Tuesday, November 22, 2022

2023 Transit Equity Days


Planning has started for TRANSIT EQUITY DAYS in the La Crosse area! As of now, we plan to have activities and events from Monday, January 30 through Saturday, February 4. We hope to bring back our displays at the Library and Transit Center, our request for riders to Share Your Transit Story, our engagement with elected leaders (in 2023, Office Hour on the Bus), and more. 

If you or your group would like to host a Transit Equity Days event or if you'd like to get in on the planning in early December, please let us know. 

For a look at last year's events, check out our 2022 event page.

For more information about the history and purpose of Transit Equity Day, check out the Labor Network for Sustainability.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Where's the transit?

 They're back!

There will be a presentation about the coming study at the LAPC meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 4:30 p.m. in Room 1700 County Admin Building (6th & State) or you may attend virtually. Get details and the links to join from the meeting packet at the LAPC website.

Your attention is needed. How will climate collapse be part of this study? Where is the little public transportation icon? What exactly do "safety" and "operations" mean? What kinds of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure will be included?

Pay attention and get involved. 

This report tells us in cold scientific terms what nature has been telling us, all year, through deadly floods, storms and raging fires: we have to stop filling our atmosphere with greenhouse gases, and stop doing it fast. We had our chance to make incremental changes, but that time is over. Only a root-and-branch transformation of our economies and societies can save us from accelerating climate disaster.” - Inger Anderson, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme, October 27, 2022

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Listen, Learn, Act!

First, if you haven't made a plan to vote yet, please do. You can look yourself up at myvote.wi.gov to see if you are registered, where your polling place is, what's on your ballot and more. In most places, you can vote absentee in person at your municipal clerk's office from now until Friday, November 4. Early voting hours in City of La Crosse are shown at the city's Vote Absentee web page. Other voters should contact their clerks. Many find early voting works better for them as they can go when it fits their schedules. The MTU will offer FREE FARES ON Election day, Tuesday, November 8. If you need to, you can register at the polls when you vote. Be sure to check with your clerk to learn what documents you need to bring. This site provides that information: https://bringit.wi.gov/

On Tuesday, November 1, there will be a public presentation about the Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago (TCMC) 2nd Amtrak rail line coming soon through La Crosse. The meeting starts at 4:30 and will be held at Moxie's, 1835 Rose Street. Take the #6 to the Rose Court Motel stop, cross Rose Street and head south to Moxie's at the AmericInn. If you can't make the meeting, you can learn about the program at the website linked above. Comments about the project may be submitted with this comment form. Written comments can be mailed to Thomas Kratt at Wisconsin Department of Transportation, 3550 Mormon Coulee Road La Crosse, WI 54601.

Coming next year, 1,000 Friends of Wisconsin will host a ten-week Community Transportation Academy in La Crosse. 

The Community Transportation Academy is designed to help bridge the gap between community advocates and transportation planning entities. Over ten weeks, participants will learn about the fundamentals of transportation planning, hear from guest speakers with local and national expertise, and have the opportunity to propose a solution to a local transportation problem. Community members will come away from the Academy with skills and knowledge to advocate for safe and accessible transportation networks that work for everyone. The first Community Transportation Academy will be held in La Crosse, Wisconsin, in Winter/Spring 2023, taught by Community Programs Director Susan Gaeddert.

The academy will meet on Wednesdays from 4 to 6 p.m. Some sessions will be in person at UWL and some will be online via Zoom. There will be homework and opportunities for participants to plan and do a project. Learn more and find out how to register at their website.

The MTU has rolled out its GenFare, pay by phone, app. Have you tried it? I still have not been able to use it. It took about a week to set me up with a senior fare structure, but now I am not able to get to a payment screen. If you have had a great experience with it or frustration, please comment or email us at LaCrosseTransitAdvocates@proton.me

Speaking of frustrations, has anyone else found that too many buses pass stops early? I have missed a couple of important connections because buses were early or late. It's frustrating! We encourage people to use the MTU's feedback form at https://www.cityoflacrosse.org/your-government/departments/municipal-transit-mtu/customer-feedback

We are looking for a few people to help plan Transit Equity Day or week events with the MTU, Ohalaska-Holmen-West Salem Shared Ride, and SMRT bus in early February. Do you have ideas for ways to demonstrate that "transportation is a civil right" or to promote public transit in our community? Would you like to ride the bus with an elected official to talk about how our public transit works well and could be even better? Please comment here or email us at LaCrosseTransitAdvocates@proton.me.

We are still looking for two or three additional members of our leaders team. We meet one time a month, often over zoom, for an hour to talk about events and activities and how we can educate about and advocate for transit. Please email or call (608-315-2693) if you are interested. Our next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 9 at 5:30 p.m. by Zoom.

If you haven't yet participated in the Forward La Crosse surveys, to help guide the city's update of its comprehensive plan for 2040. Find and take the surveys at their website. https://forwardlacrosse.org/

The City of La Crosse Bike/Ped Advisory Committee meeting for November has been rescheduled since its normal day, second Tuesday, is Election Day. This month, the committee will meet on Monday, November 14 at 8:30 a.m. at City Hall (no online option this month). Transit advocates are encouraged to attend these meetings to help voice support for better bicycle and pedestrian (and transit) in our community. Normally, the committee meets on the second Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. Learn more at their legistar page.

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.