As the 2012 County Budget process began, the bus system was slated for deep cuts as a result of a reduction in state funding and other factors.  However, the County Executive and County Board listened to the concerns of citizens and business.  They found a way to keep most bus and paratransit services intact for 2 more years, AND improve express services. (Scroll down to learn more.)

Jobs and the economy continue to be a major concern, with County Executive Abele noting that “This is one of the services the county provides that is ‘crucial’ to the local economy.” In October Milwaukee County was notified that they received $12.7 million in federal funds for new express bus routes. These funds come from Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funding left over from the defunct KRM (Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee) commuter rail project.

If approved, this would create three new express routes in Milwaukee County that connect UW-Milwaukee to  124th Street along Capitol Drive, from Bayshore Town Center to Mitchell International Airport (Route 15), and along Fond du Lac Avenue’s Route 23.  The folks at UrbanMilwaukee.com put together a great summary of these routes with a map, particularly Route 15: http://bit.ly/twGZBz

WHAT CAN YOU DO ?

The County Board votes on the 2012 Budget THIS Monday, November 7.  TODAY is the last day to contact them and let them know you support our bus system.  Tell them you support the express bus plan – it will enhance service AND preserve most of the routes and services that were proposed for elimination just weeks ago.  Your voice is very important!

  • Call the County Board at 414-278-4222  and ask to be connected to your supervisor’s office.
  • If your supervisor is not there, it’s fine to leave a voicemail.  Email is also a good way to contact your supervisor too –visit our Contact Elected Officials page for a list of County Supervisors and their contact information.
  • Contact County Executive Abele and thank him for his hard work to preserve and maintain our transit system.  Call, email or write him a letter.

Join us on Monday, November 14 from 9:00-11:00am

We are partnering with the Coalition for Wisconsin Aging Groups (CWAG) and Transit Now to hold an informational meeting:  “Building Aging-Friendly Communities with Transit and Why it Matters to You.”  Mayor Tom Barrett will be there to speak about transportation and there will be a brief overview on the new express bus plan, legislative issues on the horizon and more.  It is FREE and open to the public.  Registration and meet-and-greet will begin at 8:30am.  Registration information will follow early next week.

What’s Next?

This funding also gives Milwaukee County a reprieve with a 2-year window that will allow us to continue working towards a long-term funding solution for our local bus systems.  Stay tuned – many partners in the transit coalition are working hard on a strategy to accomplish this.

ARTICLES & INFORMATION

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