Saturday, March 01, 2008

Ridership drop: anyone really surprised?

Milwaukee County Transit System ridership plummeted 9% last year, according to the JS. That's a stunning figure, but not really surprising. In an era of high oil prices, global warming and job migration to the suburbs, state transportation planners continue to push for bigger highways that will aggravate all the negative trends.

Then there is County Executive Scott Walker, who thinks everyone should have a car and tough luck for anyone who doesn't.

Meanwhile, it is becoming apparent that major businesses -- surprise! -- prefer locating in cities with transit systems that actually allow their workers to get to work. Milwaukee hasn't had that in a while, now. It's been route cut, fare increase, more concrete, route cut, fare increase, more concrete for several years now. The pattern needs to change, but no one has found the formula or the courage or the leadership to break out of the cycle.

Suggested new slogan: Milwaukee: progress through inertia, if we get around to it.


jon said...

I don't want to beat this horse to death...Walker will always use the tax-cutting cliche and stay in office. I would imagine most people in Milwaukee will not be aware of this (nor the local news....but DIRTY DINING will!) nor will really care unless it affects them (hence "Me-waukee")

Anonymous said...

i wonder how much of a factor the obnoxious, intolerable Transit Television Network was in alienating riders.

Anonymous said...

No one ever adds up all the government money spent on auto transit. You'd think there was a car fairy putting billions of dollars in state, county, and city budgets to pay for what's not covered by user fees like gas taxes, licensing, fines, etc. But every penny for public transit is negatively labeled a "subsidy.