The South Milwaukee Common Council and South Milwaukee School Board voted unanimously this week in support of resolutions speaking out against the proposed Milwaukee County Transit System route cuts — cuts that would eliminate two of the three lines that serve our city.
The resolution the City Council passed on Tuesday — similar to one the School Board passed on Wednesday — follows … and I call on other local governments to pass similar resolutions speaking out against this.
This won’t be the last word from us, as we partner with other local leaders to tell this story, and stand up, together. Bring it on!
WHEREAS, Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) bus service is an important and valued part of the City of South Milwaukee and the entire South Shore, offering safe and affordable transportation to hundreds of people each day, connecting workers with jobs, residents with services, students with school and more;
WHEREAS, MCTS has proposed cuts to its 2020 budget that include elimination of 16 of its 51 routes, including Routes 48 and 52 in South Milwaukee, as well as reductions in services to routes 55 and 80 serving other southern communities. This is in addition to the elimination of five routes last spring, including school routes serving St. Francis and Cudahy. Combined with additional cuts in previous years, reductions in service, and increased fares, this is a continuing “death spiral” for local transit.;
WHEREAS, the cutting of these routes will significantly harm the South Shore. As just one example, dozens of high school and middle school students are among the nearly 200 riders of Route 52 each day. Eliminating it would leave only Route 15 to serve these students, with the closest stop a half mile away from school campuses;
WHEREAS, the broader communities of St. Francis, Cudahy, Oak Creek and Milwaukee’s South Side are also directly affected by the cancellation of these routes, and each will have see their own significant impacts. For example, cutting Route 48, a Freeway Flyer, would impact close to 100 commuters each day from South Milwaukee, Cudahy, St. Francis, Bay View and other areas who use it to travel to and from work.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that I, Mayor Erik Brooks and the South Milwaukee Common Council, hereby call upon county government leaders to restore these routes and, rather than reduce service, invest in public transportation as a means to serve our constituents, drive economic growth, and connect communities.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we call upon leaders in state government to get behind mass transit as an important part of a multi-modal transportation system, and to support local governments in their work to adequately fund this and other vital services. This includes giving local governments the financial support and flexibility they need to deliver the services their residents and business owners expect and demand. Allow and enable cities, villages, towns, counties and school boards do their jobs.