LA CROSSE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – February 4th is recognized as Transit Equity Day. First News at Nine’s Dashal Mentzel explains how the city of La Crosse is stretching its appreciation into a Week.
The city of La Crosse is celebrating Transit Equity Days from January 29th to February 4th. State Representative Jill Billings says public transportation has helped her and many others get where they need to go, “I think it’s such an important part of our community and our economy. When people come to cities like La Crosse, that’s one thing they look for often is do you have a decent transit system. People are looking for that.”
The city introduced The Regional Transit Development Plan in 2021 and Billings appreciates the commitment by the city to help those who ride public transit, “I know the budget was tight this year, but they made sure that public transit was a priority. When you look around on this beautiful bus station that we have, I remember the old days when everybody stood out at the corners and the wind at the post office to transfer buses.”
Elizabeth Fryseth is legally blind. Riding public transit has helped her get around town and she encourages everyone to do the same, “Ride the bus, give it a shot just once, if not twice, because it could change your life. It’s an easy way. It’s affordable. Unlike Uber or Lyft. It’s also easier to get a hold of than a taxi service.”
Fellow advocate, Obbie King, says public transit is a great way to meet new people, “People get together, people see each other. When you’re in cars, it’s just one person per car. All the people relate to the pair of headlights that’s coming towards them or the pair of taillights that’s in front of them. They don’t see the person that’s attached to that vehicle. When you’re relating to each other, person to person, it’s a lot friendlier way to travel. You humanize each other.”
Today is only the beginning of a weeklong recognition of public transit.
In La Crosse, Dashal Mentzel, First News at Nine.
As part of the weeklong event, La Crosse Area Transit Advocates will be hosting rides with local elected city, county, and state leaders. Fares will also be free on the La Crosse Municipal Transit, now until Sunday, February 5th.
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