Provide your input on the redesign of Madison Metro’s bus system. The last public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday November 9th at 6 PM. Comment during the hearing or before. See how below.
Madison Metro is proposing a significant redesign to the bus system with Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) as the core of the system that would offer faster and more frequent service on those routes. The BRT routes would be matched with other routes that would serve many other parts of the community. The primary goal is to increase ridership and reduce car use while still serving the community. However, while service may be better, especially on main routes and destinations, there are concerns over less geographic coverage and leaving some people with less good bus options.
While the proposed redesign and BRT seems to offer some additional benefits regarding speed of transit, ridership, and reduced auto use, the Four Lakes Group supports additional analysis to conduct an improved service equity analysis to ensure we have a fully capable and equitable transit system in Madison.
Four Lakes Group comments on the draft redesign from March 2022: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oDNDdothWWk4Il_XwR-5aGcH3q-U7YPp/view?usp=sharing
HEARING AND COMMENTING
Wednesday, November 9, 6:00 PM. This will be an online public hearing to discuss final details. (There will also be some remote locations for those without computer service who wish to testify that evening.)
Register to speak, or get the link to watch the hearing at: https://www.cityofmadison.com/metro/routes-schedules/public-hearing-scheduled
Submit your comments ahead of time using one of the methods below. All comments submitted prior to the hearing will be considered by commission members in the same manner as testimony received during the hearing on the 9th. And don’t forget to send your comments to your city alder as well as the City staff and Mayor.
Deadline for comments: No later than Nov 9th (the scheduled virtual public hearing).
How to submit comments:
- In writing - Metro Transit, Attn: Public Hearing Comments, 1245 E. Washington Ave., Suite 201, Madison WI 53703.
- Submit your comments directly to the Transportation Commission at TransportationCommission@cityofmadison.com
At this point in the process, the proposed route redesigns are completed, and tentative schedules have been set as well as placement of bus stops. The projections are that this will increase ridership along with reducing auto use, and will get many people to more destinations faster.
The Equity analysis required for Federal funding of projects has been completed and the summary and full report are available (see below). It claims to increase equity by providing more people who are low income or communities of color better and more accessible bus service. However, the ACLU of Wisconsin has expressed concerns regarding that analysis and that the goals of equitable service are not being adequately addressed or met. They have requested an improved equity analysis is warranted to examine if the benefits of the proposed redesign would be equitably distributed.
The Four Lakes Group continues to be concerned with several aspects of the redesign of the process:
- Despite a fairly extensive outreach process to obtain feedback, the process has not been particularly good at reaching marginalized communities and getting information to, and feedback from people, on their own terms.
- While service may be better for many people, especially on main routes, there are concerns it misses the mark on serving communities of color, as well as low income and those with different abilities due to more limited and changed geographic coverage, or in some cases, reduction in frequency of service.
- The redesign does not address the need for a multimodal system with seamless connections to other modes of transportation and between local and regional transportation systems.
- To ensure the redesign will achieve its service goals and provide an equitable transit system, it would benefit from:
- A more in-depth equity analysis to ensure riders most in need are being better served by the proposed redesign as per the ACLU’s concerns. Using neighborhoods as geographic locations rather than more specific locations does not reflect real distances for many people. Using coarse and dated destination analysis makes questionable assumptions where people who most need transit support are actually going. In addition, the current analysis using the downtown/campus low-income populations may disproportionately weigh that area over outlying areas.
- An analysis and plan to address the first mile/last mile service issues for low income and differently abled communities. Some people who are transit dependent have chosen to live in places that are currently served by transit, but will no longer be with the redesign. Others simply will not be well served, especially during winter or inclement weather that can impose added access constraints. Additional transportation services such as microtransit need to be considered to provide accessible last mile services for riders who rely on the bus.
- Strong recommendations and guidance for land use planning that ensure affordable housing will be provided within the system service area.
PROPOSED SYSTEM REDESIGN RESOURCES AND BACKGROUND
Information on the redesign can be found at: https://www.cityofmadison.com/metro/routes-schedules/transit-network-redesign
Links to specific reports: Print-outs can be found at all library locations.
- Equity Analysis Summary
- Equity Analysis Full Report
- Bus Stop Placements: Stops to Close// New Stops// Maps
- Route Start/End Times
- Route Name Updates
- DRAFT System Map
Other languages: The meeting will be interpreted in Spanish, Hmong, Chinese and ASL. It will be live-captioned in English with recordings captioned in these languages at a later time.
Flyers for the public hearing have been translated and are available on this website: https://www.cityofmadison.com/metro/routes-schedules/public-hearing-scheduled/public-hearing-materials
For more information on the Madison Metro Redesign process, visit the Four Lakes Group Public Transit page at https://www.sierraclub.org/wisconsin/four-lakes/public-transit.