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  • 1 Apr 2024 2:29 PM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    MADISON, Wis. — Madison’s city bus system will soon have another option for riders.

    What You Need To Know

    • The new rapid transit line is expected to be done by fall
    • There will be 31 covered boarding stations on the line, with bike access and pedestrian crossings
    • The line will also offer new buses that can hold more passengers and trigger green lights
    • There will be dedicated bus lanes

    A new rapid transit line is expected to be done by fall.

    There will be 31 covered boarding stations along the line, with bike access and pedestrian crossings. The line will also offer new buses that can hold more passengers and trigger green lights to stay on schedule and reduce travel time. There will also be dedicated bus lanes.

    “The overall strategy is to get people along the line faster, easier and more conveniently,” said Mike Cechvala, capital projects manager with Metro Transit.

    Cechvala said it comes as more people are relying on the city bus system. Just this past fall, Metro Transit provided more than one million rides in a single month for the first time since the pandemic.

    “It has since started escalating,” Cechvala said. “We’re now back up to basically where we were in ridership before COVID.”

    Douglas Meier has been using city buses since starting as a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison five years ago.

    “It was just the most convenient option,” he said. “Parking is really, really expensive on campus, if not impossible, and it was just a really convenient way to get around.”

    Meier said he welcomes the upgrades.

    “I’m excited to have an actual platform to wait on when it gets rainy or snowy,” he said. “It’s kind of sucky to sit on the curb without any shelter.”

    But he said he still wishes bus wait times were shorter. According to the city, buses on this new line will still operate every 15 minutes.

    “I think it could be more frequent,” Meier said. “Every 15 minutes is great, but if you miss your bus, then you’re kind of stuck waiting around for a while.”

    Cechvala said the city is always looking to make public transportation the best it can be.

    “We hope that the people who are currently using the bus will have a better experience,” he said. “We also hope that new people will see this service and start to use it and see it as a good option for getting around town.”

    Full article here.

  • 25 Mar 2024 1:05 PM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) bus driver saved a child Feb. 24 on Capitol Drive. 

    Keyon Finkley, a MCTS driver, was on his afternoon route when he saw a small child running into traffic on Capitol Drive. MCTS said Capitol Drive is Milwaukee's most dangerous road.

    The child was wearing a pajama shirt and no other clothes. He was also barefoot.

    Temperatures were in the 30s.

    Finkley stopped the bus and ran toward the child. He brought the boy onto the bus, saving him from oncoming traffic.

    Finkley called dispatch, who then got in contact with the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD).

    Finkley and the child waited in the warmth of the bus for help to arrive. MPD officers arrived to pick up the child and bring him to safety. According to MCTS, MPD safely reunited the child with his family within an hour.

    MCTS said in recent years it has been tracking how many lost and missing children its drivers have found. This is the 14th child a MCTS driver has found since MCTS has tracked that data. 

    Find the full article here!

  • 21 Mar 2024 9:56 AM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -- Public transportation could soon see a makeover in Marathon County.

    The county's Metropolitan Planning Commission announced the formation of a "transit planning work group" Tuesday, which is designed to bring leaders from the greater Wausau area and local transit officials together to discuss potential options for transit in the near future.

    "What we're hoping to do is get everybody to talk about...opportunities for us to have cross-community transit services that would address the business, social, and other needs of our residents," said John Robinson, who currently serves as the chair of the Metropolitan Planning Commission.

    The group will operate like a task force, consisting of people like new Metro Ride director Aaron Hursey, Wausau Chamber of Commerce president Dave Eckmann, and other officials from Wausau, Schofield, Rib Mountain, Rothschild, and Weston.

    Public transportation in Wausau is run by Metro Ride, which only has stops within Wausau's city limits.

    Some tell News 9 they would greatly appreciate expansion of services, especially to places outside Wausau.

    "Like Weston, Rothschild, that kind of area, because then it can all be around and not just in one area," said Kaden Reynolds-Helvey of Wausau.

    Others say it's important to help people get to and from work reliably, especially if their job is outside of Wausau or they live outside of Wausau.

    "I need to go to work, I live too far from my work, and my dad can't drive me," said Randilynn Seidens of Wausau.

    "Any opportunities we have to get to either get people to employable in areas that aren't being serviced by the buses or to get people who can't get to those businesses on their own, get them to shop and contribute to the economy, I think would be a wonderful thing," added Hector Delgado of Wausau.

    The work group cannot make changes themselves, as they can only make recommendations to municipalities, but the scope of what they can come up with is broad.

    "We want all the parties at the table to discuss what are realistic routes, what are realistic approaches, and that's what we're hopefully kicking off with this task force," Robinson said.

    It does ultimately come down to what can get funded in what areas, but some say route expansion is necessary for the growth of the greater Wausau area.

    "Any opportunities we have to get to either get people to employable in areas that aren't being serviced by the buses or to get people who can't get to those businesses on their own, get them to shop and contribute to the economy, I think would be a wonderful thing," Delgado said.

    That group is welcoming feedback from the public and plans to start meeting in April and potentially dissolve within one year.

    For more on their stated timeline, click here and scroll to page 14.

    Full article here.

  • 18 Mar 2024 9:59 AM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    President Joe Biden was in Milwaukee Wednesday to announce new federal funding for transportation infrastructure, his latest visit to Wisconsin coming the day after he and former President Donald Trump officially secured the delegates needed for a rematch.

    Biden announced Milwaukee will receive a $36 million grant for a street reconstruction project city officials say will improve safety.

    President Biden spoke to around 100 people gathered at the Pieper – Hillside Boys and Girls Club of Milwaukee late Wednesday afternoon, which is located on 6th Street, the focus of the reconstruction project. He said the work will connect the city’s south side to the north side. 

    “These are life changing improvements,” Biden said. “They’re also going to make it easy for historic Black communities in the north and Latino communities in the south to access jobs, school and entertainment opportunities in the city and central hub — from watching the Milwaukee Bucks play to attending the Milwaukee Area Technical College.” 

    The Wisconsin trip was part of a series of campaign stops around the country where Biden is trying to bring a message to voters about his administration’s investment in infrastructure. The president has held events in Pennsylvania and Georgia over the last week, and will head to Michigan on Thursday.

    Trump is also on the campaign trail, but has yet to visit Wisconsin.

    On Wednesday in Milwaukee, Biden announced $3.3 billion for 132 infrastructure projects across the nation aimed at reconnecting communities that were torn apart by past transportation projects.

    Milwaukee’s 6th Street corridor is near Interstate 94/43. Construction for that project in the 1960s led to the demolition of roughly 17,000 homes and 1,000 businesses in the city, according to the White House. Biden said many other communities across the nation have been impacted by similar projects. 

    “You’ve lived in and felt the decisions made decades ago. Today, today, we’re making decisions to transform your lives (for) decades to come, and we’re doing it all over America,” Biden said during his speech.

    Milwaukee’s project will focus on a 2.6 mile stretch of the 6th Street corridor, from North Avenue to National Avenue. It’ll include work to widen sidewalks, install bike lanes and bus lanes, place new trees near the road and includes infrastructure work to prevent sewage from flowing into the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan. Construction is set to start in 2027, according to the Milwaukee Department of Public Works. 

    “Part of what stood out about this project was how many benefits we saw all at once through the transformation of this 2.6 mile stretch of 6th Street,” U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said during a press call Tuesday.

    It was Biden’s ninth trip to Wisconsin as president and second so far this year, another reminder of the key role the swing state will play in the election. The visit comes as the 2024 presidential election is shaping up to be a rematch of the 2020 election, when Biden beat Trump by less than a percentage point in Wisconsin. 

    Other state, national projects also won awards

    Many of the other national projects that received funding through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods program are focused on  rebuilding communities, “including those that were divided by transportation infrastructure decades ago and have long been overlooked,” according to a statement from the White House. 

    In addition to the grant the city received for work on 6th street, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation received $2 million to explore possible reconstruction efforts on West National Avenue in Milwaukee near Interstate 43/94. That study will “identify and evaluate alternatives to reconnect the neighborhoods and address safety and mobility concerns.”

    The city of Madison received $1 million for planning and feasibility efforts for the Perry Street Overpass project. That project aims to reconnect Perry Street over the Beltline Highway, which was split during construction almost 70 years ago. 

    In a statement, Wisconsin Department of Transportation Craig Thompson said the money will create a “tremendous opportunity” for the state. 

    “Thanks to our federal partners, we have a tremendous opportunity to reconnect neighborhoods, create safer streets and improve pedestrian and bicyclist access in ways that meet the transportation needs these communities deserve,” Thompson said. 

    Presidential race is heating up 

    The visit comes as President Biden’s job approval rating is at 37 percent, close to the lowest level of his presidency, according to Reuters. In a recent Marquette University Law School Poll, Trump is leading Biden nationally among registered voters 51-49.

    Biden’s visit drew criticism from the Republican National Committee, who called it part of his “Bankrupting America Tour.” 

    “Joe Biden just proposed $7.3 trillion in wasteful spending and $4.9 trillion in tax hikes on the backs of Wisconsin families, so his attempt to save face for Bidenomics’ failures is laughable,” the statement said. “President Trump built a strong economy that delivered relief for families across the country, and he’ll do it again.”

    Biden was in Superior earlier this year to promote the administration’s infrastructure investments. In August and December, he stopped in Milwaukee to promote the Inflation Reduction Act and efforts to support Black-owned businesses.

    Last week, First Lady Jill Biden visited Waukesha to tout her husband’s position on reproductive rights. It was one of the first stops on her “Women for Biden-Harris” tour. Three days later, Vice President Kamala Harris was in Madison to announce an apprenticeship program for the federal workforce. 

    Full article here.

  • 14 Mar 2024 11:51 AM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    Most school and transit buses on the nation's roadways these days are still powered by diesel engines but in Wisconsin and elsewhere, there is hope about the push to switch to electric fleets.

    The city of Racine has made headlines in recent years for leveraging federal funds to add more electric buses operated by its transit agency. Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, school systems such as the Palmyra-Eagle district have used federal grants to buy a handful of buses fitted with such technology.

    Susan Mudd, senior policy advocate for the Environmental Law and Policy Center, a Midwest-based advocacy group, said it is encouraging to see the activity, knowing benefits will come with it.

    "The children or the riders on buses, including the drivers, will experience zero tailpipe emissions," Mudd pointed out. "Which they now do, because fumes, unfortunately, often get circulated into buses."

    The new models also prevent harmful emissions from floating through neighborhoods, especially when buses are idled. Mudd noted it has a positive effect on human health, as well as mitigating climate change, with transportation making up nearly 30% of U.S. carbon emissions. But even with federal support, she acknowledged there are still upfront cost barriers in securing electric buses.

    Mudd added implementing charging stations for larger electric bus fleets can be more intensive than infrastructure for passenger models.

    "It definitely requires more equipment," Mudd said. "(It) may require transformer upgrades and that is more costly."

    Organizations like hers are appealing to utilities to help make the infrastructure more accessible to schools and transit agencies. Once they get past the initial expenses, supporters said the efforts help schools and municipalities reduce their fuel costs.

    In late 2022, Wisconsin received more than $25 million in federal support to replace 65 diesel school buses around the state with electric ones. Read the full article here.

  • 11 Mar 2024 11:10 AM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    OZAUKEE COUNTY — The Ozaukee County Public Works Committee on Thursday will discuss whether it will recommend terminating the Ozaukee County Express Service to the County Board.

    The Ozaukee County Express provides county residents working in Milwaukee County a fixed-route service between Ozaukee County and downtown Milwaukee during peak commuter hours.

    The committee did consider terminating the bus service last year, but in November it agreed to postpone a decision for 90 days until February to collect more data after a number of riders expressed their support for it.

    "In talking with other riders, we really do feel that this is a very valuable service to all of us," said rider Jill Haupt of Grafton during a public hearing about the bus service in November. "I just think that it would really be a travesty to take this service away from us."

    Ridership in October did double from September; riders and some county supervisors partially credited the closure of the Washington County’s Commuter Express after Sept. 29.

    Ozaukee County Transit Superintendent Kara Ottum told the committee that there has been a downward trajectory in ridership prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    According to the county’s data on transit ridership, 2023 monthly ridership numbers are roughly 85% lower than 2019. When compared to 2022, 2023 shows a continued decline in ridership each month at approximately 50% since June.

    The data showed that there were 449 passengers on the OCE in September, which in comparison is down by 51.2% from 2022 and 89.2% from 2019.

    There were 833 riders in October, though in comparison it's down by 20.1% from 2022 and down by 82.8% from 2019. The low number, according to county officials, could be attributed to the closure of the CTH C Park & Ride, which closed due to I-43 construction in April of 2023 and showed a reduction of ridership from March to April in 2023. The CTH C Park & Ride reopened in December.

    Ridership decreased in November and December of 2023 to 730 and 713 riders, respectively. Ridership in November was down by 22.4% from November 2022 but ridership in December was up by 6.3% from December 2022.

    The net cost per ride, which is the cost after fares, has also significantly increased over the years.

    In 2010, the then net cost per ride was $8.04, while in September 2023 was $87.64, according to ridership data. However, the net cost per ride went down to $50.86 in October.

    The net cost per ride increased in November and December to $55.93 and $56.13, respectively.

    Ozaukee County has funding through COVID-19 relief funds to run the bus without the county levy through the end of 2024, according to the agenda information provided to the committee. Eliminating the bus service would provide more COVID relief funds to be used for the Shared Ride Taxi.

    However, eliminating the OCE would trigger a higher hourly rate for the Shared Ride Taxi, which would cost approximately $120,000 more per year, but only about $40,000 of levy after grants and ridership fares. The additional levy wouldn’t be required until complete exhaustion of the COVID relief funds, which the county anticipates extending into 2025 with Shared Ride Taxi service only.

    If OCE is eliminated, the following are other commuter options for Ozaukee County residents:

    - Wisconsin RIDESHARE: Connects commuters with carpool or Bike Buddy. Most commuter bus users have access to a car. This program connects commuters to share the costs. This is the only alternative that provides service to downtown Milwaukee employment sites without a transfer.

    - Shared Ride Taxi to Milwaukee County Transit Services: Ozaukee Shared Ride connects to the Milwaukee County Transit system at three locations along Brown Deer Road. Multiple transfers may be needed to get to downtown Milwaukee.

    The Public Works Committee will meet at 8 a.m. Thursday in the meeting room inside the Ozaukee County Highway Department, 410 S. Spring St. in Port Washington.

    Find the full article here.

  • 7 Mar 2024 11:00 AM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    The Milwaukee County Transit System is taking the public’s temperature on a possible faster bus line from roughly Bayshore Mall, down 27th Street, and all the way to the IKEA store in Oak Creek.

    The so-called Connect 2 bus is at least four years away and needs a lot of federal money to become a reality.

    The first Connect bus—also known as BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) — started operation last summer. It travels between the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center and downtown, with fewer stops than the typical transit system route.

    BRT has had some glitches and all the electric buses on Connect 1 had to be halted for weeks, due to a battery concern. But now, the nine-mile route is back to its planned mix of battery-electric buses and ones that run on diesel. Also, due to a supply chain problem, the Transit System is months behind in charging money for rides on the BRT. But fares may start in April.

    Thursday morning, WUWM rode in a half-full Connect 1 bus, rolling along bumpy Bluemound Rd. at about 64th St.

    Transit System and Milwaukee County officials say they’re happy enough with Connect 1 to continue planning for Connect 2—an 18-mile route going through Glendale, Milwaukee, Greenfield, Franklin, and Oak Creek, mostly along the densely populated north and south 27th Street.

    At a transit system open house on the north side Thursday afternoon, Jacobi Jackson of Milwaukee said he likes Connect 1.

    “Connect 1, I ride it almost every day, and the thing I really like is it is fast route. There is far stop spacing, and the station designs [bus stops] look really nice. I also love the electric buses too," Jackson says.

    Jackson says Connect 2 would provide faster links to other county buses that he rides.

    Glendale resident Mark Caballero says he’s not a frequent bus rider. But he says Connect 2 would make him so.

    “Visiting family, we’d go to maybe Tosa. I could see myself taking Connect 2 down to Connect 1. I could see myself going to a lot of restaurants downtown. So, Connect 1 again to Connect 2," Caballero says.

    Quartaria Wilder of Milwaukee says she’d take Connect 2 for its mostly straight route. “Yeah, it’s going to be easier to get to my destinations, cause it’s one shot down — school," Wilder says.

    At a southside open house earlier this week, Maria Parade, with Spanish to English translation by Marina Hernandez says Connect 2 would help her get to and from work.

    "That would benefit me because there are buses that are really slow, like bus line 53, 54... oh my, I was freezing waiting for the bus the other day," Parade says in Spanish.

    A few of the people at the open houses did tell WUWM some worries about the possible Connect 2 but declined to be recorded. The concerns range from believing the faster buses could lead to more reckless driving along the route, as car drivers try to get ahead of the bigger vehicles on roads that are narrowed for car traffic, to concerns that coordination of economic development along the north-south route would be lacking, to outright opposition to more government spending on the transit system.

    Milwaukee County is seeking $118 million from the federal government and needs $30 million from non-federal sources just to develop Connect 2.

    But County Executive David Crowley says he’s been making this pitch:

    “I think this is a route about equity. Right? When we think about the people who live around this corridor and the amount of access they can have to job opportunities. When we think about the families who are struggling and need access to employment and want access to healthier outcomes and their families. I think that is going to help us tell the story of what Connect 2 can do for all the residents in Milwaukee County," Crowley says.

    This might be a good year for the county to push for the money. As he was running for reelection in 2020, former President Donald Trump tweeted that he committed about $40 million in federal funds to what became Connect 1.

    Trump, and transit supporter, Biden, appear headed for a presidential re-match this year.

    Read the full article here.

  • 4 Mar 2024 1:24 PM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    Western Kenosha County Transit today announced a refresh of its existing public transportation services for 2024.

    This rejuvenation introduces LINK Western Kenosha Transportation, a revitalized service emphasizing 'Your Route to a Better Rural Journey.'

    This update, which includes visual updates to vehicles and communication, is not the introduction of a new service but a comprehensive refresh of the existing one. Organizers said it aims to address and change the stigma some community members hold toward public transit.

    The initiative to refresh the service stems from extensive community engagement in the fall of 2023. Public hearings and a survey conducted across Western Kenosha County, with participation from over 400 residents, have been instrumental in shaping the refreshed direction of LINK, said Kenosha County Executive Samantha Kerkman.

    “It was very important to us to engage the community in this process,” Kerkman said. “The survey played a crucial role in understanding the needs and preferences of our community members. We truly appreciate the public’s input.”

    A standout feature of LINK is its door-to-door service. Residents can schedule a pickup from their homes and be taken directly to their destinations.

    “This personalized approach ensures convenience and accessibility for all passengers”, Kerkman said.

    Customers can call 1-888-203-3498 in advance, to arrange a trip.

    “The service is tailored to be both affordable and inclusive, while offering extensive travel options,” Heather Vanoss, Elder & Disability Services Manager said. Fares are competitively priced at $5 per one-way trip for the general public, $3 per one-way trip for older adults and persons with disabilities, and $1 per one-way trip to a Nutrition Senior Dining Site. Western Transit's service area focuses on Kenosha County, particularly areas west of I-94, ensuring coverage for a significant portion of the county's residents.

    This enhanced service is provided through a partnership between Kenosha Achievement Center and Kenosha County. All vehicles in the LINK fleet are equipped with lifts and wheelchair tie-downs, ensuring accessibility for passengers with mobility needs. Additionally, drivers are trained to assist with boarding and disembarking upon request.

    Further enhancing the commuter experience, LINK is tailored for stress-free and relaxing commutes.

    The service is specifically designed to provide a relaxing environment, particularly during peak hours. This feature enables passengers to engage in leisure activities like reading, relaxing, or simply enjoying the scenic views, transforming their daily commute into a more enjoyable part of their day.

    In terms of reliability, LINK is fully equipped to handle all weather conditions. Its capability to navigate challenging rural road conditions ensures dependable and safe transportation regardless of the weather. This aspect of the service offers peace of mind to passengers, knowing that their journey will be safe and uninterrupted.

    LINK also solves parking woes. With this service, passengers no longer need to concern themselves with finding parking spots, especially in crowded destinations or inclement weather. This benefit is particularly valuable in areas where parking is limited, making LINK a convenient option for daily commutes and visits to large medical facilities.

    Lastly, LINK demonstrates a strong commitment to environmental stewardship. By opting for LINK over personal vehicles, passengers contribute to reducing carbon emissions and preserving the natural beauty of Kenosha County's rural landscapes. This aspect of the service aligns with broader environmental goals and reflects a growing public interest in sustainable transportation options.

    “LINK’s economical fares allow travelers to journey farther while spending less and significantly reducing the financial burden typically associated with driving which supports the economic well-being of the community. As LINK launches a refreshed debut in 2024, Western Kenosha County Transit invites the community to embrace this service, promising a more connected, sustainable, and enjoyable travel experience,” said Vanoss.

    Full article here.

  • 1 Mar 2024 12:41 PM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    ‘Transit Equity Days’ is a week-long celebration in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and throughout the state with the “official” Transit Equity Day occurring on Feb. 4—the same day that Rosa Parks, an icon of transit equity and the “mother of the Civil Rights Movement”, was born 111 years ago. 

    Although many are familiar with the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s, transit equity is a niche of the movement that may be less known by the general public. In 1841, the transit equity movement began when Frederick Douglass and his friend, James N. Buffum entered a train car designed for white passengers only. When the conductor ordered Douglass and Buffum to leave, they refused. This action led to similar ones on the Eastern Railroad. 

    With widespread action from people like Douglass and Buffum, the United States (U.S.) Congress eventually granted equal rights to people of color in public accommodations by passing the Civil Rights Act of 1875. However, in 1883, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned these equal rights declaring them as unconstitutional and unauthorized by the 13th and 14th Amendments in the U.S. Constitution. 

    On May 18, 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court established the “separate-but-equal” doctrine from the Plessy v Ferguson case. This new law made racial segregation constitutional under the Equal Protection Clause in the 14th Amendment. 

    Because of the new separate-but-equal doctrine, inequalities like the ones experienced by Douglass and Buffum persisted. In Dec. 1955 Rosa Parks was arrested after refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Her action led to the 381-day Montgomery bus boycott

    Before her arrest, Parks was not the only Black person who refused to give up their seat to a white person. On March 2, 1955, fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin was arrested for her refusal to give up her seat on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Colvin went on to be a witness in Browder v Gayle, the court case that eventually overturned racial segregation on public transportation. 

    Despite the ruling in Browder v Gayle, racial segregation continued to occur in the public transportation sector. In 1958, a Black law student was arrested for trespassing on the grounds of a restaurant within a train terminal. This arrest led to the Boynton v. Virginia case where the U.S. Supreme Court held that such segregation “violated the Interstate Commerce Act, which broadly forbade discrimination in interstate passenger transportation.” (Labor Network For Sustainability

    Now, the transit equity movement strives to provide “the same access to affordable and reliable transportation to everyone.” (U.S. Department of Transportation). In 2024, transit equity is viewed as an issue that intersects with other social movements like accessibility, environmental justice, economic justice and racial justice…just to name a few. 

    The utilization of public transit has multiple environmental benefits, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon dioxide (CO2). According to the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA), “approximately 85 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector are related to the surface transportation system.” 

    If a person switched to public transportation from their 20-mile-commuting car, they could reduce their CO2 emissions by 20 pounds per day, or more than 48,000 pounds per year. This decrease in CO2 emissions would also decrease air pollution which disproportionately affects nonwhite populations, especially Black communities. 

    There are also economic benefits related to transit equity. According to inequality.org, “Public transit investments create huge economic ripple effects. The American Public Transportation Association estimates that every $1 invested generates $5 in economic returns. Better funding and (crucially) more ridership means more jobs and increased commercial activity.” 

    Finally, transit equity fosters accessibility allowing all people to have their needs met. According to Around the Sound, the “right to movement” is a human right, which means that any person with disabilities should have the ability to access every location of their liking. 

    Speaking upon the benefit of public transit, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Sustainability Program Manager, Andrew Ericson said: 

    “Transit Equity Days is such an important event that’s held in La Crosse and around the nation. Transit is a backbone resource for our community, and is an essential service. Accessibility to public transportation, or simply having more than one feasible option to get from point A to point B, benefits us all. Building a robust transportation system that meets the needs of its many different users, will no doubt save us all money, build better and more resilient communities and prevent harmful impacts to our environment.”

    UWL Student Association (SA) Sustainability Director, Grace Lopez-Johnson also commented on the benefits of public transit. She said: 

    “Transit equity is vital in creating a more sustainable future that is accessible to all people. Having safe and reliable public transportation systems can help to remove barriers that prevent people from easily commuting to their workplace, school or appointments; especially for people like students who may not have access to a personal vehicle. Utilizing public transportation instead of relying on cars is beneficial for the health of the environment and is key in creating a socialized and thriving community.”

    Full article here!

  • 22 Feb 2024 1:57 PM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) is looking to expand its bus rapid transit (BRT) service – and get the public involved in the process.

    A news release says the community is invited to learn more about the proposed CONNECT 2 BRT route at virtual or in-person meetings which will be held on Feb. 27, 28, and 29.

    Officials say the new North-South BRT will "enhance service along one of MCTS's top five busiest routes, the PurpleLine. The proposed route is twice as long as CONNECT 1 and involves five different municipalities across the county."

    MCTS wants to get feedback about CONNECT 2. You are invited to share input on the features such as bus-only lanes, station locations and more at the following open houses:

    South Open House

    • Tuesday, Feb. 27 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
    • Wilson Senior Center, 2601 W. Howard Avenue, Milwaukee
    • Open-house style; stop by anytime
    • Take the PurpleLine to 27th Street and Howard or parking is available

    Virtual Meeting

    North Open House

    • Thursday, Feb. 29 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
    • Century City Tower, 4201 N. 27th Street, Milwaukee
    • Open-house style; stop by anytime
    • Take the PurpleLine to 27th Street and Hope or parking is available
    Spanish-speaking translators will be available at each open house, and the locations for each are ADA accessible. Visit mkenorthsouth.com for more information.

    Read more here.

Wisconsin Public Transportation Association

1502 W Broadway, Suite 102

Monona, WI 53713

(224) 357-6748
info@wipta.org

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