Spurred on by rising costs to commute by car, more people may be riding the bus. But it's also costing more to operate transit systems in Wisconsin. Dave Mumma, Chairperson for the Wisconsin Urban and Rural Transit Association and Director of the Janesville Transit System , says costs are up. “For example, here in my own system in Janesville, cost of a load of diesel fuel went up by about $10,000, or somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 percent from last May to this May. That is just a tremendous increase in our operating costs.”
Of course, it's costing more to drive, too, so are more folks taking the bus? Mumma says it's a bit early to say for sure. “On the other hand. in the month of April alone, we've seen a 17 percent ridership increase on our system overall,” he says. “One particular route we have, a commuter run between Janesville and Beloit, was up by 24 percent.” The statewide transit association holds its Spring legislative day Wednesday at the state Capitol.