Posts Tagged ‘bus’

Badger Invades Gopher Territory!

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Badger Bus that is….

Finally! A decent public transit service–downtown->downtown–between MSN & MPLS!!!!!!! Ok, at least adequate. Right now it only runs weekends, but it is a start. I think this whole economic crisis is really forcing some positive outcomes, namely, better public transit given the decline in the affordability of das deathmobile. WOOOO-HOOOOOOO!!!!!

Soon, maybe we’ll even have a CHOOO-CHOOOOOOO!!!!!!

I do also very much like their highlighting the green element of taking da bus vs. the carbon spewing automobile. It has taken these bus companies way, way too long to make the green connection in their marketing.

The Return of the Beloved 10

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

About five years ago, our mayor began his descent into politics of mediocrity. The proximate beginning of the descent was in his decision to eliminate the 2nd and 4th most productive bus lines in the city; the #11 and #10 lines, respectively. By productive, I mean, they carried more riders per hour than almost every other line in service.

That is to say, these two bus lines produced a bumber crop of riders.

Staff hated these lines because they were too effective. And this city’s staff doesn’t like effective when it comes to transit. Staff was able to convince the mayor that this effectiveness had to end. There was paving to be done instead.

To accomplish this massacre, Mayor Pave first tried to eliminate the lines with no notice to the public. When we put up howls of protest, he was forced to schedule public hearings. Vast numbers of people turned out to explain to his commissioners how important this line is to the eastside. Indeed, these lines connected the workforce (eastsiders) to the workplaces (west campus, the hospitals). They were more convenient than a car.

Did he listen? Nope. The lines had to go. Too effective. Interfering with paving.

But in the intervening years we have continued to hammer him. It has been a continuing source of embarrassment to him. So when he jacked up the bus fare to $2/ride, he tried to buy off the loudest bus advocates by promising a return of the 10 & 11. We didn’t bite. We protested the cruel fare hike with everything we had.

We lost the fare battle.

But when he managed to ram through the $2 bus fare, we held his feet to the fire.

Laurie Wermter led the charge. Below is her testimony. It captures the essence of the 10 and its importance to a good bus system.

The funny thing is, since staff was pushed to re-instate the 10 by the mayor (now feeling the heat after the fare debacle), they knew they had to have good arguments. So they went back into the archives of testimony from 5 years ago and resurrected all of our arguments as to why the 10 is important. The irony! The irony! Yet another told-ya-so moment!

Transit and Parking Commission
Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Proposed Metro Service Changes—Testimony of Laurie Wermter

Hello, I’m Laurie Wermter and I live and work on the Madison Isthmus. I live eight blocks east of the Capitol Square and I work eight blocks west of the Capitol Square. I’m also a member of the board of directors of the Madison Area Bus Advocates and I’d like to use my time to endorse the restoration of the original Route 10 service.
A Needed Downtown Circulator. All who care about Madison’s environment should be rejoicing over the proposed restoration of the original Route 10, the Downtown Circulator service lost to us in August 2006.
Will Move People Between the Housing-Dense Isthmus & the University. By operating from Division Street in the east (near the Barrymore theater) to the heart of the UW campus in the west and bypassing the Capitol Square, the restored Route 10 will easily move people in the most housing-dense areas of the city down to, and along the entire length of, the University campus corridor and back again, for school, work, as well as to and from the businesses throughout the area.
Will Serve Both Sides of the Isthmus. Additionally, I believe that the restored Route 10 is unique—as it was before—in serving both the Jenifer Street corridor and the Johnson Street corridor of the Isthmus, thereby allowing people on one side of the Isthmus to easily get over to the other side of the Isthmus and back again, to get to and from their jobs, to shop and to run errands at downtown and neighborhood businesses.
Will Bring About Significant Reductions in Carbon Emissions. This restored Route 10 takes advantage of the fact that the isthmus is populated by people who are trying to either reduce their car usage, or even go completely without a car, for the sake of economy or the environment or both. Bringing back this Downtown Circulator service will be good enough to get residents to significantly reduce their car use, with consequent beneficial reductions in carbon emissions per person and per trip. If only there was some way for Metro Transit to quantify such reduction in Vehicle Miles Travelled! How about putting a form in Metro’s website for people to pledge to use Route 10, rather than their household’s second car and estimate how many Vehicle Miles Travelled they will save?
Original Route 10 Was Fourth Most Productive Metro Route. Metro’s own statistics consistently showed that the original Route 10 was the fourth most productive Metro bus route, per hour of operation—and I’m certain it will be a highly-productive route again.
Maintain Current Service Level to the Isthmus by the Mainline Bus Routes. The current level of service on the Isthmus by the ‘mainline’ bus routes will, of course, need to be maintained through the Jenifer Street corridor on Routes 3 & 4 and through the Johnson Street corridor on Routes 2 & 6.
Should Operate All Year. From the map and schedule details Metro has provided for the restored Route 10, we see that this new Downtown Circulator would operate every half hour throughout the day, Monday through Friday all year—environmentally, this is vital so that people will be able to rely on the service and permanently reduce their car usage.
Bring Back the Westside Circulator. I’d like to make just one additional point—there used to be an effective Westside Circulator route as well. It was known as Route 8 and it linked residents of the westside with the campus/downtown area and enabled bus riders of the campus/downtown area to make easy use of westside businesses, such as the Dean West Clinic. With the service changes made by Metro in August 2006, however, the original Route 8 was gutted and lost all utility as a Westside Circulator route. Restoration of the Westside Circulator is desperately needed and will bring the same beneficial effects as the restoration of the Downtown Circulator will!