Saturday, April 29, 2023

Coming soon!

First, please help us do a little CITIZEN SCIENCE by participating in an assessment of stop announcements on the MTU. If you've ever ridden at night or had your view blocked by people or bus wrappers, you know how important an audible signal is to help you know where you are on the route and when you should be ready to exit.

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires fixed route systems to announce stops, "at least at transfer points with other fixed routes, other major intersections and destination points, and intervals along a route sufficient to permit individuals with visual impairments or other disabilities to be oriented to their location. Further, the transit personnel must announce any stop upon request of an individual with a disability."

But, do they? We are going to spend the month of May gathering data to see if the system needs to improve. So, if you can help, please do the following:

Whenever you take the bus during May, please note the route number, bus number, date, time and location of boarding, and every announcement you hear while riding. In addition, sometimes stops are announced after you've passed them or with so little notice as to make it impossible for you to pull the cord before the stop has gone by. Also, sometimes the volume of the automated announcement is so low that you can't really hear it or, if the bus goes over a railroad track or bumpy spot or if there's talking around you, it's hard to hear.

Please help and participate by completing this audit form every time you ride (and remember) in May!


LATA will ride the #10 Apple Express to lunch in La Crescent on Saturday, May 21
. We'll board at the Grand River Station Transit Center at 10:42 and get to downtown La Crescent a little after 11 a.m. We're looking for some La Crescent transit advocates to meet up with for lunch, and then we'll return (on your own - last bus leaves downtown La Crescent at about 3:12) to the La Crosse Transit Center. There's no official sign up, but if you have a suggestion for best place for a group lunch, please email

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Intermodal connections or not?

A friend who is trying to green his travel reported that he'd tried to take the bus to the airport--the #7 is supposed to offer a demand-response airport stop if you tell the driver as soon as you board the bus or call no more than 15 minutes before the scheduled pickup time and be waiting for the bus (the bus will not wait for you). This, in itself, is kind of confusing (what if you call 20 minutes ahead of time?), but, as my friend experienced, even if you follow the rules, you may be out of luck.

Even though he requested a stop at the airport when he boarded the bus, he had to get off at the industrial park and walk to the airport! And, coming back, even though he called the office to request an airport pick up and was told the bus would stop there, it didn't.

Connecting to the airport and the Amtrak are incredibly important. As we pointed out to Jonathon Stalls when he visited for the Pedestrian Dignity event on Tuesday morning, if you want to take the bus from the train station, you have to either walk several blocks to pick up the #5 or walk across the rocks and tracks and through a yard and back alleyway to catch the #6.

As we anticipate the start of the TCMC second daily bidirectional Amtrak, having a solid bus connection is key. 

Have you experienced similar issues? I have done the Amtrak scramble, which is kind of a pain if you have luggage or the weather is bad! Have you tried connecting at the airport or the Amtrak station? Tell us your story!

Monday, April 17, 2023

UPDATE for tomorrow's event!

They have added a SECOND start point for tomorrow's pedestrian dignity event. 

Bus riders can start at the Bridgeview Plaza stop. 

LATA will leave the Transit Center at 9:12 a.m. on the #6. I have some free bus passes, too, so look for a short person with white  "Bernie hair" and ask for a pass. See you then!

Friday, April 14, 2023

April opportunities for advocacy!

On Tuesday, April 18, AARP will host Jonathon Stalls (@pedestriandignity on Instagram and TikTok) for Pedestrian Dignity Experiences throughout Wisconsin in April. Pedestrian Dignity events center the lived experience of all who walk, use a wheelchair and take transit as their primary form of transportation. We will move with the many gaps and opportunities facing all who walk, roll and use the bus in car-dominated built environments. Participants will be invited to connect to one another around pedestrian behavior related to practical trips (origins/destinations) and co-create solutions and next steps around what can be done to protect, honor and care for today's pedestrian. All who are involved in policy or planning that affect the daily lives of people that walk or roll are invited to attend.

The 90-minute Pedestrian Dignity Experience in La Crosse will begin at 10 a.m. at The Eagle Watch Area on Rose Street just north of W. Gregory Street.

LATA encourages everyone who is able to attend this event. It's a great chance to discuss sidewalk and pavement conditions (especially crosswalks!), crossing infrastructure (the stress-inducing 5 second crossing light sprint), bus routes and connections with important spaces (this starting site is not adjacent to a bus stop, for example), and more. We can also discuss event timing since the 9:42 bus arrives at the start destination five minutes after the start time!

Please join us on the #6 bus leaving the Grand River Station Transit Center at 9:12 to participate in this important event!

On April 30 LATA will table at the La Crosse Earth Fair from 11 to 4 at Myrick Park. We will be in the lower parking lot (near the Marsh Trailhead and the Rod and Gun Shelter) next to the MTU e-bus.

Can you help staff the table? Mostly, it's talking to people about taking the bus--how to figure out the route map, why it's a good thing to do, what you like about being a bus rider. If you can help out for an hour or more, please email

We are finalizing details about our May Ride the Apple Express outing to La Crescent on the #10 bus. We'll take the bus to La Crescent, have lunch together, maybe with some La Crescent bus advocates (do you have a fav place to eat? Let us know!) and then come back to La Crosse. The hourly service works well with this plan. Stay tuned!

We are finalizing another initiative, this one to track the use of audible stop announcements, recorded or called by the driver. Not only are these required by the Americans with Disabilities Act to help blind and visually impaired individuals find their stops, they are also useful for new riders, tourists, and those who might have trouble seeing where the bus is at night (especially buses that have wrappers over the windows and interior lights on) or on a crowded bus. We hope to roll this out later in April or early in May.