Graham Kilmer

Campaign Aims To Buy Gift Cards for Bus Drivers

Crowdfunding campaign looks to raise $15,000 to thank transit employees for keeping things rolling.

By - Apr 11th, 2020 12:49 pm
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Essential trips only on MCTS buses. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Essential trips only on MCTS buses. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

If you’d like to show your appreciation to all the bus drivers still driving through this pandemic, consider making a donation.

The Regional Transit Leadership Council, a non-profit that advocates for regional multi-modal transit, started a GoFundMe campaign to purchase gift cards for the more than 800 transit operators working for public transit systems in Milwaukee, Racine and Waukesha counties.

Dave Steele, the council’s executive director, said, “This is a small token of our community’s appreciation of the transit drivers that are out there performing a community service.”

The campaign’s goal is $15,000. This will pay for a $15 to $20 gift card for every transit operator in the region, as a thank you for their service.

Transit operators, like healthcare workers and grocery store clerks, are performing an essential service. And they don’t have the luxury of being able to do it from home.

Steele said this pandemic has illuminated how the transit systems are the lifeblood of the region. “They are essential workers providing an essential service. They’re taking other essential workers to their jobs, taking seniors to the grocery story and medical appointments.

Even before the pandemic, Milwaukee County Transit System operators have been recognized nationally for their excellent work. The GoFundMe campaign, Steele said, is a “Good way to show our appreciation.”

If you can’t donate, please reserve transit space for those that need it most. Not everyone has access to cars, and some of them are essential workers that need buses to get to work, while others need the bus system to get food and healthcare.

“I never thought in a million years that I would be advocating for people not to ride the bus or not to use transit,” Steele said. But maintaining social distancing and only using transit for essential trips is perhaps the most important way you can help transit operators through this difficult period.

Urban Milwaukee president Jeramey Jannene serves on the board of the Regional Transit Leadership Council.

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