Saturday, July 13, 2024

No SMRT 2 Interstate Fair


Due to scheduling conflicts and short notice, we will NOT be hosting a SMRT ride from La Crosse to the Interstate Fair on July 19 this year. 

We will be doing the September 13 SMRT ride to the Vernon County Fair. 

Stay tuned for more details.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

LATA Leaders meeting postponed

Due to several schedule conflicts, the LATA leaders meeting scheduled for Wednesday, July 10 is postponed to Monday, July 22 at 5:30 p.m. Please contact us if you would like a cess info.

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

July updates

LATA leaders will meet on Zoom Wednesday, July 10 at 5:30 p.m. If you would like to join us, please email or call ( or 608-315-2693) for access info.

On Thursday, July 11 at 3:30 p.m. the La Crosse Area Planning Committee's Committee on Transit and Active Transportation (CTAT) will meet in person and online. Ruth Rosas of America Walks will be on part of the meeting to talk about Week Without Driving, an October event that brings attention to the challenges nondrivers face in our car-centric society. This meeting is open to the public. Find the agenda packet and online access information at

After our spring SMRT 2 Viroqua ride, we had more suggestions for educating about and marketing the SMRT bus. Working through the LAPC, we are hopeful some kind of public session or committee will be coming soon to brainstorm ways to improve the experience, service, and outreach. This system is such a gem and a miracle in a state where Regional Transit Authorities have been banned by the state legislature, we want to make sure it is well supported. This will be discussed at the CTAT meeting.

On Saturday, July 20, LATA will table at the Disability Pride Fest between 11 and 4 p.m. at Central High School. If you can help out for an hour at the table, please email, call or text.

We are seeking a couple of tablers for the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse's 22nd Annual Sample the City and Volunteer Fair event on Wednesday, September 4 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please contact us if you can help.

We are still working on plans for Week Without Driving (Sept. 30 through Oct. 6). If you would like to help plan OR if your club, faith group, organization or office would like to co-sponsor (free), please reply to this email!

Recent events:

Onalaska bus rider and AARP volunteer Mike Murphy had an article, “Bus Buddies Are a Big Help in La Crosse Transit,” published at Mike is helping LATA apply for a AARP “Small Dollar, Big Impact” grant to help strengthen and formalize our “Ride with a Guide” initiative.

On June 1, some LATA members participated in the Coulee Region Sierra Club's “Transit 2 Trails” outing. T2T is a national Sierra Club initiative to highlight the need for better public transit to ensure access to natural areas, parks, and refuges for nondrivers. In addition, T2T events celebrate successful transit connections to these areas. During the June 1 event, participants rode the #1 bus to get to the Hass Tract Trail and Chad Erickson Memorial Park trails near Easter Road on the city's far south side. After the hike, the group rode the bus back to the transit center. LATA may host some similar rides later in the year. Learn more about Transit 2 Trails at

On June 18, Liz and Cathy did a guided ride with some YWCA staff members so they could help clients learn how to use the bus. Many of them get bus passes but may not use them because of unfamiliarity with the system.

On June 20, Toni and Cathy tabled at the MTU Transit Talk event held at the Southside Neighborhood Center.

During the week of June 24, Cathy did three rides with staff and clients of Aptiv. Some Aptiv staff plan to use the MTU for trips and outings and they wanted to make sure clients are comfortable using the bus.

Coming LATA events:

Friday, July 19 – Ride SMRT to the La Crosse Interstate FAIR! We will take the late morning GREEN SMRT from La Crosse to West Salem (arrive around 12:30 p.m.) and catch the return bus at about 4 p.m. to be back in La Crosse between 4:30 and 5. This trip will be finalized at tomorrow's LATA Leaders meeting. We may be able to get free SMRT day passes for a limited number of passengers. Admission to the fair is free.

Wednesday, September 13 – Ride SMRT to the Vernon County FAIR! We will take the mid-morning YELLOW SMRT from La Crosse to Viroqua (arrive around 11). There are a couple of options for return trip times. This day is FREE ADMISSION at the fair.(County Fair Vectors by Vecteezy)

For both SMRT 2 FAIR rides, we will use the “deviated fixed route” feature to get as near to the fair entrances as possible. With DFR, you may request a stop anywhere along the route as long as the driver can safely stop there. We have never done these before, so you will be a beta tester! Please use this form to sign up for one or both rides:

Monday, September 30 through Sunday, October 6: Week Without Driving. We are still working with several other groups and agencies on scheduling, but right now we know the following:

  • Monday, September 30 at 7 p.m. ONLINE book talk with Anna Zivarts, author of the new book, When Driving is Not and Option followed by panel of local nondrivers hosted by the La Crosse Public Library.

  • Friday, October 4 – Transit Talk at the Cameron Park Farmers Market – an informal get together of LATA friends and members to talk about transit in our area, events, advocacy and more. Bring your own dinner or grab something at the market. Hosted by LATA.

  • Free fares on the MTU all week and WWD Bingo all week.

  • TAKE THE WWD CHALLENGE (sign up now at

Sunday, June 2, 2024

June updates and events

LATA Leaders will meet on Wednesday, June 12 at 5:30 p.m. to discuss upcoming events, ongoing projects, new ideas, Ride with a Guide updates and Week Without Driving. Please email or call ( or 608-315-2693) if you would like to join the meeting online (and possibly in person).

The Forward La Crosse Bike/Ped Master Plan update process is nearing completion. You can view and comment on the final draft here: We encourage all transit riders and advocates to continue providing input; public transportation is pedestrian infrastructure, just like sidewalks and stop lights. Is there enough about transit in this plan? Feed back by TOMORROW!! Monday, June 3!

On June 7 at 11 a.m., the Labor Network for Sustainability will host an online talk by Anna Zivarts, author of the new book, “When Driving is Not an Option: Steering Away from Car Dependency.” This book gives an insight to how to redesign our transportation systems to meet the needs of nondrivers - many of whom have a disability or are out of the qualifications of a driver’s license. Use this link to view on YouTube:

On Monday, June 10 at 7 p.m. the Wisconsin Transit Riders Alliance (WTRA) will hold its “at large” meeting – an informal gathering of members and transit riders from around the state. Ruth Rosas, America Walks, will join us at the start of the meeting to talk about Week Without Driving (September 30 through October 6) and what transit advocate groups can do to promote the event and use it to highlight transit issues. All members of LATA are automatically members of WTRA, though you do not need to be a member to attend the meeting. Please reply to this email for Zoom access information.

On Thursday, June 20, the MTU will host a “Talking Transit” event at the Southside Neighborhood Center from 4 to 7 p.m. This is a chance for us to talk with MTU staff about our experiences and ideas for improving service, bus stop amenities (seating!), mobility, ADA compliance issues, paratransit and more. LATA will join several other organizations tabling at this event. Please plan to attend!

LATA hosted a SMRT ride to Viroqua on May 1 and we were joined on the ride by former La Crosse County Board Chair Tara Johnson, currently a candidate for the 96th District State Assembly district. We talked transit, including funding, the state's prohibition on Regional Transit Authorities, how development siting affects family and governmental finances and climate action, and more. As a result of our conversations and experiences on this ride and previous rides, we reached out to the LAPC about ideas for improving SMRT service, communications, and marketing. We are hoping to tell you about public input opportunities later this summer. Stay tuned!

The Coulee Region Sierra Club hosted a Transit 2 Trails event on Saturday, June 1, National Trails Day. The original plan had to be modified because of rain, but participants ended up having a great time, and it was an excellent way to highlight acces to some public trails via 
public transportation. LATA may host one or more Transit 2 Trails events in the future.

Can you help us table at the June 20 Talking Transit event and at the July 20 Disability Pride Fest event hosted by the Disability Action Network at Central High School? If you would be interested in helping out for an hour or so, please reply to this email. No experience needed – just a love of transit and desire to spread the word about how great it is!

We are also working on getting our Ride with a Guide program back up and running stronger. LATA leader Liz Fryseth has set up a Ride Guide training at a local service agency and we'll use that experience to fine tune similar events in the future. By fall, we hope to offer training for individuals and organizations wishing to learn how to ride the bus and learn how to teach others to ride the bus. If you would like to be a Ride Guide or know of a group, business, agency, or organization that would like training, please connect! or 608-315-2693.

Please consider formally joining LATA using this link:!