Supervisor Mayo Sounds Alarm on Transit Funding
Supervisor Michael Mayo, Sr., District 7, is calling on Milwaukee County residents to contact their state representatives and senators to demand changes to the way Milwaukee County Transit services are funded in the state budget.
Milwaukee – Supervisor Michael Mayo, Sr., District 7, is calling on Milwaukee County residents to contact their state representatives and senators to demand changes to the way Milwaukee County Transit services are funded in the state budget.
“There must be dedicated funding – it’s just that simple,” said Supervisor Mayo. “Governor Walker talks about job creation but what company would be willing to put down roots in Milwaukee County – or any part of Wisconsin – without having a viable public transportation system to move people to jobs.”
As the budget is currently proposed, transit is not part of the transportation area; instead, in the second year of the budget, transit is part of the General Fund, which must cover costs of big-ticket items, ranging from public education to the justice system.
“Under the proposed structure, Milwaukee County and more than 70 other public transportation systems throughout the state – along with schools and courts – would have to complete for dollars, so we need to have dedicated funding for transit,” explained Supervisor Mayo. “Also, I’d like Governor Walker to explain why roads are the only transportation-related item not in the General Fund.”
The second year of the proposed state budget provides no annual inflationary increase for the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS), despite the fact that operating costs, such as those for gasoline, electricity and natural gas, have risen.
According to MCTS analysis, funding MCTS’ current level of service into 2014 presents a significant challenge.
“I commend MCTS Director Lloyd Grant for his commitment to working with the hand he’s been dealt,” said Supervisor Mayo. “He’s controlling costs to avoid cuts in service and/or fare increases.”
Currently, the MCTS adult cash fare of $2.25 is one of the highest in the nation.
Even the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial board concurs in its piece from March 4, 2013: “On transportation, the state has provided insufficient funds for transit or local road maintenance and even removed the ability for local governments to form regional transportation authorities …”
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