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We’re reaching out to you about an upcoming transportation event you won’t want to miss! And be sure to scroll down for some of the latest articles on transit and transportation – Milwaukee County Transit has recently announced two new routes and other changes that should enhance the bus system for the next few years.  However, the long-term strategy remains a regional transit authority and dedicated local funding. Read more below:VISION 2050 Public Workshop: Wednesday, September 24 at 3:30pmThe VISION 2050 regional planning process is in it’s next phase: SKETCH SCENARIOS. These scenarios emphasize the kinds of transit investments that could be made in our region over the next 35 years – your input is critical!

Vision-2050-LogoOver the past year, UEDA has partnered with the Southeastern Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) to host 2 public workshops, inviting members of the Coalition for Advancing Transit and the UEDA Community to provide their feedback on land use and transportation plans for Southeast Wisconsin. In short, working together to decide what type of future our Region holds in store!

This is your chance to provide important feedback on regional transit investmentsWorkshops are being held throughout the region this month; please join us on Wednesday, September 24th at 3:30pm and invite your friends and colleague as it is open to the public.  (Scroll down for details)

So far, we’ve participated in visioning exercises and provided feedback on guiding statements – now it’s time to explore a series of conceptual, sketch-level scenarios. These scenarios illustrate five potential land development patterns and transportation systems for the Region in the year 2050.Attendees will:
  • Receive information about how each scenario would likely perform, weighing the benefits, impacts and costs associated with each one
  • Compare the 5 scenarios with fellow residents in small groups
  • Provide their opinion on the most important factors to consider when comparing scenarios
Your participation will help SEWRPC reach the next phase: developing more detailed alternative land use and transportation plans.
So join us on Wednesday, September 24th at 3:30pm!

3:30pm to 5:30pm
At ManpowerGroup, 100 Manpower Place, Milwaukee
Refreshments will be provided
Location Information:
Manpower is located east of Dr. Martin Luther King Drive (3rd Street), off of Cherry Street and just north of downtown Milwaukee. Parking is available on Cherry Street and in the Visitors Lot north of the building (on Cherry). Bus routes 19, 80, 57 and Green line all run nearby. Visit to plan your trip.
Moving Forward Together
Coalition for Advancing Transit

Eyes on Milwaukee’s New Bus System (Urban Milwaukee 9/10/14)

Milwaukee needs more transportation options (JSOnline Editorial 9/2/14)

Regional surveys show generational divide in highway, transit debate (The Business Journal 7/29/14

The Bus to Nowhere (Milwaukee Magazine 7/28/14)

Lawsuit prompts funding of city buses out to suburbs (Express Milwaukee 5/28/14)


Last week, State Senators Jessica King and Chris Larson and Assembly Representatives Sandy Pasch and Gordon Hintz introduced the Workforce Mobility Act, which seeks to invest in workers and local businesses by restoring dramatic cuts made to Wisconsin’s public transit infrastructure.  More information:  Press Release  and Read the Bill

The Legislature cut public transportation services by 10% in the 2011–2013 State budget.  Now counties and municipalities throughout the state are reducing services and/ or increasing fares and we are starting to see the impacts.   On average, nearly half of all trips made on transit in Wisconsin are for work purposes.  In Milwaukee County alone nearly 35,000 people rely on transit for work every weekday.

The Workforce Mobility Act would restore the 10% cut in funding for public transportation and help people get to work.  The Legislative Fiscal Bureau says the needed funds are available in the transportation fund.  This bill will use approximately $9.6 million of the $32.9 million balance in the fund to restore this funding.  Legislators are being asked to sign on as co-sponsors.

Action Requested – ACT BY FEBRUARY 3!

Contact your state legislators today and ask them to co-sponsor the Workforce Mobility Act – LRB 3760/1 (Senate) and LRB 3899/1 (Assembly).  Tell them why you personally support public transportation and how it impacts your life.  Ask them to contact Senator King’s office or Representative Pasch’s office to sign on by this Friday, February 3 at 12 noonFind your legislators here.

Federal Transportation bill update:  The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the U.S. Senate Banking Committee introduced multi-year bills to address the nation’s public transportation – this is great news! This is an important effort by these legislative bodies to move forward, as investing in public transit and roads is essential to creating jobs and boosting our economy. The Committees are engaged in the bill markup process TODAY and important policy discussions are underway regarding what is included in the bill.  Learn more:

Also, Milwaukee Public Radio’s Lake Effect featured a segment recently discussing the service changes and new MetroExpress routes.  Click here to listen.

Moving Forward Together
The Coalition for Advancing Transit

Starting January 29, Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) will be implementing a series of route changes, plus the addition of 3 new MetroExpress Routes:  The Blue Line  (Fond du Lac-National), the Green Line  (Bayshore-Airport), and the Red Line  (Capitol Drive). For details on all upcoming route changes, visit the MCTS website page to access maps, the latest edition of “Bus Lines” the MCTS newsletter, and a 2012 Transit Guide.  You may also find the following links and/or files helpful:

Also, starting Monday, January 23, MCTS will have a special hotline that will be staffed to answer any questions regarding upcoming service changes. They will be available every day from 6:00am to 6:00pm for a limited time and the number is 414-937-0460.  Scroll down for article links covering both the service change, as well as the switch to a “smart card” fare system.

Other Items of Interest

The National Alliance of Public Transportation Advocates (NAPTA) has joined together with a public advocacy campaign, “Public Transportation Takes Us There” to include a number of useful resources and online tools in one website for public transportation riders, advocates and grassroots supporters of transit:

  • Contact elected officials and get the latest news from Congress
  • Promote public transit with social media
  • Build a transit coalition in your community
  • Measure the benefits of transit investment in your community

Visit to see the new site and all the features.  To learn more about NAPTA, click here.

And, this article discusses  how demographic shifts continue to impact individual choices when it comes to transportation:  “Driving has lost its cool for young Americans”

Stay tuned for more updates as they happen!

Moving Forward Together
Coalition For Advancing Transit (CAT)


In 2011, public transit advocates across the state of Wisconsin faced huge challenges in terms of preserving service and capital improvements in the face of anticipated reductions in state funding and tough local budget situations.  These included:

  • A 10% cut in state transit aid, leading to deep cuts in service for bus systems across the State.
  • All RTAs created or enabled in the 2009-11 Budget were repealed. Future RTAs will require a binding referendum for creation.
  • The transit capital bonding program for SE Wisconsin was eliminated.

However, advocates worked hard with local and state elected officials to ensure that:

  • Transit remained in the segregated transportation fund – incredibly important for maintaining state support for transit in Wisconsin.
  • Transit workers were exempted from the collective bargaining provisions in the Budget Repair Bill, which kept $48 million in federal transit aids intact for WI transit systems.
  • A new $5 million para-transit fund was created that will assist in keeping vital services in place.
  • Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) did not implement major service cuts for 2012, using funds allocated towards the now dissolved KRM project to offset the cut in state aid and keep most bus and paratransit services intact for the next 2 years.
  • MCTS also worked to streamline some routes and implement 3 new Express Service routes.

With the economy and jobs continuing to be an area of major concern, transit coalition members and partners were able to convince local elected officials that public transit is vital to our economy and this resonated statewide.  Many thanks to the community and business leaders, elected officials, and citizen advocates who worked together to effectively push back on historic attempts to sideline transit!

November 14th Transit Coalition Meeting Summary

Thanks to those who joined us and the members of the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups (CWAG) for an informational meeting, “Building Aging-Friendly Communities with Transit and Why it Matters to You.”  Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett joined Nino Amato (CWAG), Anita Gulotta-Connelly (WURTA), Jeramey Jannene (UrbanMilwaukee) and Kerry Thomas (Transit Now/CAT) to discuss:

  • How important a balanced transportation system is to a thriving economy and community, particularly one that offers people choices to get around (bus, car, bike, streetcar, etc.)
  • The impact of demographic shifts – investing in public transit is both an opportunity to appeal to younger generations that are choosing not to own a car, and a way to fulfill the responsibility we have to ensure aging-friendly communities.
  • How increased poverty and the widening income gap affects people’s transportation choices and employment opportunities.
  • Continuing to focus on building our transit coalition and broaden support for the needed changes to ensure dedicated local funding for local transit.  In 2011 we saw our Coalition connect both rural and urban transit issues.
  • An overview of the changes expected in 2012 for MCTS after the County Budget was passed, including an explanation of three new express routes.

Below are links to the materials and presentations that were utilized at the meeting – feel free to share!

Lastly, MCTS offers FREE rides on New Year’s Eve, courtesy of Miller Lite.  Free rides begin at 8:00pm and run until the end of regular service, except for 13 routes, which extend service until 4:00am.  Visit the MCTS Website for details and route information.

Thanks again for another year of strong and engaged advocacy on behalf of transit and Happy New Year!

Moving Forward Together
Coalition For Advancing Transit (CAT)

November 14th Meeting Materials:

Join us! Building Aging-Friendly Communities with Transit and Why it Matters to You

Monday, November 14, 2011 from 8:30am to 10:30am 

Presented in partnership with the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups (CWAG), Coalition for Advancing Transit (CAT) and Transit Now

Registration and Meet & Greet with Refreshments at 8:30am.  The program will begin at 9:00am and will include:

  • Presentation by Mayor Tom Barrett
  • Update on changes expected to the Milwaukee County Transit System in 2012, including the proposed express buses
  • State legislative update and insights
  • A look ahead for transit issues in 2012

NOTE: The CWAG Membership Meeting will follow from 10:45am to Noon.  It is open to the public & interested CWAG Members.

Held at Manpower International: 100 Manpower Place, Milwaukee  MAP
East of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive (3rd Street), off of Cherry Street and just north of downtown Milwaukee.
Parking is available on Cherry Street and in the Visitors Lot north of the building (on Cherry).
Bus routes 19, 80, 57 and 15 all run near Manpower. Visit to plan your trip.

Please RSVP to Kristi at or (414)562-9904 by Thursday, November 10, 2011

Milwaukee Streetcar Public Hearing – Environmental Assessment
Wednesday, November 16 from 5:30pm to 8:00pm at the Frontier Airlines Center

The EA analyzes the potential environmental impacts of the construction and operation of a Streetcar in Downtown Milwaukee.
For more information visit:


Milwaukee County Supervisors Marina Dimitrijevic, Patricia Jursik and Jason Haas will host an information session regarding the changes to Route 15 and the proposed express bus service included in the County Executive’s 2012 Recommended Budget.

The proposed Express Route 15 would impact Milwaukee’s south side, other south shore communities, and General Mitchell International Airport. The proposal also includes changes to the current Route 15.

In addition to the Supervisors, representatives from the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) will be on hand to present detailed information and answer questions from the public.

Monday, October 24, 2011
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Bay View Library (accessible from MCTS Route 15)
2566 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue, Milwaukee

Also, next week there is another budget hearing being held.

County Executive’s 2012 Recommended Budget Hearing
Monday, October 31, 2011
7:00 p.m.
Washington Park Senior Center, 4420 W Vliet St.

(includes amendments by the Finance & Audit Committee)
County Executives 2012 Recommended Budget

Click here to learn how you can express your support for transit at these important budget hearings!