This post has information on MCTS service changes and free rides, the launch of a transit stories campaign, High Speed Rail events and articles, and information on where Wisconsin’s transportation funds go.  Scroll down for all the links!

Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) Updates:

  • We “Heart” The Bus: An estimated 4,000 people helped MCTS with its newly designed fully wrapped bus, created by thousands of citizen’s signatures.   Also, this project was part of the 13th Annual 99.1 The Mix’s Stuff the Bus to benefit Feeding America.   MCTS employees collected food and the bus arrived at the event full with food donations to Feeding America.   The bus will be in operation for approximately one year as an MCTS ambassador and in service on regular MCTS routes.  Read more>>>
  • On New Year’s Eve, ride Free! Thanks to Miller Lite, all rides on MCTS will be FREE AFTER 8:00PM until the end of regular service.   In addition, 13 routes serving popular venues will extend service until 4:00AM.   Last year nearly 15,000 rides were given so make it your New Year’s Resolution to have a safe New Year’s with MCTS!  Read more>>>
  • Beginning Sunday, January 2, MCTS service changes approved in the 2011 Milwaukee County Budget will go into effect.  While three Freeway Flyer routes will be eliminated, two routes will be adjusted to serve other park-ride lots.  Additionally, frequency on some Saturday bus routes will change.  Read more>>> The flyer that will be given to riders on the routes that have been cut is available in a Discussion email sent to CAT’s Google Group here: http://groups.google.com/group/coalition-for-advancing-transit/topics

Transit Transforms Lives and Communities Campaign kicks off this month!

Transit Now is launching a transit stories campaign in collaboration with transit partners and advocates.   They are seeking both compelling transit stories and production team members to help with activities such as coordinating stories and interviews, help with editing, distribution etc.   Written, verbal and video interviews will be done and the final stories will be used for media support, online, in presentations and printed materials.

They need your help! The campaign will be underway in December, especially over the next 2-3 weeks.   Please contact Kerry at kthomas@transitnow.org, 262-246-6151 to sign up or with any questions. No special skills are needed!

High Speed Inter-City Rail Project Updates

  • Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce web site has a poll up on the rail extension to Madison – PLEASE VOTE! http://www.mmaction.org/
  • Milwaukee Common Council Hearing and Rally for Inter-City Rail: Monday, December 13th at 12 Noon at the Milwaukee City Hall Rotunda, 200 E. Wells Street.   Milwaukee elected officials will be introducing a resolution supporting high-speed rail in Wisconsin.  There will be a rally followed by a public hearing regarding the resolution, at City Hall for those wanting to testify.

“For every $10 WisDOT spends on roads, $9.20 goes to roads; 2 cents would go to the Madison-Milwaukee high speed rail development.”
Ever wondered how the funds that are raised through the gas tax, fees and other sources are spent on transportation and transit in Wisconsin?  Now you can see the breakdown in pie-chart form, thanks to CAT Member Bill Sell.   Use this information as you talk about transit with friends, neighbors and others – help us educate the public on this important issue!  Learn more: http://www.milwaukeerenaissance.com/BillSell/RoadCostsWhoPays

Preserve the Limit: Transit Riders Could Lose Over $500 a Year
In 2009, Congress increased the monthly limit for pre-tax transit to $230 but did not make it permanent.   If they do not act to extend it, the limit will revert back to the pre-increase $120 limit at the end of the year.   With the increase, the transit limit now matches the monthly amount allowed for parking expenses.   Since it was introduced, thousands of commuters have taken advantage of the incentive and additional savings, which has increased ridership in mass transportation, reduced traffic congestion and helped to reduce our reliance on foreign oil.

It is urgent that they hear from you now so they can act to extend or make the increased limit permanent.  Learn more: Congress Must Act to Keep Your Commute from Getting More Costly and Congested

See below for links to more articles and resources on the High Speed Inter-City Rail project, which continues to dominate the transit discussion in SE WI.  The historical perspective by John Gurda is particularly enlightening.

The Coalition for Advancing Transit
Moving Forward Together

ARTICLES & INFORMATION:

Events and Opportunities to Get Involved:

If you wish to communicate support to Governor-Elect Scott Walker for the high speed Inter-City rail project you can contact his transition office at 608-261-9200.  (It is a quick call) Or, if you prefer to mail a letter, the address is: Governor-elect Scott Walker Transition Office, Risser Justice Center, 17 W. Main St, 3rd Floor, Madison, WI 53702

Updates can be found at www.saverailjobs.com

Write a Letter to the Editor and other Media opportunities – this project needs a strong show of support now more than ever!  Visit the CAT Google Group page on Media Outreach for assistance on how to submit a Letter to the Editor and get engaged online:  http://bit.ly/aQWl1p

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