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Passing along a few updates we thought you may be interested in.  Over the past few months, we have seen a number of changes related to SE WI transit, including the preservation of transit funding the state budget, continued progress on the Milwaukee Streetcar project, the proposal for a new manager for Milwaukee County Transit and the launch of the Regional Planning Commission’s VISION 2050 process.

Scroll down for more information, how you can get involved, article links and more!

Moving Forward Together
Coalition for Advancing Transit

Please Save the Date!  Voice your ideas and vision for the future.

VISION 2050 public workshops

October 15-30, 2013

VISION 2050 is an exciting opportunity to help to drive a positive change in our transportation and the ways that our communities develop.  This is an important time help identify transportation and growth options that will support healthy, prosperous lives and vibrant communities.

In October, the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) is kicking off VISION 2050, One Region, Focusing on our Futurewith 7 unique and interactive visioning workshops.  Attend a session near you!  One session will be held in each county, starting October 15th.  The input gathered at visioning activities will become the framework for a regional dialog and a long-range regional land use and transportation plan, including the steps and funding needed to implement the plan.

View the VISION 2050 newsletter here, which includes a list of dates and times for workshops in the 7-county area or learn more at  Follow the project at

And please consider these additional ways that you can help shape a positive future:

  1. Please share this information widely among your friends, colleagues and networks.
  2. Invite SEWRPC to your organization to give a presentation and gather input.

The Milwaukee Streetcar project advances

Earlier this year, the City of Milwaukee recently began the Final Design phase of developing the streetcar, which will involve more detailed project development and a greater design consideration to minimize impacts within the public right-of-way.  For example, they are refining the streetcar route as needed, closely examining utility concerns and updating cost estimates, etc.

Check out their website, for updates on their progress, including video interviews that will give you a better understanding of who will ride the streetcar and the anticipated transit-oriented development along the route.  The Milwaukee Streetcar YouTube channel can also be accessed here:


2013 WI Public Transportation Conference:  October 21-23 at the Monona Terrace in Madison.  Registration information here

Monday on Lake Effect: Milwaukee County Transit (WUWM 89.7 10/1/13)

In defense of County Bus System (Urban Milwaukee Op-Ed 9/24/13)

MV Transportation promises to transform Milwaukee County transit (JSOnline 9/4/13)

NPR & Youth Radio produced a series earlier this summer that focused on Millennials and our changing car culture.  Read more here

Abele Anxious For New Transit Manager to Get Onboard (WUWM  8/26/13)

Transit system operator sues over pending loss of contract (JS Online 8/8/13)

Milwaukee County officials pick new firm to run bus system  (The Business Journal 7/30/13)

Bidders to run Milwaukee County transit told how much to spend  (JS Online 7/25/13)

Abele dumps county transit company (Urban Milwaukee 7/29/13)

Can you blow for that bus? (JS Online Opinion 7/5/13)

Milwaukee Transit supporters score wins in Madison (The Business Journal 6/5/13)

The Transit Legacy of Frank Lautenberg (Next City 6/4/13)

UWM students develop Milwaukee County app to track buses (The Business Journal 6/4/13)

Transit is vital to downtown’s vitality  (JS Online Opinion 5/21/13)

Rise in transit tides lifts all boats  ( 5/16/13)

New transit lobbying group to support streetcar, Hiawatha (The Business Journal 5/13/13)

Abele, MMAC, Barrett join forces on transit funding  (The Business Journal 4/15/13)


Summer is underway and that means festival season and everything else that southeast Wisconsin has to offer!  Below are some transit-related links to resources and information that will help you get around and stay in touch.

  • Downtown Trolley is now in operation, and runs Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. through September 8.  The trolley goes past major downtown destinations and connects to shops, restaurants, spas and salons.  Rides are $1 round trip – click here for a map.
  • MCTS “Straight to the Gate” will be up and running again this summer, with dedicated service to many Milwaukee events, thanks to the use of one-time federal CMAQ funds for 2012-2013. Visit the MCTS Event Season page for all the details, and travel to Polish Fest, Summerfest, State Fair, Brewers Games, Festa Italiana and more!
  • Also, MCTS reported that bike use on buses doubled through April 30, 2012, with over 29,000 bicycles transported, as compared to last year through the same period.  It’s a great way to get around and for more information on how to use the bike racks (including a video demonstration), visit their Bikes on Buses page.

The Federal Transportation bill expired over 989 days ago, but Coalition partners across the country continue to work with Congress to “get moving on a transformational bill.”  Visit the Transportation For America website and get involved so you can stay in touch with the latest updates.

Coalition for Advancing Transit partners and members continue to work on building a sustainable and broad coalition that will hopefully forward some action by state and local legislators in the next year.  We will continue to ask them to support and invest in our regional transit system, which is key link to economic opportunity for many in southeastern Wisconsin.  Stay tuned!

Save the Date!  October 8-10, 2012: Minnesota and Wisconsin Public Transportation Conference.  Held in La Crosse, WI.  Conference Website

Below you’ll find some article links, including a recent one about efforts by MCTS and UW-Milwaukee to develop a smartphone app that would let bus riders access real-time bus location data and what Generation Y is thinking when it comes to cars.


Reminder – YP Week kicks off on Monday, April 16th, which is Transit DayScroll down to see details for events that day; see the full schedule here.

MCTS releases FREE smart phone app
Plan your trip, find out fares and where to buy tickets.  Download here:

MCTS and Transit Plus Informational Session – May 8- 10am to Noon:  This session is specifically designed for people with disabilities, their family members, and service providers.  IndependenceFirst’s Transportation Consumer Advocacy Team will cover topics such as Transportation and the Americans with Disabilities Act, Transit Plus Eligibility, Fixed Route Accessibility,  Rights and Responsibilities and more!  Held at IndependenceFirst, 540 South 1st Street, Milwaukee, WI 53204.  Contact Katelyn Reimer at (414) 226-8381 (V/Relay 711) or email to register.

A recent report shows that young people are decreasing the amount they drive and increasing their use of alternative forms of transportation.  Released by WISPIRG Foundation and the Frontier Group, Transportation and the New Generation: Why Young People are Driving Less and What it Means for Transportation Policy,  demonstrates that Wisconsinites, like drivers across the country, have been driving less since the middle of the last decade. Learn more & read the report here.


Many thanks to those who came out on March 22nd for the State Transportation Commission hearing…transit was the overwhelming issue and your support really made the difference.  Also, an extension for the Federal Transportation bill was signed last week – scroll down for article links.

NEWaukee is hosting Transit Day on April 16th as the kick off of YP Week!
Scroll down to see details for events that day.

Additionally, the week includes the Milwaukee Young Leader Awards by Newaukee & Young Milwaukee.

One of the categories is “Transit: An individual who has passion for the evolution of Milwaukee transit system. One who strives to make Milwaukee more efficient and clean to move through.”
The nominations deadline is TODAY, April 4th! Make your nomination for outstanding commitment and work for transit here.

Lunch N Learn: Noon to 1:30pm
A discussion and presentation about biking in Milwaukee, Complimentary appetizers will be served for all attendees.
Will also include a bike rack demo and “try it on for size”, and demo of a new mobile app.
Location: Cafe Hollander, located at 2608 N. Downer Avenue,Milwaukee
Hosted by Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin & MKEBKE

Evening Event: Milwaukee’s Future in Transit: 5:30 to 8:00pm
(Must arrive before 6:00pm)

A discussion and presentation about Milwaukee’s future in transit.
Complimentary appetizers and cash bar.
Located at Foley and Lardner LLP, 777 E. Wisconsin Ave. #40 (40th Floor of US Bank Building)
Hosted by Urban Milwaukee (Alderman Kovac, Alderman Bauman, Jeramey Jannene)


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)