Chicago O’Hare, you can take one of Coach USA’s dedicated airport shuttle. If you go to O’Hare, the bus will pick you up or drop you off at your terminal. Amtrak’s Hiawatha also offers Mitchell Airport service, but not O’Hare.

Coach USA – Wisconsin Coach LineGreyhound
Jefferson Lines Indian Trails
Lamers Badger Bus
Megabus
This information can change at anytime
Milwaukee Amtrak ticket counter
Milwaukee Amtrak ticket counter

Station amenities for all passengers

  • Seating for both rail and bus passengers
  • Vending machines
  • Paid parking
  • There is a cafe with food, bottled beverages, coffee, and more.
  • Convenience store
  • Wifi
  • There are usually plenty of taxis outside the station waiting for passengers.
  • Public transportation, both bus and streetcar stops, are within reasonable walking distance.
  • There are other food and coffee places available within blocks of the station.
    • A half a block North is Stone Creek Coffee’s Factory Cafe.
      • Stone Creek offers brewed coffee, espresso drinks, food, and coffee accessories.
    • The Public Market is a few blocks East.

Wrap-up

If your next Amtrak adventure starts or ends at the Milwaukee Intermodal Stations, you now know all the basics for a successful stop through the station.

* Information from The Great American Station

Kev

Kev has been traveling with Amtrak since 2012, celebrating his tenth year this year. Over those years, he has been on over 700 trains covering over 200,000 miles of rail. Kev enjoys helping others achieve their travel dreams by assisting them to get started. Kev enjoys making music as an organist.

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