Saturday, February 10, 2018

Should All Public Transit Be Free?

Big Think : "A way to realign these incentives and increase public transit use is to make all public transportation free to passengers, Erik Olin Wright, a professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, told Big Think. According to Wright, the benefits of free public transit are broader than are apparent with strict financial bookkeeping. The full value comes in a range of ancillary economic, health and ecological benefits, including:

"Reduced air pollution, including especially reduced greenhouse gases, which would help mitigate global warming."
"More efficient labor markets since it is easier for poor people to get to jobs. This is a benefit to employers for it makes it easier to hire people and it is a benefit to the people without cars who now find it easier to get jobs. But it is also a benefit to the society at large because it contributes to a long-term reduction in poverty."
"Health benefits: reduced asthma and other illnesses linked to automobile generated pollution." 
"Less congestion on the highways for those who do need to drive."
These "positive externalities" need to be highlighted to gain public support for free transit, says Wright."

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Kathy Stenehjem: Fund public transport, not highways | Opinion |

Opinion | "Last week a plan to expand three miles of the I-94 highway is Milwaukee was cancelled. If you’d asked what I thought about this decision before I’d moved to Madison I would have had no opinion, but now I am glad that the project was halted. The community would be much better served by a whole-scale expansion of public transportation options than by wasting $1 billion to expand just three miles of road. Not only would this reduce transit times, but it would also make transportation less expensive and more accessible to everyone regardless of socioeconomic class, age, or physical ability."

Monday, April 17, 2017

Won't invest in buses, can't afford cars-- Wisconsin #autosprawl collapse continues

Wisconsin Public Radio: "The decision by state lawmakers to set aside Gov. Scott Walker's transportation budget has left county, city and town government leaders wondering what's next, especially since they would have been among the biggest winners in the governor’s proposal."

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

La Crosse, WI, considers ways to move besides cars... "even walking" (!)

weau : "Next week, the Sustainable La Crosse Commission is planning to hold an "Alternative Transportation Forum."

Its members are looking for the public's input on different kinds of transportation throughout all of La Crosse County -- everything from cars, to buses, to bicycles, and even walking.

"It appears from what's happening elsewhere in the world and also with the changes of technology that it's not going to be same old highways and private automobiles," said Mike Giese, Chair of the Sustainable La Crosse Commission. "We're going to have to look at alternatives that are more efficient and cost effective ways of providing transportation services.""

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Wisconsin #autosprawl meltdown continues

Wisconsin Transportation Secretary Quits Amid Road Funding Budget Fight | WNIJ and WNIU: "Gottlieb's departure comes as the transportation budget faces a $1 billion shortfall. Walker has proposed delaying major projects and borrowing to pay for maintenance.

Assembly Republicans have said everything should be considered, including raising the state' gas tax."

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Milwaukee car culture heavy on the backs of poor workers

WUWM: ""Just to remember, 151,000 rides every day, 40% of our rides on transit are people who need the bus to get to work. The last thing I want to do is make it more expensive for them to get to work," says Abele. "Because if they're at $10-11/hr, then the first hour of work is paying for the ride there and back, and that is regressive.""

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Autosprawl draining America, car culture leaves people stranded

Transportation forum to focus on transit, highway alternatives: ""We want to show that there are a lot of local needs that are not being met," said Peter Skopec, director of WISPIRG. "There really isn't enough being done at the local level. Roads aren't being fixed. Bridges aren't being fixed."

Steiner said transportation alternatives will take on added importance as the elderly population is expected to nearly double over the next two to three decades.

"That's a lot of folks who will be probably unable to drive and will need to get to things like health care appointments or to the grocery store or even out and socializing," Steiner said. "Isolation is a huge issue for this aging population."

Van Maren said the forum is all the more relevant in light of the Department of Transportation's decision to focus on new pavement as the long-term solution to La Crosse's north-south transportation needs.

"It sort of plops right into this hole that's been created by the DOT," she said."