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  • 2 Nov 2023 8:48 AM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    MADISON, Wis. -- The next part of Madison's Bus Rapid Transit project got underway Wednesday when city and Metro Transit officials held their first public planning meeting for the proposed north-south line.

    The line would consist of 33 stations, which have raised platforms, shelters, seating and bus arrival information, and larger electric buses that would arrive every 15 minutes. It's expected in 2027.

    Transportation officials laid out some proposed stops at the meeting Wednesday, at the Urban League building on the city's south side.

    "I live way out on the edge of town, and so I have quite a walk to the closest bus stop," south side resident Kate Schulte said.

    She wants to see a sop closer to Novation Parkway and Ski Lane, but also wanted to generally learn more about what the city has planned to bring to others living in her area.

    "Some people are very car-dependent, but then there are a lot of people in a lot of apartments out there, [former] town of Madison, people like me out there," Schulte said.

    Others at the meeting wanted know if the line would have access to the airport.

    "I think is something that should be looked at, especially for people who would want to get across town and make that, you know, every major city you look at has that," Kirk Hoffman said. "And I think that that would really improve the areas in that sense."

    According to Tom Lynch, Madison's Director of Transportation, the city is waiting on another grant application for the project.

    "Of that, 80% was going to be federally funded and then 20% would be locally funded," Lynch said, "and so we're partnering with... the state of Wisconsin was going to invest (in) some on Park Street and then some other people who are able to contribute to get this all done."

    According to Lynch, the city should know the status of that funding by March or April of next year.

    The construction work underway right now is for the east-west line, which will run from Junction Road to East Towne through the downtown and campus area. Lynch said that should be done in the latter half of 2024.

    The city is learning from that work on those east-west bus stops, which take longer to build.

    "You know, they have new walls and the like, and so we want to carry the same branding, but we might modify them a little bit so that maybe they're a little easier to construct," he said.

    It's hoped that the new BRT system will help the city of Madison meet its climate goals.

    Residents on Wednesday said if that's the case, the city should do more for bikers when planning new lines.

    "I think using like the University Avenue model of having bike lanes that go opposing traffic, that are protected bike lanes would really improve the ability for people to move around in different climate friendly transit options," Hoffman said.

    There will be multiple opportunities for the public to share their thoughts on the plan, including a meeting at the Warner Park Community Center from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday and another at the Mainstay Suites in Fitchburg on Nov. 9 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. A virtual meeting is scheduled from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 8. For more information, click or tap here.

    Find the original article here.

  • 10 Oct 2023 7:37 AM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) announced today that the final draft of Wisconsin Rail Plan 2050, which establishes a long-term vision for freight and passenger rail travel, is available for the last round of review and comment through June 10​, 2023. 

    “Thank you to all who participated in the first round of public comment on the draft Wisconsin Rail Plan 2050. We invite the public to revisit our rail plans and participate in setting a course to help strengthen our economy and make our multimodal infrastructure more efficient and resilient,” WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson said. “Rail moves about 32% of our freight in Wisconsin and demand for passenger service is growing. This is an exciting time to help plan the future of rail in Wisconsin.”

    The draft Wisconsin Rail Plan 2050 is available to review online​.  Comments can be made through the online comment form.  A website with more information about this planning effort is also available

    To request the plan in another form, please contact:​

    WisDOT

    Bureau of Planning and Economic Development

    4822 Madison Yards Way

    PO Box 7913

    Madison, WI 53705

    dotwirailplan2050@dot.wi.gov

    608-266-3581

    The draft Wisconsin Rail Plan 2050 is part of a comprehensive review of WisDOT’s federally required long-range plans. When published, it will replace Wisconsin Rail Plan 2030. The initial draft went before the public on January 27, 2023 for a 30-day comment period. The final plan is to be completed in 2023. 

    The Wisconsin Rail Plan 2050 will include policies for railroad crossings, freight rail, Wisconsin’s state-owned rail system, long distance passenger rail, intercity rail, and commuter rail. The plan will specifically discuss rail data trends, existing and possible future service levels, rail system conditions, and commodity freight movements. 


  • 26 Sep 2023 1:50 PM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    The introduction of WisGo will allow Waukesha Metro customers to benefit from a simplified and versatile payment system, promising a more convenient and efficient experience while using public transit.

    Waukesha Metro has announced that it has introduced WisGo, a cutting-edge fare collection system, in collaboration with Umo. WisGo offers numerous enhancements for public transit riders, including diverse payment options, fare capping and seamless connections to neighbouring transit services like the Milwaukee County Transit System.

    The WisGo mobile app had made its debut on 11 September 2023, while the release date for the WisGo cards will be announced in later Autumn 2023. Commuters will have until April 2024 to transition from the previous fare system to WisGo, although cash payments and transfers will remain available.

    Mayor Shawn N. Reilly of the City of Waukesha said: “We’re proud to make transit in the region easier through one, simplified payment system and look forward to modernising how our people get to important destinations such as work, school and medical appointments through WisGo.”

    “I’m excited to see that many of our riders are already using WisGo within the Umo mobile app to connect to Milwaukee County. The feedback we’ve received from riders has been very positive,” said Brian Engelking, City of Waukesha Transit Manager.

    Waukesha Metro is the second transit agency to adopt WisGo, following the Milwaukee County Transit System’s pioneering move. Other nearby transit agencies are gearing up for a similar transition, promising Wisconsin’s commuters a seamless and convenient payment experience.

    WisGo offers multiple payment avenues, including the Umo mobile app, which accepts credit cards, debit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay and WisGo cards. Commuters simply scan the QR code on the Umo app screen or WisGo card, and the system deducts the correct fare. Once a rider reaches the fare cap, further deductions cease, and low fund balances are promptly flagged.

    Furthermore, WisGo introduces fare capping, allowing riders to save money as they travel more without the need for daily, weekly, or monthly passes. Once the cap is reached, subsequent trips within a specific time frame are free. Fare capping extends to regular, reduced fare and youth riders when using other participating WisGo transit agencies.

    Read the full article here.

  • 21 Sep 2023 11:33 AM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    Just under 5 weeks until our electrifying joint conference with MIPTA! Prepare for an epic three days jam-packed with networking, connections, and knowledge-sharing with transit pros from both states. Secure your spot now – it's an opportunity you can't afford to miss!

    Register here: https://www.mpta-transit.org/event/2023-wimn-public-transit-conference

    Become an exhibitor: https://www.mpta-transit.org/event/2023-wisconsinminnesota-public-transit-expo

  • 18 Sep 2023 4:02 PM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    Re

    MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee County Transit System will continue its free ride period into early 2024 on the new CONNECT 1 BRT line, according to MCTS on Monday.

    The change is due to supply chain issues.

    A new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) feature that may be available in 2024 is pre-board payment, according to a statement.

    The pre-payment feature will reduce boarding process times in public transit. Riders will be able to use their WisGo card to scan or access the Umo mobile app before boarding the CONNECT 1.

    Read the full announcement below:

    Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) and its fare payment service provider, Umo Mobility, have agreed to extend the free ride period on the new CONNECT 1 BRT line into early 2024. Riders can continue to explore the regional, 9-mile route that reaches major employers, education, recreation, and medical destinations, at no cost. One of the new features of Milwaukee County’s new Bus Rapid Transit line (BRT) is pre-board payment. Due to a supply chain delay, the pre-board fare equipment will not be ready as planned this fall.

    MCTS will announce the timeline when WisGo pre-board fare collection will begin on the BRT sometime in early 2024, along with timing for an educational campaign throughout the community.

    A Preview of Pre-Payment Along the BRT in 2024

    MCTS will join major metros that already offer pre-board payment including San Francisco, Portland, Paris, and Berlin, and will be the first to offer pre-board bus payment in the state of Wisconsin. When riders pay at the platform before boarding the bus, it speeds up the boarding process. Pre-board payment is found more often in rail service than public transit. Once the new platform validators are installed in 2024, riders will be able to simply scan their WisGo card or Umo mobile app prior to boarding the CONNECT 1.

    Read the full article here.

  • 14 Sep 2023 7:55 AM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    By Savanna Tomei

    JANESVILLE, Wis. — Students in Janesville can now ride public transit for free.

    What You Need To Know:

    • Starting this school year, Janesville students get free fares on public transportation
    • Previously, like many public transit systems, students got reduced fares
    • Before the pandemic, students took an average of 45,000 to 50,000 reduced rate rides per year

    Previously, students could get reduced rates on public transportation in Janesville, not unlike many other cities in Wisconsin.

    “We were averaging about 45,000 to 50,000 student rides in previous calendar years, particularly before the pandemic,” said Rebecca Smith, director of Janesville Transit System (JTS).

    Starting this school year, the rides for Janesville students are free.

    “Students have to just show their student ID card and they can board any city bus any time we’re in service,” she said.

    They’re also adding more bus routes at the times kids need them most.

    “We can capture that ridership peak in the morning with an additional four buses on the road, and we can capture that ridership after school with an additional nine buses on the road,” Smith said. 

    Edgar Alonso has been driving for JTS for 17 years. Every year, he said he looks forward to school starting again.

    “I used to drive 60 kids in the morning during school time, so I’m expecting more than that,” he said.

    He gets to know the students who take his bus, and although he’s hesitant to admit it, he said he does develop favorites.

    “They are funny,” he said. “They’re kids, they behave like kids. So they keep you on your toes.”

    Students don’t even need to be coming to or from school to utilize the free rides. They can be an opportunity for young people to get to work, or just spend time with their friends.

    “Parents can help their students get jobs, go to the mall, head to the library, do other fun things around town at any time, and now, those rides are free,” Smith said.

    Smith said she expects this year to eclipse that 50,000 student rides per year now that fares are free.

    Find the full article here.

  • 12 Sep 2023 1:57 PM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    The ATP project team is completing a quick poll to identify favorite places to walk, bike, or roll in Wisconsin.  Please click on the link below to let us know your favorite places and what makes them special!

    https://app.pima.wisconsindot.gov/public/s123-registration/search?project_id=14368&s123_id=35de5594d3e747cf98c9e88e2b1eff9f


  • 7 Sep 2023 12:51 PM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    Join us and MIPTA for an exciting conference on October 23 - 25 - don't miss out!

    Register here: https://www.mpta-transit.org/event/2023-wisconsinminnesota-public-transit-expo

    Become an exhibitor: https://www.mpta-transit.org/event/2023-wisconsinminnesota-public-transit-expo


  • 14 Aug 2023 2:17 PM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    Ridership continues to rise on the County of Door’s public-transit services, including Door County Connect (DCC) and Door 2 Door Rides.

    During pre-COVID 2019, these services provided more than 47,720 rides. Since then, ridership has remained just under 40,000 rides until last year, when 42,130-plus rides were provided.

    “Rides continue to increase each month,” said Pam Busch, the county’s transportation manager.

    Busch said that on average, there were more than 3,500 rides provided per month in 2022, and already in 2023, average trips per month have increased to almost 3,900.

    “We are projecting to provide well over 46,000 trips in 2023,” Busch said.

    Public-transit services can be used for any purpose, but employment rides have increased and were the largest rider category in 2022.

    “We have also seen an increase in younger people using the services,” Busch said.

    DCC is available Monday-Thursday, 7:45 am – 4:15 pm; and Friday, 7:45 am – 1:15 pm. DCC operates primarily in the City of Sturgeon Bay and up to 10 miles from the Aging and Disability Resource Center. The cost per ride is $2 in the city and $5 in the extended area. Call 920.746.6944 to schedule a ride.

    https://doorcountypulse.com/public-transit-rides-increasing-in-door-county/

  • 7 Aug 2023 8:06 AM | WIPTA Admin (Administrator)

    Metro Transit Bus

    More than one month into Madison's first full-scale Metro Transit service redesign in more than 25 years, ridership is already up by 5% compared to last summer, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said.

    In a blog post, the mayor said Metro has gotten feedback from riders praising the more direct routes they say make planning trips easier and shorten travel times. The new routes rolled out in June with the goal of reducing wait times by creating more direct main pathways.

    Despite that, some riders have voiced concerns to News 3 Now about changes that have made it harder to get to destinations like UW Hospital.

    Rhodes-Conway acknowledged, though, that there was "room for improvement."

    "Because Metro is only able to make service changes four times a year (June, August, December and March, when drivers officially pick their shifts) they’ve been monitoring how things are going, listening carefully to feedback from the public, looking for issues, and preparing adjustments so that they are reflected in time for drivers’ August shift pick," she wrote.

    A round of small changes will take effect Aug. 20, including extra routes to the hospital and more buses on the popular Route 80 on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Those changes also aim to address reports of buses running late and a lack of accessibility at some stops.

    After August 20, changes can be expected a few times next year before the launch of the city's Bus Rapid Transit system next fall. 

    https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=rm&ogbl#inbox/FMfcgzGtwWDLRdlXqGxdMlwsMFTVzhxB

Wisconsin Public Transportation Association

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(224) 357-6748
info@wipta.org

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