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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)

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A number of important events and activities are underway in the next 2 weeks to support transit. Read below for all the details on Wisconsin Transportation Town Hall Meetings, National Transit Action Month, Bike to Work activities, Milwaukee Streetcar social and more! And if you keep scrolling down, you’ll find links to articles and updates from the past few months.

Moving Forward Together
Coalition for Advancing Transit

It’s Bike to Work Week! From May 11-17, many communities across the state have scheduled fun events to encourage more people to consider bike commuting and to reward those that already do! Learn more at the Wisconsin Bike Federation website, and search for events near you.

Milwaukee Streetcar Update
Read the latest developments in their April newsletter, including an upcoming social on Thursday, May 15 from 5:00-6:30 p.m., a local retailer who re-located his business from the suburbs to be on the streetcar route will host a Streetcar Social. This free, casual gathering of like-minded people is the first in a series of periodic events to promote ridership, raise awareness and support businesses along the route. Learn more here>>>

Transportation Moves Wisconsin – Town Hall Meetings
Presented by WI Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb

These town hall meetings are unprecedented—and so is the challenge the secretary will be tackling: a $700 million budget shortfall, which will only continue to increase in the coming years. Big changes are coming. Town Hall participants can:

  • Fill out a green sheet with comments
  • Videotape a brief message (30 seconds) about why transit or paratransit are important to you. Come prepared with your message!
  • Listen to the Secretary’s remarks and ask a question.

This is an important time to speak up for transit as economic, workforce, and quality of life priorities, and urge the Secretary to support transit policies that are vital to our economy.

Meetings will be held in SE WI next week – Secretary’s presentation is at 5:30 p.m., Q&A to follow.
View this flyer for important event details and transit information.

Tuesday, May 20 – 5:00 to 6:30pm
MATC West Allis Campus, Room 117, 1200 South 71st Street
MCTS bus Rts: 23, 56, 76, Blue Line.www.ridemcts.com  Parking map:http://bit.ly/SzXSjp

Wednesday, May 21 – 5:00 to 6:30pm
At Gateway Technical College, Madrigrano Auditorium, 3520 – 30th Avenue
Kenosha Transit bus Rts: 1, 3, 6. http://bit.ly/1mC5lM7

SE WI Transit Systems:  http://www.yourotherwheels.com/

For more information about the Transportation Moves initiative and the Town Hall meetings: http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/about/tmw/index.htm

May is Transit Action Month
On Tuesday, May 20th, participate in National Transit Call Congress Day

Join transit riders, workers and advocates to call for more and better public transit.  Transit supporters can let their elected officials know they support increased funding for public transit in the surface transportation bill and the impact that massive service cuts and fare increases have had in recent years. Tell them about the importance of transit to get to work, school and everywhere in between!

Find Wisconsin US Congress Members here. Link includes name, district and phone numbers for the representatives able to work directly on federal transit funding.

Learn more about Transit Action Month here or at www.TransitIsGreater.com

Wisconsin Transit Riders Alliance Meeting: Thursday, May 22 at 10:00am, Madison
In Rm. 302 of the Madison Public Library’s Central Branch 201 W. Mifflin St. (a block away from the downtown square).
Learn more about this affiliate of WURTA at www.witransitriders.org

Milwaukee Transit Riders Union Meeting: Thursday, June 5 at 5pm
At Hillside Terrace Resource Center, 1452 N. 7th Street, Milwaukee
“Jobs and Justice: A forum on regional transit”
Learn more at www.transitridersunion.org

New website launched dedicated to car-free transportation options
Bus, bike, walk has information about getting around the state using transit (intercity and intra-city transport info and links are provided) as well as policy background and advocacy for transit, biking and walking. Check it out here: http://www.busbikewalk.org/

IN THE NEWS

Yes! Bike Sharing is coming this summer (UrbanMilwaukee 5/14/14)

Biking with the Mayors (UrbanMilwaukee 5/13/14)

Who Will Be Streetcar Operator? (UrbanMilwaukee 5/8/14)

City of Milwaukee expects $20M more needed for streetcar project (BusinessJournal 4/22/14)

What To Do About DOT’s $650 Million Funding Gap (WUWM 4/18/14)

More Transit Funding Needed, Fitch Ratings Warns (UrbanMilwaukee Streetsblog 4/9/14)

WisDOT secretary outlines funding crisis (BizTimes Morning Headlines 4/9/14)

Press release: New Study: Riders Want Improved Transit. Abele Offers Plan to Add Service, Asks For County Board Support  (Posted on UrbanMilwaukee 4/8/14)

County Executive Chris Abele offers sound plan on transit services (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial 4/7/14)

Chris Abele renews push for outside operator of transit system (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 4/2/14)

4th Street Forum – Beyond Roads: Transportation Issues Today and Tomorrow (Aired 3/21/14)

Milwaukee’s Transit Decrease in Context: Our estimate puts 2013 as the worst year in the last 25 years of Milwaukee’s bus system (Milwaukee Magazine 3/11/14)

Milwaukee transit ridership down, bucking national trend (BizTimes 3/11/14)

Milwaukee out of step as public transit use rises nationally (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 3/10/14)

Sen. Miller: Introduces bills to improve public transit throughout Wisconsin (WisPolitics 3/7/14)

The Transit Agenda: Supporters headed to the State Capitol for “Public Transportation Day,” meeting with legislators, promoting their agenda, and handing out awards (UrbanMilwaukee 3/7/14)

Supervisors seek new bus contract bids, with county-run option in play (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 3/5/14)

Wisconsin Urban & Rural Transit Association (WURTA) 2014 Legislative Day at the Capitol (Mass Transit Magazine newsletter 3/5/14)

Greater Milwaukee Committee group wants to jump-start transit debate (BusinessJournal 2/25/14)

Our View: Legislature should allow creation of regional transit authorities (JSOnline 2/13/14)

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)

The next few days are an especially important time to speak up for preserving transit.  The state budget committee will be voting on the 2013-15 transportation within the next week, possibly as early as Thursday, May 23rd.

Please call or email now to remind Joint Finance Committee members, and your own Senator and Representative, about the urgency and importance of restoring state transit funding to preserve vital transit services in 2014 and 2015.

Even if you have already emailed or called earlier, please take a few minutes now to speak up once more to preserve transit.  Sharing your personal reasons for supporting transit is very powerful – and feel free to use the facts below.

Contact information:

A contact list for the Joint Finance Committee members can be found here.  You can click the links on the document or copy and paste the addresses.  Find your own Representative and Senator here: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/

Request: Please restore state funding to maintain vital transit services in 2014 and 2015.  Be sure to leave your name and address.

IMPORTANT TRANSIT FACTS:

Without a change to the current 2013-15 State Biennial Budget Bill, AB 40, the cut in state funding made in the last state budget would continue, and communities across the region and state would continue to lose transit connections.

In Milwaukee County, one-time federal funding was used to fill the gap temporarily.  That funding will expire in 2014 leaving a $7 million gap in the MCTS annual operating budget.  A loss of this magnitude can only result in very significant and harmful service cuts and/or fare increases.

Restoring state transit funding to maintain transit services is reasonable. It requires less than one half of one percent of the $6.4 billion transportation budget.

Transit is essential part of our transportation system, keeping our communities and our economy working: 

  • Keeps workers connected to their jobs and students to universities, colleges and schools.
  • Supports businesses workforce needs, and the multitude of events and tourist destinations that provide jobs and tax revenues.
  • Makes us more competitive, helping to attract businesses and the young professionals they seek, who are choosing to live in places that offer transportation options.
  • Allows our growing senior population to remain living independently and out of expensive nursing home care, the cost of which often rests on government programs, and ultimately, the taxpayers.
  • Good transit will be even more important to keeping commerce moving during the Zoo Interchange and I-94 reconstruction that will stretch over the next decade.

VIEW THE STATE BUDGET FACT SHEET HERE or see more information at www.transitnow.org

The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee is holding 4 public hearings on the Biennial Budget Bill.  These hearings provide an opportunity to testify before legislators who will make critical spending decisions on transit.   The SE Wisconsin hearing is on:

Thursday, April 4 from 10am to 6pm
At Greendale High School
, 6801 Southway, Greendale  MAP

Scroll down for more information on talking points and tips for testifying.  If you are not able to testify at the hearing, send your comments to the committee members via email, phone or mail.
Also, share this information about transit with associates and friends!

Regional Transit Initiative Policy Platform and Joint Finance Committee Contact Information

Find your State Legislator here or call 1-800-362-9472

Transit is vital to so many aspects of the economy and community of SE Wisconsin, and yet the 2013-15 state budget bill, AB40, continues the harmful 10% cut to transit funding made in the 2011-13 state budget. It also undermines the future of transit by moving transit out of the segregated transportation fund into the general fund where is will be competing with every non-transportation program.

Without a change, communities in SE WI and across the state will continue to lose essential mobility.  Milwaukee County faces a particularly devastating situation when the one-time federal funding expires in 2014 that is funding transit since the 10% cut in transit funding in the last state budget.

Implementing the following 2013-15 state budget priorities is essential to preserving transit service and protecting our ability to create and retain jobs, help train and educate our workers, and connect workers to employers in Southeast Wisconsin.

  1. Restore state transit operating aids that were cut in the 2011-13 biennial budget, to preserve vital transit services.
  2. Maintain transit funding from the segregated Transportation Fund, to provide crucial funding stability. Transit is as integral a part of the transportation system as roads and requires the same stable dedicated funding from the segregated funding source.

Tips for Testifying

  • The hearings draw a big crowd, so arrive early to register to speak.
  • Bring 20 copies of your testimony, if possible – enough copies for the committee (16) and some extras for those who are interested.
  • Be brief – remarks are generally limited to 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Begin with a clear and concise statement of our position and what you want. “I am urging you to amend the budget to include ______________.”
  • Powerful testimony is a combination of personal stories and accurate, current statistics. Speak from your heart.

ARTICLES & INFORMATION

Milwaukee needs to save its Bucks and its buses  (3/8/13) BizTimes.com BizBlog by Milwaukee County Supervisor Michael Mayo

Is Scott Walker killing of public transit? Transit’s funding is uncertain but road builders win big (3/6/13) Shepherd Express

Good Transit Policy Shouldn’t Lean Left or Right  (2/16/13) JSOnline “Purple Wisconsin” blog by Alex Runner

Scott Walker says he’ll invest $6.4 billion for transportation needs  (2/15/13) JSOnline “All Politics” blog by Don Walker

Growing Our Economy: Investing in Infrastructure  (2/14/13) Press Release on Transportation Budget by Governor Walker

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:

 

Speak up!  Listening SessionThursday, March 22, 2012
Wisconsin Commission on Transportation Finance and Policy
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
1001 West St. Paul Ave., Milwaukee, Just west of the Amtrak Station
Nearby bus routes 10, 12, 23, 30, 31, 57, 80, Metro Express Blue Line

The State Legislature established this Commission as part of the 2011-13 budget to examine issues related to the future of transportation finance in Wisconsin.  The Commission’s report to the Legislature, due no later than March 1, 2013, will encompass new approaches for the next decade.

You are encouraged to attend and speak at the public listening session!
You will have 2-3 minutes to speak.  Please consider bringing your comments in writing for the Commission (11 members). If you cannot get to the session, written comments and testimony are also being accepted via email at dottfpcommission@dot.wi.gov.

Looking ahead for SE Wisconsin Transit Systems: Dedicated funding a crucial concern.
Public transit service in SE Wisconsin has been significantly reduced over the last decade, and without a change, would be expected to continue its downward path. The last State budget did significant damage to the “base” of funding for transit systems. Click here to view a SE WI Transit Update.

Regional connectivity and a sustainable, reliable, dedicated funding model for transit in Wisconsin is vital to our economic future.
This listening session is a valuable opportunity to educate the Commission and decision makers statewide about the need for robust transit options as a part of the comprehensive transportation system and a vibrant economy in the Metro Milwaukee area. Transit is essential to job access, businesses, education, personal independence, and our economic security.

Use of public transit grew in 2011, both nationally and locally. [SEE LINKS BELOW]
In particular, studies found that nearly 60 percent of transit rides are for commuting for work AND that big increases in ridership were in parts of the country that gained employment. This is the message the Commission needs to hear. As we heard from Mr. Rasmussen on March 6:  Transit benefits the entire community, including those who dont ride it.

Looking ahead, what are your priorities for the Wisconsin Transportation Fund?  Will our current transportation system meet our changing needs?
For more information about the commission visit www.dot.wisconsin.gov/about/tfp or click here for a summary.

Moving Forward Together
Coalition for Advancing Transit

IN THE NEWS

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 http://www.ridemcts.com/ to plan your trip.

Please RSVP to Kristi at kristi@uedawi.org 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:  http://www.themilwaukeestreetcar.com/public-notice.php

The Milwaukee County Board is holding hearings on the 2012 County Budget proposed by County Executive Chris Abele.  Maintaining public transportation services has been a key part of the debate.  We need all transit advocates to contact local elected officials and let them know how important it is to preserve transit services in 2012!

Milwaukee County Finance and Audit Committee Budget Hearing:
Monday, October 17 at 9:00a.m.

Department of Transportation and Public Works
Milwaukee County Transit/Paratransit System (transit is first on the agenda so be sure to get there early!)

ATTEND IF YOU CAN AND SPEAK OUT FOR TRANSIT!  Let us know if you do.  Held in Room 203-R, at the Milwaukee County Courthouse, 901 North 9th Street, Milwaukee  MAP

Contact your Milwaukee County Representatives!

Ask them to maintain bus service – both routes and frequency.  When service is cut, not only does this curb the independence of many individuals in our community, but it also means that people cannot get to work, school, medical appointments, shopping centers and more. Transit is the backbone of a strong local economy!  Tell them your story of why we cannot afford any cuts to transit service.

Click HERE to visit our 2012 Milwaukee County Budget & Transit page for details and how to contact them.

Write a Letter to the Editor

Reach out to local media and let everyone else know why you support public transportation and preserving our bus system.  Tell them your story why cuts to service and 2012 will harm our community.  Click HERE to visit our Media Outreach page for more information on how to do this.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IN THE NEWS