Wednesday, September 14, 2022

WORLD CAR-FREE DAY! And other news

September 22 is WORLD CAR FREE DAY - a day to think about how we are getting around and what the consequences of our choices are. As we know, cars are responsible for major greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Cars are expensive to own and operate. Not everyone can own or drive a car. Cars require lots of public space and subsidies, from car parking to multi-lane super highways. 

On September 22, let's commit to finding other ways to travel. Walking or biking for trips that are shorter than three miles is healthier and cheaper than driving. More than half of daily trips in the U.S. are under three miles. For trips that can't be made on foot or by bike, taking the bus is best. 

On World Car Free Day, September 22, the La Crosse MTU will offer free fares all day! What a great opportunity to try something different and start changing our transportation habits. 

For those who haven't ridden a bus before, La Crosse Area Transit Advocates offers Rides with a Guide. Contact us at LaCrosseTransitAdvocates@proton.me and we will connect you with an experienced bus rider who can help you read the timetable and route map, find the best route for your need, learn about how to pay your fare (new methods are coming!), signal for your stop, and more!

Celebrate World Car Free Day by walking, biking, and taking the bus on Thursday, September 22. And then, mate every day car-free day!

Benefits of Active Transportation

Almost one in four adults in the United States report that they do not engage in any physical activity outside of their jobs. Sedentary lifestyles are an important reason that two of every three adults in the United States are overweight or obese.

Investing in public transportation and bicycle and pedestrian facilities creates opportunities for people to exercise. This helps reduce obesity and the risks for developing costly chronic conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Active transportation facilities are particularly important in low-income and minority communities, or communities with high percentages of new immigrants. People in those communities are less likely to own vehicles, and unsafe streets might pose a barrier to using active transportation.

Other News!

The La Crosse MTU will trial a route update to better serve residents of Eagle Crest South. For a limited time, the Circulator 2 will connect with 7th Street near South Ave. and travel on 7th to the Ice Area, turning east onto Benora Lee Court. There will be a temporary stop near Eagle Crest South. The bus will then travel north on Sims to rejoin is normal route. Please confirm route with driver!

The MTU's GenFare app rollout has been pushed back to Monday, October 3. Once the app is live, you may purchase fares and passes, including day, week, month, and year passes, on your smart phone. 

The MTU will be assessing its bus shelters for refurbishment over the next several months. In addition, they hope to add shelters at some stops. If you have suggestions, please use their online feedback form.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

August updates

Our second annual SMRT 2 Viroqua trip went very well. We had nine participants this year. The bus was newer and the weather cooler than last year. Thank you, Senator Brad Pfaff for riding along and listening to us talk about the importance of regional and rural public transportation. In addition to our stories, Senator Pfaff also got to talk to other riders and drivers.

We may try another route in the future, but scheduling for other destinations, like Tomah or Prairie du Chien, is less flexible.

"We had a pleasant ride to Viroqua to explore more business and entertainment enterprises in our Coulee Region. The timing was punctual to the minute. Our drive back was remarkable and will surely be remembered. Our driver (while always driving safely) shared stories and lessons from his HoChunk culture with us. There are a myriad of benefits being connected to people and places in the region and we enjoyed them on this excursion."

A few months ago, a donation of tokens was made to Hope Restores in the name of LATA and we received a nice thank you card. Now, we've heard that they could use more adult tokens. If you are interested in contributing toward another donation of tokens, please email us to learn more.

Our next LATA Leaders meeting will be Wednesday, September 10 at 5:30 p.m. at the South Community Library picnic table. We will talk about fall programming, the Ride with a Guide initiative, and organizational business. All are welcome to attend; we can make the meeting available on Zoom, too, if needed. Please email us for more information.

On August 16 there will be two opportunities to weigh in on the La Crosse comprehensive plan for 2040 with respect to bicycle and pedestrian (and transit) issues. Please plan to attend and give your opinions on what changes we will need to see in La Crosse to make life better, easier, and more accessible for those who choose to move around without a car.

You may attend either session in person or online (see access information below):

* From NOON to 1 p.m. at the Southside Neighborhood Center (1300 6th Street South) 

* From 5 to 6 p.m. at the Black River Beach Center (1433 Rose Street),   

To attend online, join the meeting: https://call.lifesizecloud.com/4796124 OR call this number (you will only be able to listen if you call in, not speak): 877-422-8614  meeting 4796124#.

City of La Crosse Comprehensive Plan 2040

Bicycle and Pedestrian Issues Focus Meeting

(Hosted by the City of La Crosse Bicycle-Pedestrian Advisory Committee)

AGENDA

Introduction and Overview of the Comprehensive Plan

  • What is a Comprehensive Plan?

  • How the La Crosse Comprehensive Plan 2040 is being developed

  • How walking and biking issues and priorities in La Crosse connect with the Comprehensive Plan

Discussion Questions

  • What do you like about walking or biking in La Crosse? What works well? What are some of the city’s key assets or advantages for walking or biking?

  • What do you not like walking or biking in La Crosse? What are some things that don’t work well? What are some problems or issues?

  • How should we make things better? What ideas do you have for improving walking or biking in La Crosse?

Next Steps

  • How to contribute additional ideas and comments for the plan

  • Plan website and surveys: https://forwardlacrosse.org (new walk- and bike-oriented survey available after our session of August 16)

  • Questions, other items?

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

July updates!

This July, we have a couple of opportunities to connect and advocate for public transportation.

On Saturday, July 23, we hope to table at the Disability Pride Fest, an event hosted by the Disability Action Network from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Copeland Park. IF YOU CAN SIGN UP FOR A SHIFT, please complete the form at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0F4CAEAE28AAFECE9-lata

On Wednesday, July 27, LATA will host its second annual RIDE SMRT 2 VIROQUA event. We will board the SMRT Yellow Route as it goes through La Crosse between about 9:30 and 10:00 a.m. and arrive in Viroqua at about 11:00 a.m. This year, we have invited our elected representatives: Senator Brad Pfaff, Representative Jill Billings, and Representative Loren Oldenburg, to join us on the ride or at a discussion about regional public transportaton and rural public transit. Those details are still being worked out. So far, Sen. Pfaff has accepted our invitation.

SPACE IS LIMITED! Please sign up by July 22 at tinyurl.com/LATA2Viroqua

Flyer for SMRT to Viroqua trip on July 27

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

The e-bus is HERE!

Please join the MTU and the City of La Crosse for an open house to roll out the new electric buses at 10 a.m. at the La Crosse Center!