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Alder Scott J. Resnick

Alder Scott J. Resnick

Home Address:
661 Mendota Ct # 1404
Madison , WI 53703

Phone: 608-807-7962
Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service

Reductions to campus bus services

May 3, 2012 1:46 PM

Today, the University will introduce to the public a series of reductions to the 80 routes that service much of campus. I hope to provide some more details for the cuts by University and outline my perceptive as an alder.

The University contracts with the City of Madison Metro for 80, 81, 82, 84 and 85 bus routes. These contracts are negotiated every several years and outline gross fare rates for unlimited rides. The University is one of several organizations that contract these services that also include MATC, Edgewood, Meriter, and Epic.

How the contracts were last negotiated, the University pays a slightly better rate than any other partner in town- roughly $1.00 per ride compared to $1.15 paid by other unlimited ride partners. Since the University generates over 400% more ridership than its next closest partner, these competitive bulk rates work for the City.

Roughly six weeks ago the University requested the Metro provide options for cutting 3,200 hours of bus service (10%), a cut of approximately $150,000.  Metro complied, offering options that will be presented tomorrow and included here:

  1. Headways (the time between buses) for the Route 81 night bus route increase from 15 minutes to 30 minutes. This change brings the headway for Route 81 in line with the existing headway for Route 82.
  2. Headways for the Route 85 bus increase from 10 minutes to 20 minutes between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Headways remain at 10 minutes between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., Monday through Friday.
  3. Adjust the Route 80 and Route 85 bus schedules to optimize service. The adjusted schedules preserve most Route 80 headways, increase Route 85 headways slightly and combine a portion of the Route 85 geography with the Route 80 geography.

These service cuts are massive to both on and off campus life. After speaking with student representatives and leaders across various organizations, I am not confident the large impact of these reductions have been communicated to the general student body. I believe University partners need to work towards a better campus solution in maintaining strong levels of ridership.

Today, I will offer another option and challenge to the University. Please work to maintain the exact same Route 81 headways on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. 30-Minute wait times discourage ridership and create a less safe environment for those on Langdon Street. I will make an updated post with that cost later today, but it will be well worth the investment to provide a safe commute on campus over the weekend. 

Meanwhile, I hope to start investigating alternative solutions to late night transportation with Metro, other Alders and the Mayor's Office. If the University Transportation Committee discontinues these valuable services, the City will work on a "Plan B" to protect the interest of students. 

There will be two public hearings to discuss these changes. The first will be tonight at 7 pm, Memorial Union - Inn Wisconsin (Second Level East Wing). The second will be on Wednesday May 9th at 215 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Room 260 in front of the  Metro Transit and the City of Madison Transit Committee at 6 pm. 

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