C.A.T. Update – September 29, 2010

Thanks to those who came to the Coalition for Advancing Transit Meeting on September 16.   It was a great discussion and we had wonderful participation from over 40 members.   The meeting included an update from Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) on the 2011 Budget and a review by Kerry Thomas of Transit Now of what has happened in transit since the spring legislative session ended.   For a full update, including Key Milestones and Lessons Learned, visit the CAT Google Groups Page here: http://bit.ly/bqvzXK

Moving Forward – Recommendation: Launch a Transit Campaign

The C.A.T. Steering Committee met several times over the summer to discuss where we go next given that the RTA bill did not pass in the last legislative session.  The recommendation is that the Coalition for Advancing Transit form and launch a “Transit Campaign” that will focus on increasing support in the community in a very broad way for an RTA and dedicated funding for our local transit systems.   At the meeting, we discussed a list of proposed strategies and next steps.   A Strategy Planning Session will be held in October; CAT Members are encouraged to sign up and be a part of making this happen! Contact kristi@uedawi.org if you are interested in joining this effort.  Otherwise, stay tuned for updates throughout the fall and winter!

To review the Transit Campaign Strategy items, visit the CAT Google Groups page here:  http://bit.ly/aZIJEi

Recent Reports & Articles:

As we heard at the 9/16 meeting, MCTS has proposed transit service cuts to meet a 2011 budget shortfall.   The Center for Economic Development at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee released a study a couple weeks ago that showed these cuts would eliminate transit access to at least 24,350 jobs in Milwaukee County alone.   The MCTS budget proposal is the beginning of the budget process.  County Executive Scott Walker will deliver his budget proposal on September 30th at 9:30 AM for County Board approval.

The loss of critical access to jobs will be an annual fact of life in Milwaukee and other communities until a permanent dedicated source of funding is found. The easy service cuts have been made years ago.  Now we are chopping away at the very bedrock of the metropolitan transportation system – to learn more about these impacts, read the entire study (see link on the right):  http://www4.uwm.edu/ced/index.cfm

WISPIRG has released a new report that shows how the Midwest High Speed rail (or Inter-City Rail network) will boost the economy in short and long term, modernize and improve transportation for Wisconsin and the Midwest.  Read more here:   http://bit.ly/a1erJs

Also, the Make It Work Milwaukee Coalition is hosting a Candidate Forum THIS Friday, October 1st! Hear about Issues & Ideas with Milwaukee Area Candidates for State Senate and Assembly.  It will be held from 1:00-3:00PM and will be moderated by Marcus White of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.  Location:  IndependenceFirst, 540 South 1st Street, Milwaukee, WI 53204.  RSVP: Please contact Disability Rights Wisconsin at 414-773-4646 or elisec@drwi.org.

We will continue to update you as we move forward with the Transit Campaign.  Also, visit our Timelines Page for a list of key dates this fall where you can get involved in this issue! (http://bit.ly/aZIJEi)

Moving Forward Together
The Coalition for Advancing Transit