Efforts to create a regional transit authority in Dane County could serve as a model for the rest of the state. That's the reaction of the Wisconsin Alliance of Cities, after Dane County executive Kathleen Falk and Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz unveiled the plan on Wednesday. It calls for the creation of a transit plan for south central Wisconsin and how to fund it. The plan would still need state approval and federal funding.
Alliance executive director Ed Huck says the plan shows local governments can work out their differences when it comes to meeting growing transportation needs. He says that cooperation could help build support for a bill that would make it easier for communities across the state to join regional transit authorities. That legislation provides clear funding for those planning groups, something current state law doesn't give them.
As Wisconsin's population continues to grow, Huck says transportation demands will also increase. He says the process for creating a regional authority will help address the those needs more easily, especially since so many transportation problems in a region aren't confined to just one city.