Two committees OK RTA creation

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

From an article by Nick Heynen in the Wisconsin State Journal:

A proposed Dane County Regional Transit Authority received recommendations from two Dane County Board committees at a joint meeting Monday evening, bringing the long-sought planning body one step closer to reality.

With votes of 3-2 and 6-2, the Dane County Public Works and Transportation Committee and Personnel and Finance Committee, respectively, voted to recommend the County Board create the RTA. The board could take up the issue as soon as its Nov. 5 meeting, board Chairman Scott McDonell said.

The proposed RTA, the structure of which was set by the state Legislature, would have nine members appointed by municipal governments, the county executive and the governor. It would be charged with developing a transit plan for areas within its jurisdiction, and then holding a RTA-area-wide referendum to authorize imposing a sales tax to fund that plan.

At the preceding public hearing, most of the approximately 40 speakers - including several representatives from local governments and business groups - supported creation of an RTA, citing reasons ranging from a desire to reduce carbon emissions from car commuter travel to saving money on road expansion and repair as the county grows.