Saturday, March 27, 2021

April 17 - WTRA Annual Meeting

You are invited to attend the Wisconsin Transit Riders Alliance annual meeting on Saturday, April 17 from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. ONLINE. The program will focus on rural and urban public transit in Wisconsin with opening remarks by Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes followed by a panel discussion with State Senator Brad Pfaff (32nd District - Onalaska) and State Representative Sylvia Ortiz-Velez (12th District - Milwaukee). There will be time for questions and answers for Lt. Gov. Barnes and for the panelists.

It's very important for transit advocates to take every opportunity to talk with our elected leaders about the importance of public transportation for equity, jobs, economic fairness, environment and more. We need to stress the importance of a modernized and well-connected transportation system. Turning out in numbers to events like this meeting will show elected officials that this is a big deal that is important to a lot of people.


WTRA is a statewide network of local and regional public transportation advocacy groups including La Crosse Area Transit Advocates. Membership in LATA includes membership in WTRA. Please join LATA to strengthen public transportation advocacy locally and around the state at

Friday, March 19, 2021

Thank you Senator Pfaff!

Thank you. Senator Brad Pfaff for joining us for our first ever online Transit Talk. We look forward to working with you on building up public transportation in our area and region through the budget process and beyond. We know you will be a strong advocate for public transportation in your work with the State Legislature and the Governor. A recording of the session is available at this link (use password: uUuMGGE6 )

We mentioned some upcoming events. Here are the links:

March 27 from 9 a.m. to noon: WisARP meeting including discussion of second train and improvements to Empire Building in Wisconsin. More information and registration here: (By the way, the October WisARP meeting is scheduled to be held in La Crosse. More details when they are available.)

Drift Bike Share is starting up in La Crosse on April 1. This bike-share program will help solve the "last mile" challenge connecting people taking public transportation to jobs, shopping, entertainment, and dining in the downtown area. More information here:

April 17 from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.: Wisconsin Transit Riders Alliance meeting with program on Wisconsin Public Transit Rural and Urban. Register for the online event at

Here are links Sen. Pfaff's office sent that have information about the Governor's budget with respect to public transportation:

Senator Pfaff talked about the importance of attending budget listening sessions to advocate for public transportation. Here are some sessions we know of. All are ONLINE.

March 22 at 4:30 p.m. Join Sen. Brad Pfaff, Rep. Jill Billings, and Rep. Steve Doyle for a Virtual Budget Listening Session! Register for the link at

March 30 at 6:00 p.m. Governor Evers will host a Badger Bounceback Budget Listening Session on Transportation and Infrastructure which will include break-out rooms with opportunities to give input directly to his staff. Register here:

April 21 at 6:00 p.m. Governor Evers will host a Badger Bounceback Budget Listening Session on Climate Change and the Environment which certainly is a reason to strengthen public transportation support and funding. Register here: 

April 28 at 10:00 a.m. The online hearing for the State Legislature's Joint Finance Committee about the budget. If you sign up to testify, you will have TWO MINUTES to make your point so you can be most effective by writing up your testimony in advance or at least noting three or four main points you want to cover. Your testimony will be most effective if it is respectful and from your own experience and heart. The registration link isn't up yet, but you can check this site for updates:  If the virtual hearing is like the in-person ones, people are called to testify in the order in which they register. There are some in-person hearings but the closest to La Crosse is in Menomonie.

For overall information about commenting on the budget, visit this resource page:

Check back for more information on testifying before the JFC and submitting online comments.

We had more questions than time. If yours wasn't asked, if you thought of a new one based on the program discussion, or if you'd like to provide more information about a topic, please email him at

Thank you again, Senator Pfaff!

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Public transportation input and events

Remember to register for Thursday's (March 18) Transit Talk with Senator Brad Pfaff. It starts at 6 p.m. and it's online (or by phone dial-in), so you will need to register for access information at Thanks to co-sponsors, Citizen Action of Wisconsin Driftless Co-op, Coulee Region Sierra Club, and La Crosse MTU.

On March 27, Wisconsin Association of Rail Passengers (WisARP) is holding its annual meeting ONLINE from 9 a.m. to noon. They will discuss the latest Amtrak and WisDOT news. Speakers will include Arun Rao, Passenger Rail Manager for WisDOT. The meeting will focus on the second train Chicago – Milwaukee – St. Paul, and restoration of Hiawatha and Empire Builder service post-COVID-19. Please register for access information.

On March 30, consider signing up to participate in a Badger Bounceback Budget Listening Session on Transportation and Infrastructure. The program starts at 6 p.m. and will include information on the Governor's transportation budget proposals and break-out sessions for public input. You must register for access information.

On April 17, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., the Wisconsin Transit Riders Alliance will hold its annual meeting online. The program, Public Transit in Rural and Urban Wisconsin, will include opening remarks by Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes followed by a panel discussion with Senator Brad Pfaff and Representative Sylvia Ortiz-Velez from Milwaukee. There will be Q&A sessions after each section. Please help spread the word about this event! To register, please visit or

Also, this year's Earth Fair is cancelled, BUT, there will be VIRTUAL EARTH WEEK from April 19 through 25. LATA is an organizational co-sponsor.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Take action for safe active transportation!

There are a some transit-related programs coming up in addition to LATA's March 18 talk with State Senator Brad Pfaff. The nice thing about moving life online is that it's much easier to attend something held far away, connecting with other transit advocates and getting some great ideas.

But first, is there a local bus stop that is really driving you nuts because it's hard to get to, in a dangerous location, or not safe? If yes, consider nominating it for Streetsblog's SORRIEST BUS STOP award. Nominations are open through Monday, March 15. Get more details and find out how to enter here:

Transportation for America is promoting a series of advocacy actions to promote better, safer transportation options. This week, they're asking advocates to Support the Safe Streets Act. Good public transportation relies on safe pedestrian infrastructure. "The number of people struck and killed bgy drivers while walking increased by 47 percent over the last decade, as our partners at Smart Growth America found in the latest edition of Dangerous by Design. We are in the midst of an astonishing safety crisis as the United States has become--over decades of broken policy--an incredibly deadly place to walk. ... A handful of leaders in the U.S. House and Senate have introduced a bill that would finally require states and metro areas to design and build safer streets for everyone. The Complete Streets Act of 2021 is desperately needed." Tell your Senators and Representative to co-sponsor the Compete Streets Act. is hosting a webinar on Storytelling for Active Transportation Advocates on March 17 at 1 p.m. our time.
"How can we reach more people and convince them of the benefits of inclusive and accessible walkable communities?  We have incredible data on how they improve health, the climate, the economy, and our quality of life – but data alone often doesn’t carry the day."  Register at this link:

Wisconsin Transit Riders Alliance will hold its annual meeting online this year on Saturday, April 17 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The topic will be Wisconsin Public Transportation - Rural and Urban. Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes will give the opening remarks and there will be a panel discussion by Senator Brad Pfaff and Representative Sylvia Ortiz-Velez of Milwaukee. There will be time for questions and answers. Registration is free (link not yet available) and the meeting is open to all. Co-sponsors include The Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired, 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, and the Sierra Club of Wisconsin (more are expected).