We’re reaching out to you about an upcoming transportation event you won’t want to miss! And be sure to scroll down for some of the latest articles on transit and transportation – Milwaukee County Transit has recently announced two new routes and other changes that should enhance the bus system for the next few years.  However, the long-term strategy remains a regional transit authority and dedicated local funding. Read more below:VISION 2050 Public Workshop: Wednesday, September 24 at 3:30pmThe VISION 2050 regional planning process is in it’s next phase: SKETCH SCENARIOS. These scenarios emphasize the kinds of transit investments that could be made in our region over the next 35 years – your input is critical!

Vision-2050-LogoOver the past year, UEDA has partnered with the Southeastern Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) to host 2 public workshops, inviting members of the Coalition for Advancing Transit and the UEDA Community to provide their feedback on land use and transportation plans for Southeast Wisconsin. In short, working together to decide what type of future our Region holds in store!

This is your chance to provide important feedback on regional transit investmentsWorkshops are being held throughout the region this month; please join us on Wednesday, September 24th at 3:30pm and invite your friends and colleague as it is open to the public.  (Scroll down for details)

So far, we’ve participated in visioning exercises and provided feedback on guiding statements – now it’s time to explore a series of conceptual, sketch-level scenarios. These scenarios illustrate five potential land development patterns and transportation systems for the Region in the year 2050.Attendees will:
  • Receive information about how each scenario would likely perform, weighing the benefits, impacts and costs associated with each one
  • Compare the 5 scenarios with fellow residents in small groups
  • Provide their opinion on the most important factors to consider when comparing scenarios
Your participation will help SEWRPC reach the next phase: developing more detailed alternative land use and transportation plans.
So join us on Wednesday, September 24th at 3:30pm!

3:30pm to 5:30pm
At ManpowerGroup, 100 Manpower Place, Milwaukee
REGISTER HERE 
Refreshments will be provided
Location Information:
Manpower is located east of Dr. Martin Luther King Drive (3rd Street), off of Cherry Street and just north of downtown Milwaukee. Parking is available on Cherry Street and in the Visitors Lot north of the building (on Cherry). Bus routes 19, 80, 57 and Green line all run nearby. Visit www.ridemcts.com to plan your trip.
Moving Forward Together
Coalition for Advancing Transit
IN THE NEWS

Eyes on Milwaukee’s New Bus System (Urban Milwaukee 9/10/14)

Milwaukee needs more transportation options (JSOnline Editorial 9/2/14)

Regional surveys show generational divide in highway, transit debate (The Business Journal 7/29/14

The Bus to Nowhere (Milwaukee Magazine 7/28/14)

Lawsuit prompts funding of city buses out to suburbs (Express Milwaukee 5/28/14)

A number of important events and activities are underway in the next 2 weeks to support transit. Read below for all the details on Wisconsin Transportation Town Hall Meetings, National Transit Action Month, Bike to Work activities, Milwaukee Streetcar social and more! And if you keep scrolling down, you’ll find links to articles and updates from the past few months.

Moving Forward Together
Coalition for Advancing Transit

It’s Bike to Work Week! From May 11-17, many communities across the state have scheduled fun events to encourage more people to consider bike commuting and to reward those that already do! Learn more at the Wisconsin Bike Federation website, and search for events near you.

Milwaukee Streetcar Update
Read the latest developments in their April newsletter, including an upcoming social on Thursday, May 15 from 5:00-6:30 p.m., a local retailer who re-located his business from the suburbs to be on the streetcar route will host a Streetcar Social. This free, casual gathering of like-minded people is the first in a series of periodic events to promote ridership, raise awareness and support businesses along the route. Learn more here>>>

Transportation Moves Wisconsin – Town Hall Meetings
Presented by WI Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb

These town hall meetings are unprecedented—and so is the challenge the secretary will be tackling: a $700 million budget shortfall, which will only continue to increase in the coming years. Big changes are coming. Town Hall participants can:

  • Fill out a green sheet with comments
  • Videotape a brief message (30 seconds) about why transit or paratransit are important to you. Come prepared with your message!
  • Listen to the Secretary’s remarks and ask a question.

This is an important time to speak up for transit as economic, workforce, and quality of life priorities, and urge the Secretary to support transit policies that are vital to our economy.

Meetings will be held in SE WI next week – Secretary’s presentation is at 5:30 p.m., Q&A to follow.
View this flyer for important event details and transit information.

Tuesday, May 20 – 5:00 to 6:30pm
MATC West Allis Campus, Room 117, 1200 South 71st Street
MCTS bus Rts: 23, 56, 76, Blue Line.www.ridemcts.com  Parking map:http://bit.ly/SzXSjp

Wednesday, May 21 – 5:00 to 6:30pm
At Gateway Technical College, Madrigrano Auditorium, 3520 – 30th Avenue
Kenosha Transit bus Rts: 1, 3, 6. http://bit.ly/1mC5lM7

SE WI Transit Systems:  http://www.yourotherwheels.com/

For more information about the Transportation Moves initiative and the Town Hall meetings: http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/about/tmw/index.htm

May is Transit Action Month
On Tuesday, May 20th, participate in National Transit Call Congress Day

Join transit riders, workers and advocates to call for more and better public transit.  Transit supporters can let their elected officials know they support increased funding for public transit in the surface transportation bill and the impact that massive service cuts and fare increases have had in recent years. Tell them about the importance of transit to get to work, school and everywhere in between!

Find Wisconsin US Congress Members here. Link includes name, district and phone numbers for the representatives able to work directly on federal transit funding.

Learn more about Transit Action Month here or at www.TransitIsGreater.com

Wisconsin Transit Riders Alliance Meeting: Thursday, May 22 at 10:00am, Madison
In Rm. 302 of the Madison Public Library’s Central Branch 201 W. Mifflin St. (a block away from the downtown square).
Learn more about this affiliate of WURTA at www.witransitriders.org

Milwaukee Transit Riders Union Meeting: Thursday, June 5 at 5pm
At Hillside Terrace Resource Center, 1452 N. 7th Street, Milwaukee
“Jobs and Justice: A forum on regional transit”
Learn more at www.transitridersunion.org

New website launched dedicated to car-free transportation options
Bus, bike, walk has information about getting around the state using transit (intercity and intra-city transport info and links are provided) as well as policy background and advocacy for transit, biking and walking. Check it out here: http://www.busbikewalk.org/

IN THE NEWS

Yes! Bike Sharing is coming this summer (UrbanMilwaukee 5/14/14)

Biking with the Mayors (UrbanMilwaukee 5/13/14)

Who Will Be Streetcar Operator? (UrbanMilwaukee 5/8/14)

City of Milwaukee expects $20M more needed for streetcar project (BusinessJournal 4/22/14)

What To Do About DOT’s $650 Million Funding Gap (WUWM 4/18/14)

More Transit Funding Needed, Fitch Ratings Warns (UrbanMilwaukee Streetsblog 4/9/14)

WisDOT secretary outlines funding crisis (BizTimes Morning Headlines 4/9/14)

Press release: New Study: Riders Want Improved Transit. Abele Offers Plan to Add Service, Asks For County Board Support  (Posted on UrbanMilwaukee 4/8/14)

County Executive Chris Abele offers sound plan on transit services (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial 4/7/14)

Chris Abele renews push for outside operator of transit system (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 4/2/14)

4th Street Forum – Beyond Roads: Transportation Issues Today and Tomorrow (Aired 3/21/14)

Milwaukee’s Transit Decrease in Context: Our estimate puts 2013 as the worst year in the last 25 years of Milwaukee’s bus system (Milwaukee Magazine 3/11/14)

Milwaukee transit ridership down, bucking national trend (BizTimes 3/11/14)

Milwaukee out of step as public transit use rises nationally (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 3/10/14)

Sen. Miller: Introduces bills to improve public transit throughout Wisconsin (WisPolitics 3/7/14)

The Transit Agenda: Supporters headed to the State Capitol for “Public Transportation Day,” meeting with legislators, promoting their agenda, and handing out awards (UrbanMilwaukee 3/7/14)

Supervisors seek new bus contract bids, with county-run option in play (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 3/5/14)

Wisconsin Urban & Rural Transit Association (WURTA) 2014 Legislative Day at the Capitol (Mass Transit Magazine newsletter 3/5/14)

Greater Milwaukee Committee group wants to jump-start transit debate (BusinessJournal 2/25/14)

Our View: Legislature should allow creation of regional transit authorities (JSOnline 2/13/14)

We’re passing along information about a few upcoming events you may find of interest. Scroll down for details and a few recent articles!

Community Conversation on Transportation: A Vision for metro Milwaukee
Thursday, February 6, 2014

5:00 networking & refreshments, 5:30-7:00 PM program
At ManpowerGroup,100 Manpower Place, Milwaukee, WI, 53212

Join them for a fast-paced conversation, hear from community visionaries, and pitch in your ideas that will strengthen our communities, spur economic opportunities, and create the lifestyle that you imagine.

Speakers include Jeramey Jannene, Urban Milwaukee (moderator), Bob Monnat, Mandel Group, Inc., Dean Magda Peck, UWM Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, Carl Quindel, ACTS Housing, Jerry Roberts, Helen Bader Foundation and Alex Runner, transit and bike rider.

SE WI Regional Planning Commission will bring us up to speed on VISION 2050, and listen to your ideas. Your input will become part of VISION 2050, our region’s transportation and land use vision and plan, including the 5-year steps to reach the build out.

RSVP here: http://urbanmilwaukee.com/metrogo-community-conversation/ or visit MetroGo on Facebook for additional information and updates.

MV Transportation Open Houses in February
MV Transportation has been holding a series of Open Houses in locations throughout Milwaukee County to meet with residents and answer questions about their bid to provide transportation services.  Click here to see a list of upcoming dates and times from February 6-27 or visit them at GoodBeingHere.com and scroll down for a list of FAQ’s

Also, SEWRPC has posted results from the first two phases of VISION 2050. This website is updated regularly and information about the process is available at http://vision2050sewis.org/Vision2050/The-Process

ARTICLES & INFORMATION

Federal government approves change to streetcar route (BizTimes 1/16)

Our View: Mayor Tom Barrett is right to push ahead on streetcar project (JSOnline 1/16)

Wisconsin should get on board (JSOnline Opinion 1/11/14)

Point Counterpoint Q&A: Debating Milwaukee’s streetcar (The Business Journal 1/10/14):
Wangard on benefits to development and Donovan on costs

You are invited!  Join us on Thursday, January 9th for the second series of VISION 2050 Planning in partnership with the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC). Workshops were held in each county earlier this month, but if you missed it, this is your chance to participate!

On the agenda:

  • Hear from SEWRPC staff the results of the first series of VISION 2050 workshops.
  • View a set of draft Guiding Statements about regional land use and transportation.
  • Provide your feedback on the Guiding Statements – review, rate and suggest improvements.

Details:

Thursday, January 9, 2014 from 3:30-5:00pm
Held at ManpowerGroup, 100 E. Manpower Place, Milwaukee  MAP
Refreshments will be provided.
RSVP HERE

This workshop and review of the statements will serve as a guide for how the Region should move forward and for developing “sketch” future land use and transportation scenarios—the next step in the VISION 2050 process.

Manpower is located east of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive (3rd Street), off of Cherry Street and just north of downtown Milwaukee. Parking is available on Cherry Street and in the Visitors Lot north of the building (on Cherry). Bus routes 19, 80, 57 and Green line all run nearby. Visit www.ridemcts.com to plan your trip. 

Learn more & get involved:

Workforce Mobility Study released this week
The Public Policy Forum released their independent study “Getting to Work: Opportunities and obstacles to improving transit service to suburban locations.”  The study was commissioned by Transit NOW with support from Greater Milwaukee Foundation. It provides data-driven information and analysis that will hopefully lead to action steps that will meaningfully address critical workforce transportation issues.

State Rail Plan posted by WisDOT, comments accepted online through December 30. Learn more at http://www.dot.state.wi.us/projects/state/railplan.htm

SB259, a bill to authorize the creation of a Regional Transit Authority in the Fox Cities, is underway. A public hearing was scheduled for today at the State Capitol. Read the bill here: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2013/proposals/sb259

As we look back on 2013, many exciting opportunities to further transit got underway including the 2013-15 State Biennial Budget and VISION 2050 regional planning process. We look forward to continuing to inform the coalition about these and other ways to continue to show your support for transit in 2014.

Happy Holidays!

Moving Forward Together
Coalition for Advancing Transit

ARTICLES & INFORMATION

Milwaukee sees steep decline in driving, WISPIRG study contends (JSOnline 12/11/13)

21st century technology is the new ticket for Milwaukee County Buses (JSOnline 11/29/13)

Bill Targets Federal Transit and Bike Funding (Streetsblog, posted on Urban Milwaukee 11/20/13)

Who Will Run the County Buses?  (Urban Milwaukee 11/14/13)

Once nearly extinct, streetcar gets new life  (Associated Press 11/12/13)

Just wanted to remind you about tomorrow’s VISION 2050 public input workshop.  UEDA is hosting this visioning session in partnership with the Southeastern Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC).   A critical part of the VISION 2050 process will be public involvement and input.

Scroll down for details on the VISION 2050 workshop or RSVP here.

Also, below are a some recent articles, including the feature story by Milwaukee Magazine on MCTS, the history of Milwaukee’s transit system and the effort to switch to a private contractor.

ARTICLES & INFORMATION:

The Milwaukee Streetcar project recently launched a new Facebook page.  “Like” them here and get all the latest updates in your newsfeed:  www.facebook.com/themilwaukeestreetcar

Milwaukee Magazine:  “End of the Line” (November 2013)
The Milwaukee County Transit System has been trapped in a budget-induced death spiral – increased fares and reduced service, leading to fewer riders and less revenue, leading to increased fares and reduced service. But it wasn’t always that way.

“Current transit system operator will run Milwaukee County buses for another year” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 10/25/14)

“Technology gives lift to car- and bike-sharing movement: Transit services also implementing mobile apps” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 10/1/13)

Moving Forward Together
Coalition for Advancing Transit

Thursday, November 14, 2013: VISION 2050 Public Input Session
UEDA will be hosting this visioning session in partnership with the Southeastern Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC).  VISION 2050 is an important opportunity to talk about the future of our region and this workshop will give SE WI residents the opportunity to provide their input to create a land use and transportation plan for the year 2050.

Join us! Share your vision for the region.
Thursday, November 14 from 4:00pm to 5:30pm
RSVP
HERE
At ManpowerGroup, 100 E. Manpower Place, Milwaukee  MAP
Refreshments will be provided.

At the workshop, you’ll:

  • Help map out Important Places
  • View & vote on a slideshow of different land use & transportation options
  • Share your opinions on the strengths, challenges & opportunities in the region
  • Identify goals for the region.

Manpower is located east of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive (3rd Street), off of Cherry Street and just north of downtown Milwaukee. Parking is available on Cherry Street and in the Visitors Lot north of the building (on Cherry). Bus routes 19, 80, 57 and Green line all run nearby. Visit www.ridemcts.com to plan your trip.

Our past work with UEDA and other partners on public transportation issues has made clear that a regional approach to investments in infrastructure and assets such as public transportation, housing development and land use is imperative to the economic vitality of SE WI.

Passing along a few updates we thought you may be interested in.  Over the past few months, we have seen a number of changes related to SE WI transit, including the preservation of transit funding the state budget, continued progress on the Milwaukee Streetcar project, the proposal for a new manager for Milwaukee County Transit and the launch of the Regional Planning Commission’s VISION 2050 process.

Scroll down for more information, how you can get involved, article links and more!

Moving Forward Together
Coalition for Advancing Transit

Please Save the Date!  Voice your ideas and vision for the future.

VISION 2050 public workshops

October 15-30, 2013

VISION 2050 is an exciting opportunity to help to drive a positive change in our transportation and the ways that our communities develop.  This is an important time help identify transportation and growth options that will support healthy, prosperous lives and vibrant communities.

In October, the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) is kicking off VISION 2050, One Region, Focusing on our Futurewith 7 unique and interactive visioning workshops.  Attend a session near you!  One session will be held in each county, starting October 15th.  The input gathered at visioning activities will become the framework for a regional dialog and a long-range regional land use and transportation plan, including the steps and funding needed to implement the plan.

View the VISION 2050 newsletter here, which includes a list of dates and times for workshops in the 7-county area or learn more at http://bit.ly/GLkAzk.  Follow the project at www.Vision2050sewis.org

And please consider these additional ways that you can help shape a positive future:

  1. Please share this information widely among your friends, colleagues and networks.
  2. Invite SEWRPC to your organization to give a presentation and gather input.

The Milwaukee Streetcar project advances

Earlier this year, the City of Milwaukee recently began the Final Design phase of developing the streetcar, which will involve more detailed project development and a greater design consideration to minimize impacts within the public right-of-way.  For example, they are refining the streetcar route as needed, closely examining utility concerns and updating cost estimates, etc.

Check out their website, www.themilwaukeestreetcar.com for updates on their progress, including video interviews that will give you a better understanding of who will ride the streetcar and the anticipated transit-oriented development along the route.  The Milwaukee Streetcar YouTube channel can also be accessed here: http://www.youtube.com/MilwaukeeStreetcar

ARTICLES & INFORMATION

2013 WI Public Transportation Conference:  October 21-23 at the Monona Terrace in Madison.  Registration information here

Monday on Lake Effect: Milwaukee County Transit (WUWM 89.7 10/1/13)

In defense of County Bus System (Urban Milwaukee Op-Ed 9/24/13)

MV Transportation promises to transform Milwaukee County transit (JSOnline 9/4/13)

NPR & Youth Radio produced a series earlier this summer that focused on Millennials and our changing car culture.  Read more here

Abele Anxious For New Transit Manager to Get Onboard (WUWM  8/26/13)

Transit system operator sues over pending loss of contract (JS Online 8/8/13)

Milwaukee County officials pick new firm to run bus system  (The Business Journal 7/30/13)

Bidders to run Milwaukee County transit told how much to spend  (JS Online 7/25/13)

Abele dumps county transit company (Urban Milwaukee 7/29/13)

Can you blow for that bus? (JS Online Opinion 7/5/13)

Milwaukee Transit supporters score wins in Madison (The Business Journal 6/5/13)

The Transit Legacy of Frank Lautenberg (Next City 6/4/13)

UWM students develop Milwaukee County app to track buses (The Business Journal 6/4/13)

Transit is vital to downtown’s vitality  (JS Online Opinion 5/21/13)

Rise in transit tides lifts all boats  (OnMilwaukee.com 5/16/13)

New transit lobbying group to support streetcar, Hiawatha (The Business Journal 5/13/13)

Abele, MMAC, Barrett join forces on transit funding  (The Business Journal 4/15/13)

The next few days are an especially important time to speak up for preserving transit.  The state budget committee will be voting on the 2013-15 transportation within the next week, possibly as early as Thursday, May 23rd.

Please call or email now to remind Joint Finance Committee members, and your own Senator and Representative, about the urgency and importance of restoring state transit funding to preserve vital transit services in 2014 and 2015.

Even if you have already emailed or called earlier, please take a few minutes now to speak up once more to preserve transit.  Sharing your personal reasons for supporting transit is very powerful – and feel free to use the facts below.

Contact information:

A contact list for the Joint Finance Committee members can be found here.  You can click the links on the document or copy and paste the addresses.  Find your own Representative and Senator here: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/

Request: Please restore state funding to maintain vital transit services in 2014 and 2015.  Be sure to leave your name and address.

IMPORTANT TRANSIT FACTS:

Without a change to the current 2013-15 State Biennial Budget Bill, AB 40, the cut in state funding made in the last state budget would continue, and communities across the region and state would continue to lose transit connections.

In Milwaukee County, one-time federal funding was used to fill the gap temporarily.  That funding will expire in 2014 leaving a $7 million gap in the MCTS annual operating budget.  A loss of this magnitude can only result in very significant and harmful service cuts and/or fare increases.

Restoring state transit funding to maintain transit services is reasonable. It requires less than one half of one percent of the $6.4 billion transportation budget.

Transit is essential part of our transportation system, keeping our communities and our economy working: 

  • Keeps workers connected to their jobs and students to universities, colleges and schools.
  • Supports businesses workforce needs, and the multitude of events and tourist destinations that provide jobs and tax revenues.
  • Makes us more competitive, helping to attract businesses and the young professionals they seek, who are choosing to live in places that offer transportation options.
  • Allows our growing senior population to remain living independently and out of expensive nursing home care, the cost of which often rests on government programs, and ultimately, the taxpayers.
  • Good transit will be even more important to keeping commerce moving during the Zoo Interchange and I-94 reconstruction that will stretch over the next decade.

VIEW THE STATE BUDGET FACT SHEET HERE or see more information at www.transitnow.org

The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee is holding 4 public hearings on the Biennial Budget Bill.  These hearings provide an opportunity to testify before legislators who will make critical spending decisions on transit.   The SE Wisconsin hearing is on:

Thursday, April 4 from 10am to 6pm
At Greendale High School
, 6801 Southway, Greendale  MAP

Scroll down for more information on talking points and tips for testifying.  If you are not able to testify at the hearing, send your comments to the committee members via email, phone or mail.
Also, share this information about transit with associates and friends!

Regional Transit Initiative Policy Platform and Joint Finance Committee Contact Information

Find your State Legislator here or call 1-800-362-9472

Transit is vital to so many aspects of the economy and community of SE Wisconsin, and yet the 2013-15 state budget bill, AB40, continues the harmful 10% cut to transit funding made in the 2011-13 state budget. It also undermines the future of transit by moving transit out of the segregated transportation fund into the general fund where is will be competing with every non-transportation program.

Without a change, communities in SE WI and across the state will continue to lose essential mobility.  Milwaukee County faces a particularly devastating situation when the one-time federal funding expires in 2014 that is funding transit since the 10% cut in transit funding in the last state budget.

Implementing the following 2013-15 state budget priorities is essential to preserving transit service and protecting our ability to create and retain jobs, help train and educate our workers, and connect workers to employers in Southeast Wisconsin.

  1. Restore state transit operating aids that were cut in the 2011-13 biennial budget, to preserve vital transit services.
  2. Maintain transit funding from the segregated Transportation Fund, to provide crucial funding stability. Transit is as integral a part of the transportation system as roads and requires the same stable dedicated funding from the segregated funding source.

Tips for Testifying

  • The hearings draw a big crowd, so arrive early to register to speak.
  • Bring 20 copies of your testimony, if possible – enough copies for the committee (16) and some extras for those who are interested.
  • Be brief – remarks are generally limited to 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Begin with a clear and concise statement of our position and what you want. “I am urging you to amend the budget to include ______________.”
  • Powerful testimony is a combination of personal stories and accurate, current statistics. Speak from your heart.

ARTICLES & INFORMATION

Milwaukee needs to save its Bucks and its buses  (3/8/13) BizTimes.com BizBlog by Milwaukee County Supervisor Michael Mayo

Is Scott Walker killing of public transit? Transit’s funding is uncertain but road builders win big (3/6/13) Shepherd Express

Good Transit Policy Shouldn’t Lean Left or Right  (2/16/13) JSOnline “Purple Wisconsin” blog by Alex Runner

Scott Walker says he’ll invest $6.4 billion for transportation needs  (2/15/13) JSOnline “All Politics” blog by Don Walker

Growing Our Economy: Investing in Infrastructure  (2/14/13) Press Release on Transportation Budget by Governor Walker

Wisconsin Transit Week is February 4-10, 2013!  Ride transit, tweet and share. What’s your transit system? http://ow.ly/gNtgc #WITransit

Go to www.witransitweek.comhow MCTS is celebrating

Other news in Wisconsin transit…

WI Commission on Transportation Finance and Policy Report released, how to contact the Governor and show your support for Transit, and links to articles from the past month.
Scroll down for details and more information and don’t forget to ride transit, tweet and share!

Moving Forward Together
The Coalition for Advancing Transit

 

Contact the Governor about the State Transportation Budget

There is a troubling transit situation approaching, and an immediate opportunity to help, that we thought that you would want to know about:

In the last state budget, state transit aids were cut by 10%, or nearly $7 million for Milwaukee County.  Only with a one-time influx of Federal funds did we prevent the funding gap from affecting transit service.  But this could once again be at our doorstep in February 2014. If there is not a change, the magnitude of the funding gap will most certainly mean a decrease in transit services. 

You may recall MCTS developed plans in 2011 to address the funding cut expected for 2012, which included the elimination of entire routes and route segments, reduced frequencies, shorter operating hours, reduced service areas, and more.

At the last minute, Milwaukee County was able to find a creative solution to keep services mostly intact by repurposing one-time federal CMAQ funds that were set aside for the KRM Commuter rail project, which was shelved in the same state budget.  These funds have a 2-year life span, and are expected to be exhausted in February 2014.

In addition, last week the WI Commission on Transportation Finance and Policy delivered their report, “Keep Wisconsin Moving,” and recommended that the State restore transit aids. (The commission was created and appointed by Governor Walker and legislative leadership in the last state budget, and was expertly staffed by WisDOT over a very in-depth 15-month process. See more here

There is an opportunity right now to encourage the Governor to restore the 10% cut in state transit aids and maintain current transit services. The Governor has indicated that he will accept input on his transportation budget for 2013-15 through January 31st.

Your email to the Governor today or tomorrow would be very helpful in communicating the importance of maintaining transit services to you and to the economy, and urging him to implement the recommendation of the commission and restore state transit funding levels, so that vital transit service levels can be maintained.

The cost to restore the transit cuts statewide is so small, less than one half of one percent of the total Transportation Fund Budget, and would preserve crucial mobility that is essential to our economy.

An email can be sent through Andrew Davis in the Governor’s office: Andrew.Davis@wisconsin.gov

ARTICLES & INFORMATION:

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