Did you know public transit in SE WI is in a state of financial crisis? Transit is currently paid for by property taxes, and without additional funding, even more drastic reductions will take place.  There is a solution – dedicated funding and a regional approach.  It is critical that supporters of transit solutions for SE WI take action NOW. 

Transit cuts affect our economy, and add to our region’s high unemployment.  An adequately funded, regional transit infrastructure leads to job creation, attraction and retention of talent, and the connection of workers to jobs.

Did you know that*:

  • Milwaukee County Transit System’s (MCTS) service reductions reduced total bus route miles by nearly 20 percent between 2001 and 2007?
  • 1,713 fewer employers were located within walking distance of a bus stop in 2007 than in 2001?
  • At a minimum 40,507 jobs became inaccessible by transit between 2001 and 2007 due to MCTS service cuts?
  • Without dedicated funding for transit the next round of bus cuts could render more than 100,000 jobs in the region inaccessible.

*Source: Center for Economic Development, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee “Out of Service: The Impact of Transit Cuts on Access to Jobs in Metropolitan Milwaukee,” 2008.

Last week the efforts to save transit and invest in growing southeastern Wisconsin reached a huge milestone.  The draft Regional Transit Authority (RTA) bill has now been introduced into the WI State Legislature.

SB-511 was introduced on February 2, 2010 and has been referred to the referred to the Senate Committee on Transportation, Tourism, Forestry, and Natural Resources.  SB-511 was introduced by Senators Taylor, Lehman, Plale and Coggs and is cosponsored by Representatives Barca, Grigsby, Turner, Sinicki, Zepnick, Kessler, Toles, Young, Pasch and Fields.

Businesses have spoken up but we need citizens to speak up too!  (that’s you)  Transit connects our community – people to jobs, people to schools, people to opportunity.  YOU CAN HELP stop the downward spiral of our local transit systems by calling your State Legislators and telling them to you support dedicated funding and regional solutions for transit.   

Make 2 phone calls: 1) Your Senator and 2) Your Assembly Representative.  Ask them if they support SB-511.  If you’re shy, consider calling in the evening and leaving a message, writing a letter or sending an email.  The important thing is that they hear from their constituents on this issue!  To find out who your representatives are visit: http://waml.legis.state.wi.us/ 

Stay tuned throughout February and March – we will be sending out updates as the bill makes its way through the legislative process.

Moving Forward Together,
Coalition for Advancing Transit (C.A.T.)
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