The state Legislature adjourned for the year without action on a bill that would have enabled the creation of Regional Transit Authorities for Southeastern Wisconsin and the Fox Cities. Now, some transportation groups are warning that failure to act could have negative consequences for the state.
Tom Rave with the Coalition for Advancing Transit says transit options are needed to help attract employers to the state, who will often set up along public transportation systems. He says a good system is a key to an area being successful economically.
Rave says many transit systems in the state are already struggling financially, with some cutting routes and raising fares to stay in operation. He says RTAs could have helped in their recovery and expansion.
A major reason for the failure of the legislation, according to Rave, was the inclusion of a half-cent sales tax to fund RTAs. He says the bill had broad support from community and business groups, but lawmakers likely were hesitant to support a measure during an election year that would have allowed for a tax increase.
RTA supporters hold out hope for a special session at the Capitol to wrap up work on the RTA legislation.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:08)