We just wanted to take the opportunity to thank the members of the Coalition for Advancing Transit for your efforts and commitment to working on behalf of transit in southeastern Wisconsin.  The past year has had its share of ups and downs, but as we head into the New Year, we know that our work must continue and we must demand a better public transportation system.

The economic vitality of Southeastern Wisconsin depends on having a strong regional transit system and dedicated local funding that will not only preserve and improve it, but will also contribute to the success of families, businesses and communities in Wisconsin.  We know you are all committed to this vision, despite its challenges.  For this, we thank you.

As our other Coalition members and partners have noted, 2010 saw a remarkably broad and diverse coalition join forces across the state to support giving local communities and regions the ability to fund and coordinate efficient regional transit systems.  We have a strong foundation as head into 2011 – stay tuned for more information the following events:

  • Early-Mid February the Governor will deliver his state budget proposal
  • February 23, 2011: Transit Lobby Day in Madison from10:00am to 2:00pm.
  • March: Joint Finance Committee budget hearings will take place; this is a time for you to express your wishes about better transit.

OTHER UPDATES:

On December 9th, the US Department of Transportation announced that $810 million in federal stimulus funds allocated to Wisconsin would be redistributed to other states to build inter-city High Speed Rail connections.  There has been significant coverage on this over the past few weeks – scroll down for links to various articles.

The Wisconsin Urban and Rural Transit Association (WURTA) recognized State Representative Tamara Grigsby (D-Milwaukee) as this year’s Transit Legislator of the Year in acknowledgement of her commitment to transit issues and opportunities throughout Wisconsin.  She received this award at a time when Wisconsin’s future commitment to a diverse transportation system is in question.  Recently appointed the ranking minority Assembly member to the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee for the 2011-2012 legislative session, Rep. Grigsby has pledged to continue making transit and job access a priority in Wisconsin.  Take a moment and email or call her to thank her for her efforts – we will need her commitment as we move forward!  Rep.Grigsby@legis.wisconsin.gov or (608) 266-0645

Milwaukee County Transit System Updates:

MCTS received a grant that would work to make transit more inviting to passengers with disabilities.  Full story >>>

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>>>

Remember…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>>>

Also – a win!  Congress approved the extension for the Transit Benefit, which allows pre-tax deductions for transit up to $230.  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.  Learn more>>>

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

The Coalition for Advancing Transit
Moving Forward Together

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