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Racine Metro Transit Center
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Racine Metro Transit Center
Bus in front of Racine Transit Depo

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Welcome! The Racine area enjoys a proud history of commitment to public transportation that dates back to 1883. Completed in July 2004, our new Racine Metro Transit Center (The Transit Center) continues our heritage of providing safe, reliable, cost-effective and environmentally friendly service to the people of Racine.

The following provides information about The Transit Center and its facilities. We’ve also included information about new transportation developments taking place within the Racine area, design & construction of The Transit Center, and some brief historical highlights.



About the Racine Metro Transit Center

The Transit Center is composed of two key parts, including: The Bell Urban System Off-Street Transfer Center, and the State Street Railroad Passenger Depot.

The Belle Urban System, Off-Street Transfer Center

The off-street transfer center provides convenient covered access for up to 20 buses. You’ll find two arrival and departure platforms, which are safely linked together by a covered bridge structure. Our assigned dual-platform positioning system ensures that you’ll always be able to find your transfer connection from the same location. Benches and structural windscreens also are located throughout the facility for your convenience.

A passenger drop-off location can be found in front of The Transit Center along State Street.

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State Street Railroad Passenger Depot
(Part of Racine’s Rich Transportation History)

The Racine Railroad Depot provides a nostalgic insight into Racine’s public transportation history.

The Chicago architectural firm of Frost and Granger designed the depot in an “Arts and Crafts” style, incorporating classical elements.  It is one of more than 200 original depots designed by Frost and Granger for the Chicago and Northwestern and other Midwestern railroads.

The Racine Railroad Depot was constructed in 1902 as the stop in Racine for the Chicago and Northwestern Railway.  Service ran continuously until May 1, 1971 when the last passenger train stopped in Racine and the depot was closed and fell into disrepair.  In 1980, the building was put on the National Register of Historic Places.  In 1990, the building was sold to private investors rather than be torn down by the railroad. 

In 2003, the City acquired the building and land as part of its new multi-modal Racine Metro Transit Center.  A bus passenger terminal, completed in 2004, was built immediately to the east of the depot, mimicking the canopies and platforms of the old train station.  Restoration work then started on the depot itself.  The restored depot will have two functions.  It will be a heated and air conditioned waiting area for bus patrons, with bathrooms and vending machines.   The depot will be open to the public Monday through Saturday from 7:00 AM to 10:30 PM.  The building will not be open on Sunday.

When the Southeast Wisconsin counties of Kenosha, Racine and Milwaukee have completed the work necessary to bring commuter rail back to the area, it will become once again, the rail passenger stop in Racine connecting the City with Milwaukee and Chicago. 

The Racine Railroad Depot, as part of the Racine Metro Transit Center, will be a welcoming gateway to the City of Racine and Racine County.  Racine, Wisconsin is a historic and architecturally unique City.  Restoration of the depot preserves one more aspect of that uniqueness.

Thanks to Mr. Keith Kohlmann for providing much of the detail provided above.

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Future Expansion Developments

We envision that the Transit Center will continue to grow as a welcoming gateway to the City of Racine and its surrounding communities. The location of the off-street transfer center was chosen because of its direct access to the State Street Railroad Passenger Depot, which is considered a primary location for a future inter-urban passenger train stop.

Construction of The State Street Railroad Passenger Depot that you see today was completed in December 1902. The Chicago & Northwestern Railroad operated the rail line here between 1866 and 1995. Today the line is owned and operated by the Union-Pacific Railroad. Due to a revitalization of passenger train travel, the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission is conducting a feasibility study for extending Illinois METRA service beyond Kenosha to include Racine and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. If this service expansion comes to Racine, The Transit Center would grow to become a multi-modal transportation hub enabling transfers between trains, city and regional/national buses (i.e. Greyhound, Coach USA, etc.), taxis, shared ride services, and automobiles. Amenities for all public transit passengers would be found inside a newly renovated train depot. Parking would be located at the south end of The Transit Center. The cost for depot acquisition, engineering, design and rehabilitation is estimated at $1.9 million.

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Design and Construction of The Transit Center

The Belle Urban System, Off-Street Transfer Center was dedicated on July 26, 2004. Constructed by J.H. Findorff & Son at a cost of $3.3 million dollars, the transfer center was several years in development. The City of Racine had to define an appropriate site, acquire the land, demolish the existing structures after removing asbestos and other environmentally dangerous materials, and complete the design of the facility. The design was accomplished by Wendel-Duchscherer, Buffalo, NY, at a cost, including construction management, of $566,000. Including the land acquisition and site preparation, the entire project cost over $4.4 million dollars.

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For More Information

For assistance in planning your travel routes, please call us at: 262-637-9000.

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The Racine Metro Transit Center

Combining the old and the new to provide Racine’s residents with quality transportation services.

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ęCopyright, 2011 The City of Racine - Wisconsin - USA. All rights reserved.
All Belle Urban System routes are wheelchair accessible.
Disclaimer of Liability

Last updated Monday, November 06, 2006


The Belle Urban System