Alert: The following services will be unavailable on Saturday, January 5, 2013 from 12 a.m. (midnight) to 6 a.m. CST due to system maintenance.
Transportation Moves Wisconsin - Get Involved
Previous comments we've received
"I have 3 and 5 year old children that when travel frequently ask me 'daddy, why is this road so bumpy. I can't watch my show...the ipad keeps bouncing around'. This comment struck me, as if our children recognize that our roads are rough and in need of repair/rehabilitation, why aren't we investing more into the very infrastructure that moves our product to market in addition to transporting our families to school, places for recreation, and work. This is what stimulates our economy...getting product to market in a safe and efficient manner in addition to allowing our Wisconsin families to get out and spend in all of our natural resources."
"Why are there no passenger/commuter trains running from Green Bay to various places like Milwaukee, Chicago, Minneapolis, Madison, Appleton, etc.? I know lots of people who would use besides myself. I constantly hear about carpooling, well if we had trains then that would be less cars on the roads. Not everyone has a car so it's hard to get anywhere out of your city. Also not everyone wants to drive long distances. There are so many tracks anyway, also can travel easier in winter. Jobs could be found if could get there by train. Instead of big fancy highways let’s get some trains going. it's a safer form of travel."
"If you want to raise millions of dollars per year in additional revenue to fund projects, start a lottery. Two dollars per ticket. Winners get free license tag and free driver's license renewal for life."
"I am mortified. Having two friends visiting from other states recently they are shocked at the condition of our roads. Oh...not just from recent potholes...from repeated patching and repatching year after year. I have lived in four states and visited over 30 and NO one...seriously...no state has worse roads than Wisconsin. Why? What can be done, seriously?"
"Mostly through transportation van service and through my wife."
"I am legally blind and my husband is visually impaired. Yes there are people who do not drive. To be independent, we use public transit i.e. buses to take him to WORK, medical appointments, church, entertainment – and all the other errands drivers perform in everyday life. We just want to live our lives and are contributing taxpayers. Yes, roads are necessary, but so is public transit. With an increasing senior population, there will be more needing public transit; it needs to be an integral part of our state's transportation not just serving the needs of the powerful road-building lobby. Thank you."
"We cannot pave our way out of things being too far away to walk. Too criss-crossed by traffic to roll a wheelchair or push a baby stroller. Too dominated by motorists to ride a bicycle. And no transit in sight."
"I use transportation to get to and from work and medical appointments. I also use it to get my daughter to and from school, medical appointments and recreational activities. I use it to socialize by meeting friends, going to meetings and a plethora of other activities."
"I work with people with disabilities in a rural area. Not having transportation both inter-county and intra-county makes it difficult for people to work, socialize, be part of their communities. Our county has made an effort to begin a transportation system through our ADRC. People are so accustomed to not having transportation that they are reluctant to start using it. Lack of transportation = isolation in rural areas."
"Living in a small rural community and working with young people just starting out, I am frustrated with lack of public transportation. I often can find employment for some of the young people, but they have no way to get there because of the lack of public transportation."
“I support increased funding for public transportation. My understanding is that the SMRT Regional bus system in southwestern Wisconsin has had it's funding cut 10 percent in 2014 and additional cuts are anticipated. I believe that funding should be increased, not decreased.”
"I have worked in the transportation industry for over three years now. I didn't realize what a luxury it was to have a vehicle, let alone two vehicles until I began my employment. We’re able to do more within our community because we don’t have transportation barriers. We're a family of six heading in six different directions so for us, we (think we) need two vehicles. It comes with a cost to both our pocket books as well as our ecological footprint. I love that people with the choice are willing to use public transportation, walk or bike. Public transportation is very important in Door County, where I live, due to the aging population. Keep funding the programs up here not just to keep people mobile but to offer an affordable option. Loans that help people repair their vehicles or buy a vehicle to be able to attain or retain employment is crucial. The people that fall into the 200 percent FPL are typically not eligible for a traditional loan due to financial difficulties, employment history and poor credit. The volunteer program assists those who may be falling through the cracks. The public transportation provided by Door2Door needs to expand to include the whole county. There are folks that fall into areas not covered who need weekend or wheelchair transport which isn’t offered by the volunteer program."
"I travel I-43 daily between Sheboygan and Milwaukee and am frustrated with heavy truck freight, (mainly inter-modal) that is deteriorating the pavement of our interstate and impacts visibility during winter snow. I would like to see that inter-modal traffic put back on the railroad tracks that parallels interstate I-43 from Milwaukee to Green Bay and Northern Wisconsin. For the economics of manufacturing, logging, and paper industry to get their products to the global market, we need dedicated rail service. Also would like to see Amtrak extended to Green Bay."
"I drive myself and public transportation. I personally think self – advocates like myself who love to drive – should be given the opportunity to solve the transportation problem. After all, we are the ones that help others now who don't drive so what better solution could you have."
"I drive, walk and bike (quite a lot of all 3)! If train transportation was available in northern Wisconsin (as it was many years ago) I would use it to get to Milwaukee, Chicago, Madison or Minneapolis. This is a serious lack in our transportation system. In Europe, San Diego, and Los Angeles, it was easy to get around via train, Amtrak and commuter both. My main concern though is for safe biking and walking, 2 bikers were killed within 2 years near Mosinee and my husband was hit by a school bus suffering serious brain injury after 16 days in a coma. Safe bike trails with over or under passes can let us travel where we need to be safely without using our vehicles every time. Safe roads are for everyone, and we as human beings need to be safe whatever mode we use to travel. Think about those of us getting older and I will need to forgo driving and need good transportation soon!"
"Thanks for coming to Eau Claire...we really need to have action from the state to enable Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs), and so do many cities like Appleton. Given that this town hall tour is about funding transportation, I think that RTAs should be touted as a way to provide a more stable funding source to maintain and expand transit systems across the state."
"I heard your project staff interviewed on WPR today, so I thought I'd leave a comment here. I specifically looked for, and found, a home that was near a bike trail and on a bus line. This is critical as I age. This infrastructure, plus good sidewalks with handicapped ramps and decent, maintained city streets and a nearby park, make this a walkable, bikeable, efficiently traveled part of Madison. I travel to Milwaukee and Chicago more than the average person and we really NEED efficient and affordable mass transportation linking all the regional cities. Traveling in Europe was totally feasible because of their train and bus network. Let's use future thinking and best practices from other places. It is worth the investment. Thanks for the opportunity to comment."
"I am very concerned that WisDOT is putting too much money and emphasis on roads and vehicle traffic rather than alternatives. A limited supply of fossil fuels and the buildup of carbon in the atmosphere and the associated changes that brings are causing long term global consequences. Smart planning requires states to create and encourage use of alternate forms of transportation. Light rail, intercity busses and better safer routes for bicycles are critical. And for our highways, less money needs to be spent on new construction and more should be spent on maintenance. In particular, rights-of-ways need more funds devoted to vegetation management to minimize the spread of invasive species along the ROWs. Everyone is aware that the WI Transportation Builders Alliance is a powerful lobbying force, however they do not represent the people and resources of the state. For the long term survival of the planet, strategic planning needs to take a step away from new highway construction and reconstruction which encourages more private vehicular traffic. Thank you."
"I like to live close to my daily needs so I can walk, bus, or bike. Roads and highways have been important to growing the economy in the past, but today study after study shows diminishing returns in building more roads and highways. I spend a lot of time trying to determine the economic return of our state highway system, and the best that I can come up with suggests that Wisconsin's economy would be better off if we left more transportation dollars in the pockets of private individuals. People love their cars and hate congestion, and politicians use that fact to buy votes during elections, but the truth is that we are being hurt economically by poor planning that produces congestion and safety problems that are dumped on WISDOT to address. Better local planning that empowers people to make easier walking, biking and bus trips is a much more economical solution to the commerce needs of the people of Wisconsin. So please, DO NOT INCREASE funding for highways – find less destructive alternatives."
"I use the bus to go downtown. I take it to Shopko in Rothschild."
"I think Wisconsin should have toll ways. I grew up in Illinois and they were always a part of my life. WI residents are mainly against them, but they need to think of how many IL and other out of state tourists use our highways and those vehicles should help with the road upkeep. I drive on the interstate to Northern WI and Illinois regularly to visit family. I have an Ipass. It is wonderful!"
"I work at an ADRC [Aging and Disabilities Resource Center] and am having a difficult time coming up with transportation resources for families who have children, who have a developmental disability, transitioning from school to adult services. This is an all around need, however particularly in rural areas for the consumer to get to a city for work, recreation, etc. I am able to offer resources for people who live in the city, for training how to use the bus, to allow them to access the community and be part of the community, it is the rural areas that are particularly lacking."
"I am a clinic developmental disabilities RN. We had a patient who missed his appointment because the supposed 'medical transportation' was over an hour late picking him up. As a result, not only was the appointment time wasted and he was not able to receive needed care but staff had to sit there and wait for him to arrive so they could take him home. What a silly waste of resources!"
"I'm a wheelchair user who drives a conversion van with an unfolding ramp on the passenger side. If there aren't any parking spaces with stripes, I am either forced to park across 2 parking spaces or go home. It would be SOOOO helpful if: Public and private lots had accessible spaces which were adequately standardized sizes. Provide businesses with info. regarding measurements for their next stripe painting. This info. is not readily accessible. I don't want to have to give it to my whole city! Spaces for ramps were limited to use for vehicles with ramps. People who park on the stripes were ticketed in public and private spaces. It is all useless if I park properly and some clown parks where my ramp needs to deploy. This is for starters. THANKS!!"
"I work for RCS Empowers, Inc. in Sheboygan. We help people with disabilities to obtain employment. The lack of public transportation outside of the city limits is a real barrier as is the lack of bus service on Sundays. I would also suggest that funds be made available to train people with disabilities to use the regular public transit buses rather than the far more expensive door to door service. Many people are afraid to use it, feel that they can't, and don't realize that with training they will have greater independence and save money! It will take an investment in training but it will reduce reliance on the more costly door to door service. The training could be provided by local bus companies or it could be done in partnership with Community Rehabilitation Programs (like RCS Empowers) who have expertise in training people with disabilities."
"I travel for social reasons and economic reasons. I feel there is a great need for more mass transit (high speed rail, Amtrak, bullet trains). The concept of rugged individualism with one person-one car is a cave man mentality. Our planet's health requires efficient use of resources."
"I use it casually, relying on it when my car is being used by my significant other, or when my route doesn't involve any transfers. I am impressed with the punctual nature of the public transport here, but I do feel that I often am stuck with an inordinate wait time during transfers. I thus don't use it as often as I might. Even if the route is longer, I will have no problem sitting and reading on the bus, but the transfers are usually what drive me to take other means of transportation. It is always there in a pinch, however, and it lessens my anxiety a considerable amount to know that I can use it. It just is not, however, my primary means of getting around on a daily basis."
"I would like to see our Wisconsin government start moving in the direction that each department becomes their own "profit centers" just like private businesses. The DOT, DMV and DNR should set their rates based on the number of people that are using their services. I would like to see the DOT raise Wisconsin’s fuel tax to fund road building and repairs....this needs to be 'weighted' based on the vehicle road damage done. Road damage done by 70,000# heavy trucks should not be subsidized by 3,000# cars! (If 80-percent of the road damage is done by heavy trucks, then heavy trucks need to cover 80-percent of the road repair costs...) I am totally against any toll roads, not because the vehicles that use it have to pay a toll, but because all the people that staff and manage the toll booths are non productive people.... just like someone on welfare... just another economic 'drag' on society."
"I commute round-trip 50 miles daily, a trip to Madison once a month, and frequent trips in the community for meetings, errands, etc. I have seen how roads are in such poor shape everywhere. It strikes me that it is very absurd that we continue to build new roads when we can't even keep up with the maintenance of our existing roads! As a driver, it is in my self interest to encourage other modes of transportation, whether bus, train, bike, or pedestrian to reduce congestion in my own trips. I also know the day will come when I cannot drive, and I want to ensure there are good options for me."
"There is a great need for transportation for the challenged population in the State of Wisconsin. Most rural areas in Wisconsin do not have any transportation whatsoever. We live in Minocqua and have a taxi that charges $8.00 per trip plus a Senior Center bus that doesn't have many hours for use so we need help so our challenged individuals can live independently and be able to get to doctor, dentist appointments plus jobs at a cost that is affordable to them."
"I manage group homes for adults with disabilities. Many of these clients are non ambulatory. Therefore we must go through a company called MTM to get them transported to medical appointments. All too often there are errors in the transportation process; clients arrive late, miss appointments, show up to the wrong address, or are never even picked up. This is very stressful for me, and not to mention dangerous to them. Drivers have left my nonverbal clients alone at the wrong address, clients have missed very important appointments, and clients have been stuck on the bus for over an hour because a drivers showed up to the wrong address. Reliable medical appointment transportation is absolutely necessary for my clients and I, and unfortunately at this point in time we do not have that."
"I drive Wisconsin roadways (primarily 2-lane) between Northeast Wisconsin and Southwest Wisconsin. I listened to the DOT secretary on WPR this morning. What a joke. This has nothing to do with transportation needs and has everything to do with repaying the road builder lobby who fill the election/re-election coffers of Republican legislators. If it truly had to do with transportation needs, the recent, so-called 'surplus' in the budget would have been channeled to this ‘need’. Giving me back $35.00 in tax cuts will not even come close to making up the amount you now want to impose in additional gas taxes and 'fees.' How about imposing more taxes on corporations, who use and do the most damage to our transportation infrastructure, by using public-funded roads and bridges to move their goods and services around? I heard NOTHING from the secretary in that regard. Why not?—because WMC would call for his head on a platter and would get it from our puppet governor. How about imposing a fee on road builders who want to bid on road construction projects. Maybe that would keep them more honest in their bidding process. How about making sure the work that road builders do is quality work, instead of having roads crumble within a year after construction, so it has to be one over again, enriching their profits. How about fining and prosecuting road builders for their inferior work. We all know they cut corners on materials to increase their profits. I'm just a little, insignificant lower middle income taxpayer, and I am TIRED of bearing the burdens for big corporations and the wealthy. If corporations are 'people,' let them pay the same tax rate I do. STOP the insane upward redistribution of income."
"I depend on Cabulance and my parents right now. Cabulance isn't very reliable. The bus system is too hard to use."
"My son uses MCTS [Milwaukee County Transit System] all of the time. It's his only form of transportation. Some of the drivers are more helpful than others. He has been driven pass because he uses a wheelchair and they didn't want to deal with the ramp. During the winter it makes it even harder with curb cuts not bring shoveled out and or snow banks at the bus stops, how do they put the ramp down into a snow bank and or an icy spot. I wish we could afford an accessible van to transport him, it would save so much time and headaches."
"I assist individuals with disabilities who utilize transportation to get to their doctor appointments, jobs, community activities and to visit their friends and family."
"Transportation for individuals with disabilities is a difficult thing. The buses can run early or late, and people end up missing their important appointments due to the transportation not being more organized and timely. If they are early, they don't wait for the individual to be ready, they most often just leave, stating the person was a ‘no call, no show’ when in reality, the driver may not have even come to the door to let them know they were there. Running late is also an issue as this leaves people waiting for rides while they are missing appointments, their jobs, visits with friends and family and planned outings. Please help us work on this issue!"
"I am CD, unable to drive. I use the Ozaukee Cty Shared Ride Taxi which it possible for me to get to work. Please support the Shared Ride Taxi and similar services. Thank you."
"Transit Express Para-vans, AbleAccess Para vans or in decent weather I drive to BayShore and take one of the city buses. I would like to be able to wheel my chair to nearby bus lines, but the streets are in such poor condition that it is not safe to do so, so I have to drive to get to the bus stops or take para transit. Also, bus stops need to be made accessible: the landing platform, curb cuts, crosswalks, etc. All of it. It serves nobody to have a bus stop, with a nice landing but no curb cuts to get anywhere from the landing. I live on Milwaukee's North Shore area and people don't seem to think that using a wheelchair is a valid way to travel.
"I use transportation to go to work, do recreational activities, go to church and to shopping. I find it difficult to use public or paratransit for all of these activities because some of these activities are beyond Milwaukee County lines. Milwaukee County transit and paratransit do not cross county lines. People have to pay extra to cross county lines into Waukesha County or other counties. Paratransit users, such as myself, are specifically affected because paratransit funding is only available in Milwaukee County proper and I who live in Milwaukee County cannot take paratransit across county lines. I would like to see transportation funds used more efficiently so that transportation could become more regionalized rather than just a county to county based program."
“I feel mass transit and other rail taxes should come a regional tax and put more fuel taxes towards rebuilding of our roads also go after the mega farms to pay taxes for over size machinery and over weight machinery to pay fix up town and county roads to pay for damages of roads by their machinery also I would tax farm machinery for using the public roads system.”
“I am retired and do a fair amount of volunteer work. These assignments are around the Fox River Valley and in the Madison area. My travel is all paid for out of my own pocket. I am concerned about the billions of dollars that are being spent to make a speedway out of Highway 41 from Green Bay to Oshkosh. At the same time, we do not have money for road, bridge and infrastructure repair. Also the 65 mile speed limit, on Highway 41, is usually only enforced when special federal funding is available. We need to take a good look at how we can provide affordable transportation for the elderly and disabled population. More effort needs to be put into making the cities people friendly by providing housing, shopping and transportation for everyone. We should truly do regional planning and development. The need for multi county planning and funding is long overdue. We should minimize the number of local entities and set up truly regional planning, and control capability. We could save a lot of money by minimizing the current system of Township, Village, City and County attempts at trying to help us help ourselves. Regional taxing and spending authority would enable us to live, tax, plan and spend in line with 21st century issue resolution. Thank you for listening.”
[How do you use transportation?] “City Metro Bus, Union Cab, para-transit: Abby Vans, Badger Bus, Surplus bus, Abby transloutions, Green Cab”
“I drive our cars and truck and I am a co-owner of a Cessna airplane. Funding transportation repairs in light of pending budget deficit: stop building bike lanes and trails until funding returns; figure out a way for bicycles to pay for the bike lanes and trails thru licensing, inspection fees; increased fines for road safety violations; encourage local municipalities to borrow low cost loans from the state bureau of public lands. Please no tolls, no wheel taxes. How about fund for donations for road repairs or sell bonds to fund them while fuel taxes are not sufficient, so people who can afford it can help cover the deficit.”
“The SMRT [Scenic Mississippi Regional Transit]bus in Vernon County, and transports to La Crosse County, PDC [Prairie du Chien] and back daily. I have driven to La Crosse, 30 miles one way for 25+ years. For one year have taken the public transportation of SMRT bus. This has saved gas, saves allot of money, miles on my vehicle. Please reconsider cuts in the budget for public transportation. This service is now currently being used and reimbursed by colleges in the areas, letting students ride free. Please continue to fund.”
“My wife and I use the county and town roads in Jackson County and I-94 to get groceries and other merchandise in Osseo and Eau Claire. The county and town roads especially are in very poor shape due to lack of funds. Parts of I-94 are being repaired, but not fast enough. The governor and legislators must stop cutting taxes thinking they are pleasing their constituents. They are operating under a false assumption. What we need is adequate taxes to maintain our infrastructure in a timely manner. Delay in maintenance always increases the ultimate cost. What we need now is an immediate increase in capital renewal funding through a significant mileage-based user fee.”
“Those of us who are elderly and-or have disabilities rely heavily on public transportation to maintain our independence and quality of life. Any given day I may need to use the city bus, para-transit, walk somewhere and try to figure out how to get to Chippewa Falls (probably by bumming a ride). As our population ages, and many have to stop driving, more and more people will be doing what I do daily, which is try to remain a contributing member of my community. Please strengthen public transit and specialized transportation funding. Being able to get to the veterinarian, the store, medical appointments, volunteer and civic commitments, religious opportunities, the library and maybe even the Confluence make the good life for me. This takes a strong multi-modal transportation system to accomplish. Thank you for your work and for listening to us consumers about our needs for affordable and accessible public and specialized transportation.”
"I use mass transit to get around and spend money in the community. Cars are overpriced and a burden and I'd rather give my money to local businesses. With an emphasis on transit-first development in all urban areas and rapid transit systems to the outlying areas it would allow me greater access to more areas to consider working, living and spending my money."
"I drive a car, but I ride my bike as much as possible, including to my job in downtown Milwaukee. I want to see more transportation dollars spent on making the roads in Milwaukee safer for bicyclists."
"I walk and bike to work and to shop, etc. About once a month I rent a car to travel to see family in another part of the state. I would prefer to take a train to do this, or even a bus, but can't because we lack much intercity transit. That really needs to be addressed in Wisconsin for a more sustainable future. (Also, what must tourists think of our limited options?) My commute generally feels pretty safe, as I live in an older neighborhood with short blocks, narrower streets, trees, and on-street parking to keep drivers from treating the street like a freeway. Not everyone's so lucky, though. That also needs attention."
"Here is how traffic does NOT move me. Stoplights used to be simple. When the eastbound traffic got a green, so did the westbound traffic (let's leave out turn lanes to keep this simple). Now they work (not) so that unless you are actually waiting at a red light, you may not get a green for two cycles. Using a simple east west versus north south stoplight intersection, one can approach going west and coming up to a red light. Just before you actually get there, you see the oncoming eastbound traffic start to come towards you. Your westbound light remains red, because you were not sitting and waiting, thus it does not change. The eastbound traffic stops and the north/south traffic goes, and then (and only then) do you get a green light to proceed west. It appears this is controlled now by cameras mounted on poles that 'watch' for traffic. IF none is seen waiting at the red light, then that direction will not get a green light that cycle. It must cost a lot of money to actually make that red light turn green. The electrical costs must be astronomical. Or perhaps those expensive cameras were sponsored by the petroleum industry to make people sit and idle longer so they can sell more gas? Perhaps it was Toyota, wanting to sell more Priuses, that shut off the engine while they break out their kindles and wait for a green. Who is the MBA that thought up this system?"
"We would like to see more infrastructure investment in bicycling trails and lanes throughout urban areas and as well as more express bus service. We are disappointed that WI does not have high-speed rail to connect Milwaukee-Madison-Minneapolis, especially since we travel for our jobs along that corridor. We recently took an Amtrak train from New York to Baltimore in 2.5 hours while visiting family and it was a fantastic way to go – a trip that would have taken 3-4 hours in traffic. Even without high-speed rail it would be great if another daily Amtrak train could be added between Milwaukee and Minneapolis."
"I use our highways and airports to travel to my company's offices and clients as well as my cabin in northern WI. I have noticed this winter and spring that many of our roadways are in poor condition or over capacity. We need to make investments now to resolve these issues. It will cost more the longer we wait. The average cost to drive in WI is cheap compared to other states. An increase in user fees is warranted and will not hurt our population or economy. I work in the transportation industry. It offers good jobs for people that are graduating from our universities and tech schools, helping to reduce the brain drain that we experience in WI."
"Thank you for holding these meetings, as one who has been involved in the retail bicycle business for the last twenty years we've contributed to our states well being with sales tax monies derived from bicycles and accessories while at the same time given the opportunity to be stewards of the K.M.S.F. Emma F. Carlin trail system as well as the first mile of the eastern portion of the Glacial-Drumlin State Trail. So we put our effort where our mouth is and urge the continued building of as much bicycle infrastructure as is necessary to keep people safe while they work, live and play here. There are many physically challenged people who do not drive in this state and they should be able to feel safe while going about their day to day activities also our transportation dollars come from them as well. Thank you again for your time and concern."
"I run errands and exercise nearly daily, 9 months out of the year. I frequently negotiate a dangerous intersection at Fordem and Johnson street in Madison. It has been in the plan for an upgrade for years (‘Northside Flyer’ bike path), but funds are lacking. These projects comprise less than 1-percent of our transportation budget. Cycling saves me 55-cents a mile, improves my health, and is far better for our environment. We should encourage walking and cycling, not discourage it. Please stop diverting federal funds for more road maintenance. Raise the gas tax if you need to fix potholes."
"Please consider increasing funding for bicycles in Wisconsin. I am a family medicine resident and ride my bicycle everywhere. It's a great joy and I hope that it's available to all Wisconsinites and for generations to come. Please, for the sake of health from mental to physical, consider increasing funding for pedestrian infrastructure this year."
"I bike to work or use the transit system daily. More funding should be directed to pedestrian, bike and transit services. Especially given the perils of climate change."
"I live in the town of Lisbon in Waukesha County. When our rural roads are resurfaced, shoulders wide enough for bikers to safely ride are not included. My understanding is that when roads are rebuilt, a requirement exists that it must include a shoulder wide enough to accommodate bikers. However, I also understand that it is quite easy for municipalities to obtain waivers so they don't have to incur the additional cost. Please do something to eliminate the easy waiver process. I've contacted the town officials but they apparently don't consider biker safety very high on their priority list. Thank you."
"I live in rural Westby, WI and work in La Crosse, WI (about 50 miles round trip) and am very fortunate to have the SMRT bus (Scenic Mississippi Regional Transit) transportation system (through Running Inc. – Viroqua, WI) available for my commute to and from work. I've been riding the SMRT bus since January 2013, and it has truly been a wonderful experience. The busses and drivers are very accommodating and make our transit to work very comfortable and safe. By riding the bus, I am not only saving gas and wear-and-tear on my vehicle, but I also look at the environmental impact of my driving (or not driving) 250 miles per week. Multiply this by approximately the 20 people that ride consistently, and we are looking at savings of around 5,000 miles per week – and that's for only 1 of their routes. This is truly an amazing benefit to everyone! The other reason I like to ride the SMRT bus is that in the winter when roads are questionable, the SMRT bus is a safer option of getting to work. There is comfort and safety in numbers. The ridership has consistently grown since it began in December 2012, and I talk to people every day who are envious of having this option available to us. So – not only do I think the SMRT bus should continue to be funded – but I think it could easily expand to other areas of the Coulee Region and be very successful. In the 30 years I've been commuting (and ride-sharing much of that time), the SMRT bus has been our 'only' option for public transportation. It's been long overdue to have some form of public transportation available to rural Wisconsinites. The SMRT bus option for rural Wisconsin is a 'gem' waiting to be revealed. Many, many people I work with have expressed interest in having this option – those working in La Crosse, but living in Holmen, West Salem, Onalaska, Bangor – and many more rural areas. This would certainly be a huge benefit for Wisconsin transportation not only in generating revenue, but in lowering our carbon imprint on the earth. Thanks so much for the opportunity to support the continuation of the SMRT bus. It's a win for everyone!"
"As the General Manager of Metro Transit in Madison, I am seeing continued growth in demand for transit, and falling state and federal funding commitments for it. Ridership has increased by 60% from 9 million rides in 1990 to 14.5 million in 2013, and a recent WisDOT analysis shows Madison ranks 17th in the United States for best ridership per capita, beating cities much larger like Miami, San Diego, and the Twin Cities, MN. We are in the same facility as we were in 1990, designed for 160 buses, and we are operating 214 buses in it today. Epic Systems is regularly asking for more service, and the overcrowding on buses through the UW Campus nearby areas has become a serious challenge. A BRT study calls for a $190 million investment to build a 25 mile system with 35 articulated (60-foot) buses using traffic signal priority technology, dedicated and semi-dedicated lanes in parts of four corridors along with off-board fare payment and bus stations rather than shelters to help improve travel times by 20-40%, increase capacity by 75% and help Metro keep up with continued demand. Young professionals and other riders are now seeing how using the bus saves them time because they are not wasting it in traffic commuting by auto to and from work. Some have called it the 25th hour of their day, using transit to read, do work, check email and bank accounts, etc. on the bus. The state DOT needs to help educate our lawmakers that in certain European and Asian countries transit infrastructure development equates to economic development, and it is why many of the post-industrial countries tax gasoline much higher than we do to build good roads, bridges, train systems, public transit infrastructure, and more. The state needs to also implement the key transit recommendations in the Transportation Finance and Policy Commission that the Secretary oversaw a year or so ago, including 1) creating legislation to allow RTA's, 2) returning to the historically higher state percentages of transit operating assistance, 3) creating a capital fund to help offset falling federal investment revenues, and 4) educating legislators so that transit funding stays in the transportation fund in Wisconsin. Thank you for holding these listening sessions."
"My family and I need a comprehensive multimodal transportation system. We do not have the financial means to buy a new second car. This means that when the old truck dies, we are a one car household. I know we are not alone. Many families struggle to provide the basics. We need local bus service, regional transit options in buses and passenger rail, and safe streets for biking and walking."
"I ride a bus to work and try to use my bike for other trips of 5 miles or less, one way."
"Thank you for allowing us to give feedback regarding the SMRT Bus System that I have personally utilized for these past 15 months. I can not stress enough what a great resource this has been for my close to 30 mile commute to work in La Crosse. The early mornings where the bus is nearly full, I can not help but think of the 20 extra vehicle that are not on the road that day. I rarely drive to work but allow 'public' transportation to work for me! I am much more relaxed when I arrive at work and can effectively decompress on the ride home after a stressful day. I am extremely pleased with the service and can't speak more highly of riding the bus! THANKS!!"
“Similar to most Wisconsin residents, I use our highways and secondary roads almost every day. I also commute to work via my bike and use two off-road dedicated bike paths and urban bike lanes every week. For special events and occasional commuting, I use the bus as well. Balanced transportation options are essential to my lifestyle. Unfortunately, I've noticed significant deterioration of bike lanes and paths over the past three years, to the point that in some instances this compromises safety. I would pay more in taxes and use fees to insure a balanced transportation policy — cars, bikes, mass transit and pedestrian needs all in one budget and plan.”
“I travel through La Crosse on a daily basis. The north-south corridor has been an issue for years. What about a bridge over the marsh, rather than through it, to help alleviate the north-south corridor woes. Environmentalists would be concerned about the destruction and contamination of 'their' marsh, including road salt, oil, gas fumes and litter. But, what do we have now with Lang Drive? Road salt, oil, gas fumes and litter. If Lang Drive was removed and the marsh dredged and improved, it would open up the area to be less prone to flooding. Is it possible to build a bridge and, at the same time, filter road salt and other debris? The key to economic growth in La Crosse is transportation. And, a bridge over the marsh with environmental consideration would, in fact, provide the answer for all parties concerned.”
“Primarily auto for home to work commute. Did bike commute to previous job year round for almost four years prior. Would like to commute by bike again, however, current job is farther, and current job is more physically demanding than previous. May consider biking if the I-94 pedestrian bridge is built and is easy to use (this would have to be year round for me to be worth it...).”
“I am on the local fire department and EMR unit. I find the statutes we are to be using and implimenting dificult to find. Many of the statutes do not recognize the fact that rural departments are driving in all conditions at all times of the day and night on township roads for 10 miles or more, in an emergency situation where we want to warn other drivers with lights and siren. Many are arriving in personal vehicles which we feel should be marked by a red light as part of the emergency train. Personal Saftey first should include warning others we are responding to a 911 situation.”
“Thanks for your open mindedness regarding bike and ped transportation! Couple of things... Biking is good for our economy. Biking is good for our environment (changes must be made whatever you think of global warming). Biking interests and motor vehicle interests are more compatible than oppositional.”
“I drive a vehicle, and I have seen some really dangerous actions from pedestrians, joggers, and bicyclists. Bicycles should be banned from highways and rural roads, and certain city roads. Lights on bicycles should be a state law. Pedestrians and joggers I have seen them run-walk suddenly into the road in front of a moving vehicle. Night time visibility should be a law too, as I have encountered all of the above mentioned so far. These campaigns to educate drivers constantly, they are going to continue to fail until pedestrians and bicyclists and those kind are educated on how to behave around traffic. Pedestrians and joggers need to look both ways before setting foot on to the roadway. Honestly bicycles shouldn't be operated on roads with vehicles in the first place, it's just too dangerous, yes I know no one wants to hear that, however it's the truth and needs to be said.”
“I challenge every able-bodied WisDOT employee to shop for groceries twice per month WITHOUT A CAR. Not hundreds of pounds at a time, but amounts you can carry in a backpack, pannier, or cart. Why? A significant and growing minority of Wisconsin citizens can't drive. Can't afford a car. Don't have family or friends – or staff! – to chauffeur them. And more and more people – Millennials in particular – don't want to enslave themselves to the automobile. It is not possible to understand what daily life is like for such people from the inside of a windshield. Or an office. Or a town hall meeting. I don't worry that WisDOT will fail to bend over backwards to make life as convenient as possible for persons who wish to use our public realm to frequently move large amounts of private property over long distances at high speeds. I worry about people who need and want to access our communities by walking, rolling wheelchairs, pushing baby strollers, riding bicycles, and sharing motorized forms of transportation.”
“La Crosse area does indeed need to address north south corridor in some fashion. Head in the sand will not cut it. Joe Olson addressed this point very well, and the City and "committee" needs to move forward on something. One thing I know about this, you would hope that more than 50 percent of the people would support a direction. In this day, can anything get better than that for support?”
“Bus, Train, and River transit system needs be an overall part of the transportation system. They are all part of the process. They are very important aspects of the system and need to be intertwined into moving goods and people in WI. An overall strategy of economically moving them from one mode to the next mode without putting an overall burden on the system should indeed be studied and addressed.”
“Bike and bike trails are always such a discussion at these venues. Trails specifically are a different element for discussion. Bike accommodations that can be made in conjunction with shoulders along ROW and pavements seem to make sense to me. But purchasing additional ROW or building specific trails out of transportation dollars I would need to get more information on to support.”
“Best part or discussion point of meeting and I am paraphrasing Mr. Gottlieb's comment.......how to spend the existing funding is not the current issue or point, as we know that piece is in jeopardy and problematic, what we all need to do in this room is how to work together and to understand how to make the pie bigger to get the transportation needs addressed!”
“It is clear that WisDOT needs to shift a lot more funding toward transportation options like bicycle-pedestrian infrastructure, passenger train service, and public transit for people of any age, income, or ability. We simply cannot afford to spend [or] borrow so much $ for jumbo-sized highways, bridges, and interchanges. You will hear the same when you come up to Eau Claire.”
“It's important for you to be investing in ALL forms of transport, not just highways and roads. WI needs better mass transit.”
“It would be helpful financially us to have a pay toll at our borders so the out of state drivers using our roads assist us in maintaining them.”
“I think we should raise money to fix our crumbling roads the way we always have, by raising the gas tax!”
“I would like to see vehicle registration fees reduced to $25.00 per vehicle like it used to be before Doyle hiked them up to $75.00 a piece. Since we have a budget surplus these high fees are no longer warranted and are a burden on working families who need 2 cars or more to get to work or for an addition vehicle for maintenance such a an old snow plow truck etc. Thank you.”
“Madison METRO bus service. State transit capital assistance could help fund METRO's BRT project to outlying communities, like Middleton where I live. Two major issues here are over-crowded buses and the amount of time it takes to get across town. METRO ranks 17th nationally in ridership per capita and is well deserving of state assistance to introduce BRT technology to the areawide system. We also need state enabling legislation to recreate our RTA to meet any legislative concerns and so that we can provide a stable source of local share funding of system operating costs.”
“Where I live and work, I use my vehicle most often for local trips using local roads. As more bike local or state pedestrian infrastructure is developed and connected I have been using it more- but mostly in good weather. I wish we had passenger rail connections to bigger cities since I travel to Minneapolis, Madison, Milwaukee quite often throughout the year. Leaving the care behind could make my tips more productive and relaxing. Buses take too long.”
“I had a training class scheduled in Chicago in March of 2011. Being extremely frustrated with the Governor's decision to not pursue the new national rail project, I decided to test the route of Badger Bus from Madison to Milwaukee and then get on the Hiawatha Amtrak. I got on the bus on Friday evening March 11th, which also was the start of spring break at the UW. There were multiple Badger Bus' going to Milwaukee from the Memorial Union. The one I got on left late and I didn't get to the Amtrak station on time and I missed my train. The privately owned Badger Bus failed. It would be a much better option to have rail from Madison to Milwaukee and also to the Twin Cities. This seems like a no brainer.”
“The lack of convenient public transportation between the Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago, and Minneapolis areas detracts from the quality of life in Wisconsin to a large degree. In addition, increasing the services areas and service times of public transportation would be an enormous benefit to the Wisconsin economy. It would help workers-especially low-income workers-businesses, students, tourists, seniors, disabled persons, and improve quality of life in the state.”
“We need more PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION and MULTIPLE CITY transportation! We're falling behind China, Japan, Europe..and need to find a way to fund the TRAIN system that was shut down by Governor Walker.”
“Wisconsin should open a tollway system on the Wisconsin/MN border.” “The primary way I use transportation in Wisconsin, with my car on the roads and highways, is not the way I would prefer to use transportation. I would much prefer to take a high-speed passenger train when I travel for work or pleasure. Passenger rail in Wisconsin is a ghost of what it once was. A dedicated passenger rail system would free Wisconsinites from the expense, hassle and cost of maintaining their automobiles, expanding and in many cases maintaining roads. It would free them to travel productively and in comfort, without having to worry about traffic jams, delays from construction, most winter weather and accidents. I would also like to see much more funding for light rail, buses and bike transportation in our cities and towns.”
“Tollways are not a good way to raise funds for highways, because they would redirect traffic to non-tollways while simultaneously increasing the pressure to spend money on the throughways. Like me, I suspect that most Wisconsinites do most of their driving close to home and need the EXISTING infrastructure maintained and improved, rather than new being built. Highway 12 is a good example of how not to do things: part was resurfaced last summer, but was done so poorly that it is already breaking up. In addition, the new paving gives a much louder wheel hum than the old making it difficult or annoying to drive over. Sometimes the lowest bidder is not going to do an adequate job, and shouldn't be awarded the bid. Those of us who ride bicycles have also noticed that the required bike lane beside the highway seems to start and end in limbo. It's amazing that as many people use it as do. Think how many more would use it if it connected places.”
“I frequently travel from Monroe to Madison, as do hundreds of commuters daily. Bus service would be wonderful. Also, upon retirement, I would like to have a lifestyle much less car dependent. Please, passenger rail connecting Madison and Milwaukee is a must, where I, and many others, ultimately choose to settle, depends upon it. Also, here in the stateline, many of us use the Harvard Metra to travel to Chicago. Couldn't it be extended to Sharon, Clinton, or Beloit? That'd make life so much easier.”
“It would be nice if our state could move into the 21st Century with public transportation that would make accessibility to the large cities much easier. We need high speed rail, as they have in Europe, Japan, China and South Korea..and we need to make our state an example for the United States. High Speed rail would make us a business center, a DESTINATION. Our Sports teams are the best in the world, and shouldn't our transportation be the best in the world, also? I want to go to a BREWER GAME, a PACKER GAME, a BADGER GAME by TRAIN! “
“Our highway system is in pretty good shape with the exception of a few State highways. I am concerned about our bridges, will any fail like other States have seen? Funding our highways: why not charge [or] tax those that are responsible for most of the damage wear and tear? Big trucks should pay more, they do damage. The gasoline-diesel fuel tax should not be used for anything other than highways. The State spends a lot of money on railroads and that is necessary to haul commodities. To get more revenue from railroads, what not add a ‘wheel tax’ to help pay for State owned railroad improvements? Since the 1940's many communities lost rail service. The communities today that benefit from State owned rail property should be willing to pay for at least 75% of the cost. I as a tax payer would like to see the D O T continue its good work.”
“I watched this video and found it to be very interesting. I would like to see TOLLWAYS in WI at all points of entry to WI.”
Last modified: May 12, 2014
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