Madison Takes Steps to Improve Metro Bus Service

Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 4:02am

Madison - Mayor Dave Cieslewicz praised last night's action of the Common Council to improve Madison Metro bus service. The Council approved two measures: the first authorizes the City to pursue an unlimited ride program for small businesses; the second authorizes the construction of new bus shelters on the Capitol Square.

"Buses are the backbone of Madison's public transportation system," said Mayor Cieslewicz. "These improvements are part of our ongoing efforts to strengthen Madison Metro and help it fulfill its potential as a vital part of our workforce transportation system."

The unlimited ride program for small businesses would create a pool through which these employers could offer free bus passes to their employees. This program would build on the existing program that large employers such as the University of Wisconsin and St. Mary's Hospital currently participate in. Creation of the program was part of the economic development agenda introduced by the Mayor last fall.

"The expansion of the unlimited ride program supports our local small businesses, increases ridership for Metro, and helps the environment by reducing traffic and emissions," said Mayor Cieslewicz. "It also creates a valuable new employment benefit for small business employees that has previously only been available to employees at Madison's largest institutions."

The Council also voted to authorize the construction of modern new bus shelters on the Capitol Square. The new shelters will feature a more attractive, comfortable design with improved visibility and other benefits. They will be a fitting part of the streetscape surrounding the State Capitol, in keeping with its status as a statewide tourist attraction and the seat of state government.

The Mayor said that these initiatives will help further strengthen Madison Metro which is already experiencing record ridership. A recent report by the state found Metro to be one of the most efficient transit operations of its size, with a ridership rate twice as high as the average.

  • George Twigg, (608) 266-4611