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Supervisor Thomas Renews Call For Dedicated Transit Funding

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on August 15, 2010

From Milwaukee County First:

Last week, we informed you the bad news that Scott Walker was about to bring the Milwaukee County Transit System to the brink of failure.  We issued a press release along the same lines, calling on Scott Walker to do something different and show some responsible leadership for a change.

Others are now echoing our calls.

Supervisor John Thomas has issued his own press release expressing the dire situation our transit system is in and a call to fix the problems before they get out of control:


County Executive claims no routes will be cut, but does not address fares, frequencies, route segments

Milwaukee, WI – Milwaukee County Supervisor Johnny L. Thomas held a news conference Tuesday regarding the 2011 budget request developed by the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) at the direction of County Executive Scott Walker.  Supervisor Thomas indicated that the budget request included information that, until today, was not fully reported to the public:

Budget request submitted by MCTS:
Eliminate  All FREEWAY FLYER routes
Eliminate  All SUMMERFEST FLYER service
Eliminate  Routes 68, 28, and 64
Eliminate  Route 80 south of MATC to Puetz Road
Eliminate  Route 12 from Florist Avenue to the County line
Reduce    Weekday and weekend service across the board (early morning and late night)
Increase   Paratransit Fares from $3.25 to $4 per ride

“These cuts were submitted to meet the County Executive’s tax levy targets,” Supervisor Thomas said.  “In particular, I find the proposed Freeway Flyer cuts disturbing.  This morning, the County Executive indicated that he would not eliminate any routes in his 2011 budget proposal.  I agree, but I still have further concerns from these budget requests that have not been addressed by the County Executive.”

The Supervisors unanswered questions include:
· Will the County Executive’s 2011 Budget include a fare increase?
· Will any routes be shortened in the County Executive’s 2011 Budget?
· Will he reduce frequencies on any routes in his budget for 2011?
· Will the County Executive’s 2011 Budget increase the Paratransit fare from $3.25 to $4?
· What other important County functions will the County Executive cut in 2011 to sustain the transit system for one more year without dedicated funding?
· What is the County Executive’s long-term plan for transit?

The Supervisor also stressed that it is imperative for Milwaukee County to diversify its revenues and establish a true dedicated funding source for mass transit.  “Now is the time for Scott Walker to support dedicated funding for transit to include property tax relief for our constituents,” Supervisor Thomas said at the news conference.  “We need dedicated funding right now to avert a major crisis within our transit system, and to reduce property taxes for County residents.”

Supervisor Thomas is encouraging concerned residents to contact the County Executive at 414-278-4211 or  The County Executive is working on his 2011 Budget proposal right now, so there is no better time to contact him,” Supervisor Thomas added.  “Urge him to be creative in identifying creative ways to increase revenues and prevent any service cuts or fare increases.”  Residents should also contact their State Senators, State Representatives and the Governor’s office.

People have to start now if the transit system will be saved from hitting the point of no return.


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