Peak Oil Group signs onto letter of support for regional transit authority

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

From a letter to state senators from a coaliton of organizations, including the Madison Peak Oil Group, in support of legislation authorizing creation of regional transportation authorities:

June 17, 2009

To the members of the Wisconsin Senate:

We write to you in strong support of regional transportation authority (RTA) enabling legislation. We urge the state senate to keep the creation of RTAs moving forward in the state budget, and expand the RTA opportunity to other communities in Wisconsin.

Research shows that access to transportation is a major priority for business owners and commuters because it leads to economic growth while also providing options for getting around. New businesses will locate in Wisconsin cities where they know they will have access to large labor pools, and where travel connections with other large economic centers are quick, easy and help them grow their operations. And students graduating from Wisconsin schools will stay here to take advantage of new jobs, vibrant communities, and convenient transportation.

One critical step necessary in the short term for Wisconsin to reap these economic benefits is the creation of regional transit authorities. Under Wisconsin’s current, antiquated rules, cities that provide transit must contract with one another and squeeze transit funding out of their general revenues, mainly from property taxes.

The resulting unstable, underfunded transit cannot compete for federal construction dollars, and cannot provide sustainable service to our communities. RTAs will put Wisconsin on a more level playing field with other states, and enable regions to plan and sustain a regional transportation network.