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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
REGISTER HERE 
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 www.ridemcts.com to plan your trip.
Moving Forward Together
Coalition for Advancing Transit
IN THE NEWS

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)

We’re passing along information about a few upcoming events you may find of interest. Scroll down for details and a few recent articles!

Community Conversation on Transportation: A Vision for metro Milwaukee
Thursday, February 6, 2014

5:00 networking & refreshments, 5:30-7:00 PM program
At ManpowerGroup,100 Manpower Place, Milwaukee, WI, 53212

Join them for a fast-paced conversation, hear from community visionaries, and pitch in your ideas that will strengthen our communities, spur economic opportunities, and create the lifestyle that you imagine.

Speakers include Jeramey Jannene, Urban Milwaukee (moderator), Bob Monnat, Mandel Group, Inc., Dean Magda Peck, UWM Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, Carl Quindel, ACTS Housing, Jerry Roberts, Helen Bader Foundation and Alex Runner, transit and bike rider.

SE WI Regional Planning Commission will bring us up to speed on VISION 2050, and listen to your ideas. Your input will become part of VISION 2050, our region’s transportation and land use vision and plan, including the 5-year steps to reach the build out.

RSVP here: http://urbanmilwaukee.com/metrogo-community-conversation/ or visit MetroGo on Facebook for additional information and updates.

MV Transportation Open Houses in February
MV Transportation has been holding a series of Open Houses in locations throughout Milwaukee County to meet with residents and answer questions about their bid to provide transportation services.  Click here to see a list of upcoming dates and times from February 6-27 or visit them at GoodBeingHere.com and scroll down for a list of FAQ’s

Also, SEWRPC has posted results from the first two phases of VISION 2050. This website is updated regularly and information about the process is available at http://vision2050sewis.org/Vision2050/The-Process

ARTICLES & INFORMATION

Federal government approves change to streetcar route (BizTimes 1/16)

Our View: Mayor Tom Barrett is right to push ahead on streetcar project (JSOnline 1/16)

Wisconsin should get on board (JSOnline Opinion 1/11/14)

Point Counterpoint Q&A: Debating Milwaukee’s streetcar (The Business Journal 1/10/14):
Wangard on benefits to development and Donovan on costs

You are invited!  Join us on Thursday, January 9th for the second series of VISION 2050 Planning in partnership with the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC). Workshops were held in each county earlier this month, but if you missed it, this is your chance to participate!

On the agenda:

  • Hear from SEWRPC staff the results of the first series of VISION 2050 workshops.
  • View a set of draft Guiding Statements about regional land use and transportation.
  • Provide your feedback on the Guiding Statements – review, rate and suggest improvements.

Details:

Thursday, January 9, 2014 from 3:30-5:00pm
Held at ManpowerGroup, 100 E. Manpower Place, Milwaukee  MAP
Refreshments will be provided.
RSVP HERE

This workshop and review of the statements will serve as a guide for how the Region should move forward and for developing “sketch” future land use and transportation scenarios—the next step in the VISION 2050 process.

Manpower is located 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 Green line all run nearby. Visit www.ridemcts.com to plan your trip. 

Learn more & get involved:

Workforce Mobility Study released this week
The Public Policy Forum released their independent study “Getting to Work: Opportunities and obstacles to improving transit service to suburban locations.”  The study was commissioned by Transit NOW with support from Greater Milwaukee Foundation. It provides data-driven information and analysis that will hopefully lead to action steps that will meaningfully address critical workforce transportation issues.

State Rail Plan posted by WisDOT, comments accepted online through December 30. Learn more at http://www.dot.state.wi.us/projects/state/railplan.htm

SB259, a bill to authorize the creation of a Regional Transit Authority in the Fox Cities, is underway. A public hearing was scheduled for today at the State Capitol. Read the bill here: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2013/proposals/sb259

As we look back on 2013, many exciting opportunities to further transit got underway including the 2013-15 State Biennial Budget and VISION 2050 regional planning process. We look forward to continuing to inform the coalition about these and other ways to continue to show your support for transit in 2014.

Happy Holidays!

Moving Forward Together
Coalition for Advancing Transit

ARTICLES & INFORMATION

Milwaukee sees steep decline in driving, WISPIRG study contends (JSOnline 12/11/13)

21st century technology is the new ticket for Milwaukee County Buses (JSOnline 11/29/13)

Bill Targets Federal Transit and Bike Funding (Streetsblog, posted on Urban Milwaukee 11/20/13)

Who Will Run the County Buses?  (Urban Milwaukee 11/14/13)

Once nearly extinct, streetcar gets new life  (Associated Press 11/12/13)

Just wanted to remind you about tomorrow’s VISION 2050 public input workshop.  UEDA is hosting this visioning session in partnership with the Southeastern Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC).   A critical part of the VISION 2050 process will be public involvement and input.

Scroll down for details on the VISION 2050 workshop or RSVP here.

Also, below are a some recent articles, including the feature story by Milwaukee Magazine on MCTS, the history of Milwaukee’s transit system and the effort to switch to a private contractor.

ARTICLES & INFORMATION:

The Milwaukee Streetcar project recently launched a new Facebook page.  “Like” them here and get all the latest updates in your newsfeed:  www.facebook.com/themilwaukeestreetcar

Milwaukee Magazine:  “End of the Line” (November 2013)
The Milwaukee County Transit System has been trapped in a budget-induced death spiral – increased fares and reduced service, leading to fewer riders and less revenue, leading to increased fares and reduced service. But it wasn’t always that way.

“Current transit system operator will run Milwaukee County buses for another year” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 10/25/14)

“Technology gives lift to car- and bike-sharing movement: Transit services also implementing mobile apps” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 10/1/13)

Moving Forward Together
Coalition for Advancing Transit

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 http://bit.ly/GLkAzk.  Follow the project at www.Vision2050sewis.org

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, www.themilwaukeestreetcar.com 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: http://www.youtube.com/MilwaukeeStreetcar

ARTICLES & INFORMATION

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  (OnMilwaukee.com 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)

Wisconsin Transit Week is February 4-10, 2013!  Ride transit, tweet and share. What’s your transit system? http://ow.ly/gNtgc #WITransit

Go to www.witransitweek.comhow MCTS is celebrating

Other news in Wisconsin transit…

WI Commission on Transportation Finance and Policy Report released, how to contact the Governor and show your support for Transit, and links to articles from the past month.
Scroll down for details and more information and don’t forget to ride transit, tweet and share!

Moving Forward Together
The Coalition for Advancing Transit

 

Contact the Governor about the State Transportation Budget

There is a troubling transit situation approaching, and an immediate opportunity to help, that we thought that you would want to know about:

In the last state budget, state transit aids were cut by 10%, or nearly $7 million for Milwaukee County.  Only with a one-time influx of Federal funds did we prevent the funding gap from affecting transit service.  But this could once again be at our doorstep in February 2014. If there is not a change, the magnitude of the funding gap will most certainly mean a decrease in transit services. 

You may recall MCTS developed plans in 2011 to address the funding cut expected for 2012, which included the elimination of entire routes and route segments, reduced frequencies, shorter operating hours, reduced service areas, and more.

At the last minute, Milwaukee County was able to find a creative solution to keep services mostly intact by repurposing one-time federal CMAQ funds that were set aside for the KRM Commuter rail project, which was shelved in the same state budget.  These funds have a 2-year life span, and are expected to be exhausted in February 2014.

In addition, last week the WI Commission on Transportation Finance and Policy delivered their report, “Keep Wisconsin Moving,” and recommended that the State restore transit aids. (The commission was created and appointed by Governor Walker and legislative leadership in the last state budget, and was expertly staffed by WisDOT over a very in-depth 15-month process. See more here

There is an opportunity right now to encourage the Governor to restore the 10% cut in state transit aids and maintain current transit services. The Governor has indicated that he will accept input on his transportation budget for 2013-15 through January 31st.

Your email to the Governor today or tomorrow would be very helpful in communicating the importance of maintaining transit services to you and to the economy, and urging him to implement the recommendation of the commission and restore state transit funding levels, so that vital transit service levels can be maintained.

The cost to restore the transit cuts statewide is so small, less than one half of one percent of the total Transportation Fund Budget, and would preserve crucial mobility that is essential to our economy.

An email can be sent through Andrew Davis in the Governor’s office: Andrew.Davis@wisconsin.gov

ARTICLES & INFORMATION:

Below are a few updates, including an upcoming Community Listening Session and articles related to the 2013 Milwaukee County Budget process.  There were no major changes for MCTS in the 2013 budget, and no changes in service levels or increases in passenger fares are anticipated.  However, 2014 is when the source of stopgap funding found in 2011 (CMAQ) will run out.  We anticipate that 2013 will be a key turning point so stay tuned!

Monday, December 3rd 2013:  Community Listening Session on the Public Transit Crisis

Held from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at the Washington Park Senior Center, located at 4420 W. Vliet Street in Milwaukee. (on the 31 & 33 bus lines)  The state budget talks will begin right away in 2013, it’s important that our community is represented as it relates to the crucial issue of public transportation.  Please come out and share potential ideas!  Click here for Event Flyer

Milwaukee County Board Chair Marina Dimitrijevic announces “Chat with the Chair” events in West Allis, Cudahy, Shorewood & River Hills.  Residents are invited to meet the Chairwoman, to ask questions about County government and to explore ways for Milwaukee County and all its municipalities to work together. Events will be held THIS week:

  • Monday, November 26, 2012 from 6 to 7pm in Cudahy, with Supervisor Patricia Jursik at theCudahy Family Library, 4665 South Packard Avenue, 53110.
  • Tuesday, November 27, 2012 from 6 to 7pm in Shorewood, with Supervisor Gerry P. Broderick at the Shorewood Public Library, 3920 North Murray Avenue, 53211.
  • Thursday, November 29, 2012 from 6 to 7pm in River Hills, with Supervisor Theodore Lipscomb, Sr. at the River Hills Village Hall, 7650 North Pheasant Lane, 53217.

IN THE NEWS:

Just wanted to pass along these updates regarding transit issues in southeast Wisconsin.  We are in the midst of the 2013 Milwaukee County budget process, and there have been a number of editorials over the past two months that make strong statements of support for our buses.  The 2013 budget thus far does not project many changes regarding MCTS however; it’s an important year to shore up support in anticipation of a loss of the 2012 CMAQ funds after 2014.  Stay tuned!

Milwaukee County Budget Hearing – Monday, October 29, 2012 at 6:30pm: 

The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors will host their Annual Budget Public Hearing on Monday, October 29th in the Bradley Pavilion of the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, 929 N. Water Street in Milwaukee. Doors will open at 6 p.m.; the meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m.  The hearing is an opportunity to hear the Supervisors review the County Executive’s Recommended Budget, including amendments.  This is a great forum to show your support for transit!  Free parking will be available in the Marcus Center structure, located one block north of the Marcus Center.  View Flyer

Milwaukee Streetcar Event: “Facts & Future” – Tuesday, October 30, 2012 from 5:30-7:30pm
Love it, hate it or looking for more info?  Come to this presentation hosted at the Pabst Pub in the Historic Pabst Theater.  City Engineer Jeffrey Polenske and Department of Public Works Commissioner Ghassan Korban will be on hand to give updates on the project and answer questions.  Event Information here   You can also receive regular updates for the Milwaukee Streetcar by following them on Facebook.

And scroll down…some interesting articles, blogs and/or posts of late regarding Milwaukee’s density and how it could impact transit planning in the future, analysis on why Germans ride transit more than Americans and how car use is peaking in developed nations, resulting in slowing car sales and lifestyle changes that support more investment in transit infrastructure.

IN THE NEWS

It’s been a busy summer and public transportation continues to be in the news.  The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) released a report detailing the future sustainability of the transit system, the 2013 budget process for Milwaukee County is underway and Congress passed a Federal Transportation bill.  Scroll down for the latest updates on both local and national public transportation issues.

Milwaukee County Budget Process:  County Executive Chris Abele will be holding two Town Hall meetings, which will allow the public to voice their opinions on next year’s budget – this is a great opportunity to show your support for transit

Monday, August 13, 2012 – 5:00pm-6:30pm
At McGovern Park Senior Center, 4500 W Custer Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53218

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 – 10:00am-11:30am
At West Allis City Hall Council Chambers, 7525 W. Greenfield Ave., West Allis, WI 53214

RSVP required: countyexec@milwcnty.com

Looking for more information on the upcoming budget?  The Milwaukee County Mental Health Task Force has created a page on their website dedicated to the 2013 Milwaukee County Budget, which includes materials on transportation issues.

Milwaukee County Transit System’s Future Sustainability Appears Bleak:
Last Month MCTS released a report  indicating that the financial sustainability over the next five years looks bleak. Federal CMAQ funds, the latest stop gap funding mechanism used to keep the system functioning, will expire in February of 2014 and a recent cut in state funding will have a significant impact.  The report estimates that if nothing is done, MCTS may have to cut service  from 19 to 29%. Below are links to articles and stories that discuss the potential impact:

Upcoming Public Transportation Conference:  August 14-16th in Chicago, IL
At the State Public Transportation Conference hear about best practices and programs of state associations and state transportation departments, as well as federal, state and local partnerships for public transportation. Click here to view the workshop schedule and program offerings. Co-sponsored by AASHTO and CTAA.

New Federal Transportation Bill Approved:
More than 1000 days after the last transportation bill expired, Congress finally voted to approve a new transportation bill. Unfortunately for those hoping for a bold step into the future, this bill represents a definite step backwards, the last gasp of an outdated 20th century program. Learn more about the bill here.

In The News:

 

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.

IN THE NEWS