How to Get From Mitchell International Airport to Downtown Milwaukee

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With just one terminal—home to three concourses—General Mitchell International Airport on Milwaukee’s South Side (5300 S. Howell Ave., Milwaukee) is a breeze to travel through. And yet despite its size, the airport in Milwaukee services about 40 other cities via non-stop flights. Connections through Atlanta, Detroit or Minneapolis on Delta, are one option, as are short flights between Milwaukee and United’s hubs at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Denver, Toronto and Houston. Southwest has claimed more market share in Milwaukee recently; this airline alone offers non-stop flights to cities like Cancun; San Francisco; New York City’s LaGuardia; Seattle; Washington D.C.’s Reagan National and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and Orlando, Florida

After landing, there are several easy options to get you to downtown Milwaukee, which is about 10 miles away, directly North. No matter what form of transportation you take, the trip is about 20 to 30 minutes.

Rental Car

Eight rental-car agencies with counters at Mitchell International Airport are inside the airport, which means you don’t have to hop a shuttle after your long flight. The agencies are Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar Car Rental, Enterprise, Hertz, National, and Thrifty.

After you’ve grabbed your luggage—or passed through, if you didn’t check any bags—at Baggage Claim, walk across the street towards the parking structure. In the ground level are the rental-car agencies.

There are two ways to travel to downtown Milwaukee: by taking I-94 West (highway) or WI-794-West Lake Freeway/Hoan Bridge (follows the lakefront). Each route takes about 20 minutes with no traffic, slightly more with traffic, which tends to increase during typical rush hours of 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.


Two lines on the Milwaukee County Bus System service the airport, utilizing a stop that is on the airport grounds midway between Arrivals and Departures. Exit the doors at Baggage Claim Exit 1. The fare for each way is $2.25 and only cash is accepted. The Green Line heads as far north as Glendale/Bayshore Town Center, traveling through downtown Milwaukee along the way, snaking up Water Street, while #80 heads to downtown Milwaukee via 6th Street.

You could also take the Coach USA’s Wisconsin Coach Lines Bus, which picks up and drops off passengers just outside of Arrivals, near Baggage Claim Exit 2. The Airport Express Route is a 25-minute trip between the airport and downtown Milwaukee; the fare is $8 each way and tickets can be purchased in advance.


The Hiawatha Amtrak line runs several times each day between downtown Chicago and downtown Milwaukee. There is a station near Mitchell International Airport (Amtrak code MKA) accessed by an Amtrak shuttle at the airport. Hop on the shuttle to downtown Milwaukee (Amtrak code MKE) and pay $8-$9 one-way or $16-$18 round-trip. It is a 15-minute ride. Check the schedule via Amtrak’s website.


GO Riteway is the only shuttle service at Mitchell International Airport. The reservation desk is near Baggage Claim. You can either book your trip ahead of time using this link on the company’s website or at the desk upon arrival. Rates for a shared shuttle are $15 one-way and $29 round-trip between downtown Milwaukee and the airport.

Uber or Lyft

Both Uber and Lyft—two ride-sharing services with a national presence—are permitted to pick up passengers next to Baggage Claim 2. Exit Baggage Claim and look for the “Exit to Ticketing” signs.


There is a taxi stand outside of Baggage Claim 3. After exiting the building, cross the roadway and look for the taxi stand in the next lane. The typical fare between the airport and downtown Milwaukee is around $25 one-way.

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