Wisconsin News

Local city leaders bring up issue of public transportation funding

La Crosse mayor takes part in "National Transit Call Congress Day"

National Transit Call Congress Day

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - You may have recognized a prominent face if you rode a La Crosse MTU bus on Tuesday.

Local mayors and lawmakers hopped onboard the buses as part of "National Transit Call Congress Day." The goal is to encourage residents to call their representatives to get them working on new legislation to fund public transportation.

The current agreement is set to expire October 1st, and the local transit union doesn't know if the money will last until then. The local union says there is a great need to not only maintain the program but to upgrade it too.

"Two-thirds of our existing fleet in La Crosse, each bus has over 500,000 miles on it," said legislative coordinator with the ATU Local 159 Dan Kane.

La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat stressed the need for more money to be budgeted for public transportation.

"We could do so much more with some additional funding. I mean, you could actually have service coming more often and actually capture that demand that we're seeing," said Kabat.

There were about 1.2-million passengers on MTU buses last year, up three-percent from 2012.

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