Hearings set on regional transit authority

Monday, February 02, 2009

From an article by Matthew DeFour in the Wisconsin State Journal:

Should Dane County create a new intergovernmental authority to oversee proposed commuter rail, express bus service and other transportation infrastructure, and should it be funded with a half-cent sales tax?

The public will get a chance to weigh in on those questions during four public hearings scheduled for late February and early March in the Madison suburbs.

The forums offer an opportunity to critique a draft proposal of how a Dane County Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) would work. The proposal calls for a system with commuter rail, expanded Metro Transit service, regional express bus service, park-and-rides and shared-ride taxi service.

The proposal was created by a subcommittee of the Transport 2020 committee, which for several years has been exploring the possibility of local commuter rail. The current proposal is a $255 million commuter rail system between Middleton and Sun Prairie that would cost $10 million a year to operate. A recent application to the federal government for engineering funding was withdrawn because a funding mechanism such as an RTA has not been established. . . .

When and where:
• Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. Middleton City Hall, 7426 Hubbard Ave, Council Chambers.
• Feb. 26 at 6 p.m. Stoughton City Hall, 401 E. Main St., Fire Department Training Room.
• March 2 at 6 p.m. DeForest Area Community and Senior Center, 505 N. Main St., Community Room.
• March 4 at 7 p.m. Sun Prairie Library, 1350 Linnerud Drive, Community Room.