October 21, 2014

Celebrating transit

This week, the state of Wisconsin is celebrating transit. Craig Thompson is executive director of the Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin. “It’s really a week to celebrate and focus on all the benefits that transit provides to our communities across the state.”

Thompson says public transportation provides an affordable alternative to driving, allowing people to get to work, access health care, do their shopping, and visit family and friends.

State Representative Andy Jorgensen (D-Fort Atkinson) is taking advantage of transit week to hear from his constituents by taking his listening session on the road — literally. Monday he’ll hear what folks have to say while riding the bus through his district. “The purpose of this event is two-fold. First, of course, to hear from folks in my district who might not otherwise be able to make a listening session during a work day; and second, to highlight the public transportation options now available in our area. Riding the bus is an economical, environmentally friendly way to get around.”

Jorgensen has already heard positive feedback from constituents and he’ll be joined by local officials during the ride. Jorgensen plans to take the Janesville-Milton-Whitewater Innovation Express Monday, February 4th starting at its Milton stop at 1:30 pm and wrapping up the listening session when the bus again stops in Milton at 2:30 p.m.

Some mayors in the state are also planning a combination bus ride/listening session to mark transit week.

AUDIO: Jorgensen says riding the bus is just another way to listen to his constituents. 1:03

Thompson cites the benefits for riders, including being able to catch up on reading, social networking, or napping while someone else does the driving. “You know there’s no such thing as distracted riding. You can check your email, you can go on facebook, you can tweet, you can do all those things while you’re riding the bus.”

Thompson says transit ridership continues to rise across the country, from the younger generation to the aging baby boomers who will need transportation options in their golden years. His group has launched a Twitter campaign with a website that encourages people to tell their transit story. #WITransit

The governor has officially declared February 4th through February 10th as Wisconsin Transit Week.