Keith Lee: Transit plays key role in Wisconisn

From providing transportation to students, to expanding job and educational opportunities, to allowing our aging parents to stay mobile, public transit benefits us all. read more

Possible Transit Partnership Between County and City

The County of Portage and the City of Stevens Point operate separate transit services, but could merge them to improve the system for all of their users. Read More

Wisconsin’s 2015-17 Biennial Transportation Budget

This “highlights” document by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Office of Policy, Finance and Improvement provides a fairly good summary of the transportation component of Wisconsin’s final biennial budget (Act 55). Transit Operating Aid programs are discussed on page 8. They remain in the transportation fund. The budget includes the 4% increases for transit that were allocated in the 2013-2015 budget but that obviously does not make up for the 10% cut to transit funding received in the budget before that. The Budget also creates a new Transit Safety Oversight program and insists that any fixed guideway rail system (streetcar) in Milwaukee County be paid for entirely by the City of Milwaukee.

Although all local transit systems must provide complementary transportation services to people who cannot use regular transit, there is also a separate program for “specialized transportation” (page 9). Eligibility for the Capital Assistance Program for Specialized Transportation is changed from age 55 to 65 to “meet programmatic changes to the federal program under MAP-21.”

The Complete Streets program is eliminated entirely. Although this summary does not specifically mention the term Complete Streets, the language under the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) section (page 10) makes it clear that it is eliminated. All State funding for TAP is eliminated completely although federal funding remains.

Free bus service available between downtown [Green Bay] and Lambeau

The Green Bay Packers and the city of Green Bay have launched a free bus route connecting those destinations and many points in between, especially Lambeau Field, with buses running every 30 minutes Mondays through Saturdays. read more

An investigation of one city’s addiction to megahighways

Today, we spend more than five times as many federal dollars on roads as we spend on public transit. We spend more building new road capacity than we spend fixing existing roads. Those priorities affect the competitiveness of our economy, the sustainability of our environment, the livability of our cities, and the mobility of the poor, not to mention the amount of time we spend banging our fists on our steering wheels in traffic and the likelihood that our bridges will collapse. read more

Milwaukee County bus drivers to strike Wednesday after 11th-hour negotiations fail

ALERT FOR MILWAUKEE RIDERS: “All MCTS service will end at 3 a.m. Wednesday when drivers intend to stop work and begin walking picket lines. Drivers are expected to return to work Saturday, according to leaders of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998.” Read more

Univ. of Georgia Transit Officials Considering Purchase of Electric Buses

University of Georgia bus stops might soon become considerably less noisy and more environmentally friendly. UGA officials are considering replacing part of the university’s bus fleet with electric buses. Such a bus visited the UGA campus recently as a kind of demonstration while on a promotion tour throughout the Southeast. “It was a pretty nice ride,” said UGA campus transit director Ron Hamlin. “It was smooth and quiet. There was no engine noise at all.” UGA could buy 16 of the vehicles if the federal Department of Transportation approves an $11.5 million UGA grant application, Hamlin said. UGA would add $5 million to the grant. read more

Do you think Univ. of Wisc. transit officials should consider doing the same?

Legal challenge to traffic forecasting key to highway projects

In a late May ruling, U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman sided with plaintiffs and blocked federal money for the expansion of Highway 23 to four lanes between Fond du Lac and Plymouth, telling the state Department of Transportation that its failure to fully explain how it arrived at its traffic projections and its decision not to consider updated population forecasts for those projections were “significant deficiencies.”

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CTAA Announces Important New Partnership with Enterprise Rideshare

Enterprise Rideshare, a service of Enterprise Rent-A-Car and the second largest vanpool operation in the country, is partnering with the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) to create and expand vanpool programs across the country. The partnership between Enterprise Rideshare and CTAA is a component of CTAA’s Vanpool Works program, a collaborative effort to provide organizations with the resources to start up or expand a vanpool program of any size. (pdf)

New Tech & Tools Make Car-Free Living Easier

A report from the WISPIRG Foundation and Frontier Group shows how American cities are using new technologies for their transportation needs. The report, “The Innovative Transportation Index,” explores how these advances make it easier for more Americans to live full and engaged lives without owning a car.

The report ranks major American cities on a number of different types of new transportation technology options in the city, including: ride-sharing, bike-sharing, public transit navigation apps, and virtual transit ticketing, among others.

“None of these options even existed a few years ago, and this trend is just beginning,” said Phineas Baxandall, WISPIRG Foundation transportation program director. “Technology has given people new convenient ways to get around.”

The report calls on policymakers to tap into the potential of these services to address transportation challenges and increase the number of people able to live car-free or car-light lifestyles.