Mayor & Co Exec Team Up to Seek Replacement for WTA Services

January 27, 2006

Madison – Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk are teaming up to fill the gap in community transit services following the closure of Women’s Transit Authority (WTA). WTA, which ceased operations earlier this month, was a unique provider of transit services for low-income families, women, children, persons with disabilities and others. United Way is assisting the City and County in their efforts.

“WTA filled a unique, niche role in providing vital transit services to our most vulnerable citizens,” said Cieslewicz. “We are going to move swiftly to fill the void that has been left by WTA’s closure, and continue to provide these citizens with the services they depend upon.”

“We are hopeful to pick up where WTA left off, providing transit to low-income families, women, children and persons with disabilities,” said Falk.

“United Way welcomes the collaboration of these strong partners to find a way this valuable service can be replicated,” said Deedra Atkinson, Senior Vice President, United Way of Dane County. “United Way 2-1-1 is connecting people with existing services, but currently resources are limited. Together, we can find a solution.”

Under the plan:

o A Request For Proposals (RFP) to replace the services offered by WTA will be quickly developed and released. At least two nonprofit organizations have expressed potential interest in the program.
o In conjunction with the RFP, a conference for prospective vendors will be held in early February to provide more information about the program.
o Madison Metro will take calls from citizens who previously relied upon WTA services, and attempt to find them alternatives for their transit needs.
o Dane County will facilitate getting the new vendor into the Medical Assistance program, to help solidify the funding base for the program.
o United Way will work with their Safe Community, Strong Neighborhood team to assist the City and the County in replacing the services previously offered by WTA.

In 2005, the City of Madison last year provided $83,919 for WTA’s night ride service and $5,000 for services to the Allied Drive neighborhood. Dane County provided $5,300 for the night ride service and $74,000 in federal funds for rides to people eligible for medical assistance.

Contact:
  • George Twigg, Mayor's Office, 608-266-4611
  • Lesley Sillaman, County Executive's Office, 608-267-8823