Fri April 5, 2013
Bus Riders To Legislature: Transit Helps Economy
People who rely on buses did their best to connect transit funding with job creation at a public hearing of the legislature's budget committee Thursday.
The current budget cut transit funding, and Governor Walker's proposed budget for the next couple years would hold it flat. Transit advocates told lawmakers that would mean bus services that are already financially stretched would continue to decline.
Maripat Monahan of Wauwatosa says her daughter relies on public transit to get around and recently lost her job because her bus service was frequently late.
“So I beg of you to please don't discount the importance of public transportation for people that — guess what — don't have a car.”
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele told lawmakers that tens of thousands of people use Milwaukee County's transit system to get to work every day and thousands more use it to search for work.
“Maintaining a thriving transit system in Milwaukee County is key, key, key to keeping the economic engine of our county and our state strong.”
The Walker administration has said that, like many government programs, transit is being asked to do more with less. The flat funding for transit comes as the state prepares to borrow roughly a billion dollars for major highway projects.