Monday, March 21, 2022

Earth Month: Ride with a Guide

The quicker people shift their transportation habits - away from personal fossil fuel vehicles to biking, walking, and taking the bus - the better. To be sure, the greenest transportation options are those that use human power, but sometimes we need to go farther than our legs can carry us. That's when some of us can switch to a bike or an e-bike. But, when that's not practical, van-pool or bus is best. More people in one vehicle reduces the per person emissions. As bus fleets electrify, emissions drop even more, and as the electric "fuel" comes from renewable sources, they drop to near zero.

During Earth Month, LATA will offer four Ride with a Guide events. We will meet at the Transit Center for a brief overview of the MTU and connected systems, the fare and transfer system, good rider habits, bikes on buses, and more. Then, we'll board a bus and ride one complete circuit. After the ride, we'll answer any more questions that come up. Cost is bus fare: $1.50 for adults ($0.75 for a senior with a Medicare card).

The Transit Center is at 314 Jay Street, on the southeast corner of the intersection of Third and Jay. If you are a driver, you may park your car along JayvStreet or in the city ramp on the northwest corner of the same intersection. Be sure to register at the kiosk; the first three hours in the ramp are free for registered vehicles.


  • Saturday, April 2 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Monday, April 11 from 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 21 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 30 from 4 to 6 p.m.

Sign up (space is limited) at this link OR call us at 608-315-2693 and leave your name and number for a call back. 

Help the environment. Help your family budget. Help decrease air pollution, improve traffic safety, and strengthen community cohesion. Help your children learn to be self-sufficient and independent. Ride the bus!

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Upcoming events and opportunities!


While the public transportation mask mandate has been extended for one more month (April 18), we have hopes that things will improve enough by early summer for mask-free rider and safe in-person events.

Coming up:

Friday, March 18 is Transit Drivers Appreciation Day! LATA will deliver a thank you card by email and in person on Friday morning. If you'd like to sign it, please do so BY THURSDAY AT 5 P.M. Sign the card at this link!

The Regional Transit Development Plan is done and available to read at the La Crosse Area Planning Committee's website. I hope we can do a program about this in the coming weeks. We'll announce it here if and when we can schedule something.

Do you ride or know anyone who rides the Route 10 Apple Express? The Minnesota DOT has contracted with a consultant to prepare a Local Human Service Transportation Coordination Plan for Minnesota, and they are looking for input from riders for a rider focus group.  Visit

The Wisconsin Association of Rail Passengers is holding its spring meeting on Saturday, March 26 in Appleton AND online. Please register soon if you plan to attend in person. Zoom attendance is free of charge. The featured speakers will be Arun Rao of WisDOT and Derrick James of Amtrak. For more information, and to register, go here:

LATA will table at the Earth Fair, April 24 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Myrick Park alongside the MTU electric bus which will be near the mid-park parking lot. The bus will be next to the electric vehicle (cars and bikes) display. If you could help table for an hour or more on that day, please reply to this email. It's our opportunity to support the MTU by letting people know WE ride and they should too. All materials are provided - tablers just need to talk to people who stop by.

The Wisconsin Transit Riders Alliance will hold its annual meeting from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 21 ONLINE. Details are not yet finalized but we do know that Beth Osborne, Director of Transportation for America, will provide opening remarks followed by a panel of transit professionals from around the state including Peter Fletcher, Executive Director, LAPC! Watch this site for more information.

We are working on another SMRT2Viroqua trip. We rode the SMRT bus from La Crosse to Viroqua for a day of sight-seeing, shopping, and eating last July and want to do that again. This time, possible, we can connect with some Viroqua area transit advocates, too. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Best bus stop contest


How many of us take pics of bus stops, train stations, bike lanes, traffic intersections, and bike parking facilities on vacation? 🖐️ Maybe some day we can do a program about them.

In the meantime, StreetsBlog USA is replacing its usual Worst Bus Stop contest with a BEST Bus Stop one. Are there any contenders in our area? Visit their contest page for more info. The deadline to enter is March 14.

The MTU is planning upgrades of existing and installation of new shelters in the coming year, including at least some that include solar lights. They'll use data about most used stops, but maybe there are others that need improved access or protection from the elements. Where do you think new shelters should be placed? What have you seen at other shelters that could be added here?

I suggested looking at some real time arrival time signs: 

Especially where more than one bus stops, like on Losey at The Village Shopping Center, knowing when other buses will arrive in real time could make a difference.

But, pulling one thread starts to unravel the sleeve. The official transfer policy is very tight, so even if you wanted to transfer to the bus that's coming in three minutes, it might not be allowed. Still, even if you just want to TAKE a bus, knowing when the next one will arrive is helpful. And not everyone has the phone app available, especially, possibly, new riders just trying the system out.

This week, think about bus stops and shelters. Remember the good ones you've experienced and imagine the great ones we could have. Email your suggestions to us