An Update from the Coalition for Advancing Transit…

Next week is Transit Week in Wisconsin! This is a great opportunity for you to support transit and talk about its importance in our community.   Governor Doyle proclaimed May 17 – 23, 2010 Wisconsin Transit Week and encourages all Wisconsin residents this week to consider utilizing one of our many wonderful transit systems as a clean and convenient way to get where they are going. Visit our friends at TDA Wisconsin for a list of WI Transit Week Facts, resources and more:  http://www.tdawisconsin.org/transit_week.iml

Also, in the past couple weeks there has been a lot of discussion about the City of Milwaukee’s proposed streetcar line and other transit projects that are in the pipeline that will help create an intermodal, integrated mass transit network in SE WI.   It is difficult to make the case to support initiatives that are still on paper and estimates regarding costs, benefits, ridership, etc. seem vague.

Yesterday, the Journal Sentinel Editorial Board posted the following: “It seems that nearly all proposals having to do with trains or streetcars are immediately derided as boondoggles — about old-tech choo-choos.  Milwaukee’s proposal for a streetcar line will be no different.  A Milwaukee Connector study committee has voted to seek federal permission to start preliminary engineering work on a $95.8 million downtown streetcar line.  In our view, this is a modest start for something that could be something very big for Milwaukee and the region. But, of course, there will be some who will only see that $95.8 million price tag and conclude the best start for this project would be an end — as in never letting it get started.  We disagree and tell you why in an editorial in tomorrow’s newspaper.  Want to weigh in early?
http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/93721049.html For the resulting editorial posted today: http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/93725629.html

The Coalition remains committed to its 4 principles, the first of which is “A vibrant, modern TRANSIT SYSTEM is a fundamental part of a successful and sustainable economy in the region.” So we encourage you all to keep “talking transit” and ensure that this issue remains visible in the community. The Steering Committee met last week and all agreed that we are committed to continue fighting for the solutions we know are needed to save, support and invest in transit, and most importantly, our local bus systems.

Stay tuned for more information and opportunities to stay engaged with transit over the next few months. In the meantime, celebrate WI Transit Week by checking out the opportunities for alternative transportation present in our local bus system (including bike racks!), who is celebrating 150 years of service to the Milwaukee metro area:  www.ridemcts.org.

Moving Forward Together
The Coalition for Advancing Transit

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