Closing bus station leaves riders in the cold

Monday, July 13, 2009

A letter to the editor of The Capital Times by Mary Dally-Muenzmaier

Dear Editor: I am writing in response to the Madison City Council's unanimous vote of approval for the closing of the downtown bus depot in August without a satisfactory alternative site.

This decision is not only detrimental to Badger Bus and Greyhound passengers but an embarrassment to the city of Madison -- the place of my birth and upbringing.

The depot is a highly prized resource for me, as a weekly Badger Bus commuter, and my fellow riders. The realities of travel necessitate a brick and mortar building at which people can purchase tickets and receive shelter from the elements. Not everyone has the luxury of buying tickets online.

The city of Milwaukee -- which has been my happy home for 19 years -- has often been maligned for some of its decisions, but it still managed to build the downtown intermodal station, serving Amtrak, Greyhound and the occasional Badger Bus passenger, and neither the original train station nor the bus station closed until it was completed. This modern, sleekly designed hub is now the first impression mass transit travelers have of Milwaukee.

It is clear that through this decision both Badger Bus and the City Council have abandoned the working poor, regular commuters and those of us who opt to use mass transportation. With the proposal to utilize the Mobil station across the street, we have literally been left out in the cold, rain, snow, sleet, and burning sun.

Mary Dally-Muenzmaier