Tuesday, July 9, 2024

July updates

LATA leaders will meet on Zoom Wednesday, July 10 at 5:30 p.m. If you would like to join us, please email or call (lacrossetransitadvocates-at-proton.me or 608-315-2693) for access info.

On Thursday, July 11 at 3:30 p.m. the La Crosse Area Planning Committee's Committee on Transit and Active Transportation (CTAT) will meet in person and online. Ruth Rosas of America Walks will be on part of the meeting to talk about Week Without Driving, an October event that brings attention to the challenges nondrivers face in our car-centric society. This meeting is open to the public. Find the agenda packet and online access information at https://www.lacrossecounty.org/metropolitan-planning-organization/committees/committee-on-transit-and-active-transportation

After our spring SMRT 2 Viroqua ride, we had more suggestions for educating about and marketing the SMRT bus. Working through the LAPC, we are hopeful some kind of public session or committee will be coming soon to brainstorm ways to improve the experience, service, and outreach. This system is such a gem and a miracle in a state where Regional Transit Authorities have been banned by the state legislature, we want to make sure it is well supported. This will be discussed at the CTAT meeting.

On Saturday, July 20, LATA will table at the Disability Pride Fest between 11 and 4 p.m. at Central High School. If you can help out for an hour at the table, please email, call or text.

We are seeking a couple of tablers for the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse's 22nd Annual Sample the City and Volunteer Fair event on Wednesday, September 4 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please contact us if you can help.

We are still working on plans for Week Without Driving (Sept. 30 through Oct. 6). If you would like to help plan OR if your club, faith group, organization or office would like to co-sponsor (free), please reply to this email!

Recent events:

Onalaska bus rider and AARP volunteer Mike Murphy had an article, “Bus Buddies Are a Big Help in La Crosse Transit,” published at https://states.aarp.org/wisconsin/bus-buddies-are-a-big-help-in-la-crosse-transit Mike is helping LATA apply for a AARP “Small Dollar, Big Impact” grant to help strengthen and formalize our “Ride with a Guide” initiative.

On June 1, some LATA members participated in the Coulee Region Sierra Club's “Transit 2 Trails” outing. T2T is a national Sierra Club initiative to highlight the need for better public transit to ensure access to natural areas, parks, and refuges for nondrivers. In addition, T2T events celebrate successful transit connections to these areas. During the June 1 event, participants rode the #1 bus to get to the Hass Tract Trail and Chad Erickson Memorial Park trails near Easter Road on the city's far south side. After the hike, the group rode the bus back to the transit center. LATA may host some similar rides later in the year. Learn more about Transit 2 Trails athttps://www.sierraclub.org/outdoors-all/transit-trails

On June 18, Liz and Cathy did a guided ride with some YWCA staff members so they could help clients learn how to use the bus. Many of them get bus passes but may not use them because of unfamiliarity with the system.

On June 20, Toni and Cathy tabled at the MTU Transit Talk event held at the Southside Neighborhood Center.

During the week of June 24, Cathy did three rides with staff and clients of Aptiv. Some Aptiv staff plan to use the MTU for trips and outings and they wanted to make sure clients are comfortable using the bus.

Coming LATA events:

Friday, July 19 – Ride SMRT to the La Crosse Interstate FAIR! We will take the late morning GREEN SMRT from La Crosse to West Salem (arrive around 12:30 p.m.) and catch the return bus at about 4 p.m. to be back in La Crosse between 4:30 and 5. This trip will be finalized at tomorrow's LATA Leaders meeting. We may be able to get free SMRT day passes for a limited number of passengers. Admission to the fair is free.

Wednesday, September 13 – Ride SMRT to the Vernon County FAIR! We will take the mid-morning YELLOW SMRT from La Crosse to Viroqua (arrive around 11). There are a couple of options for return trip times. This day is FREE ADMISSION at the fair.(County Fair Vectors by Vecteezy)

For both SMRT 2 FAIR rides, we will use the “deviated fixed route” feature to get as near to the fair entrances as possible. With DFR, you may request a stop anywhere along the route as long as the driver can safely stop there. We have never done these before, so you will be a beta tester! Please use this form to sign up for one or both rides: https://forms.gle/SQqSv3Es1iRvFFUCA

Monday, September 30 through Sunday, October 6: Week Without Driving. We are still working with several other groups and agencies on scheduling, but right now we know the following:

  • Monday, September 30 at 7 p.m. ONLINE book talk with Anna Zivarts, author of the new book, When Driving is Not and Option followed by panel of local nondrivers hosted by the La Crosse Public Library.

  • Friday, October 4 – Transit Talk at the Cameron Park Farmers Market – an informal get together of LATA friends and members to talk about transit in our area, events, advocacy and more. Bring your own dinner or grab something at the market. Hosted by LATA.

  • Free fares on the MTU all week and WWD Bingo all week.

  • TAKE THE WWD CHALLENGE (sign up now at https://americawalks.org/campaigns/week-without-driving/

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