RTA approves plan for expanded bus service outside Madison

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fronm an article by Devin Rose in the Wisconsin State Journal:

The county's Regional Transit Authority Board is seeking public comment on a proposed plan they approved Wednesday that would improve and extend bus services to areas outside Madison — but the plan's full implementation is contingent on approval of a transit sales tax.

Among the proposed improvements — which could be funded by up to a half cent sales tax for people within the boundaries of the RTA — are regional express bus service, expanded service to other Dane County communities, additional park and ride lots and improved services for the elderly and disabled. The RTA board would have to vote on whether to place an advisory referendum for the tax on the April 5 election ballot before Feb. 22.

RTA Chairman Dick Wagner said the next step for the board is to listen to people's opinions about the plan, which will be released in full next week. The plan includes about $9.7 million to $13 million in new and improved services. Wagner said Tuesday he has heard little or no support for a half cent sales tax, but there is some backing for one-fourth of a cent, which would yield $15 million to $17 million annually.