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District 19

Alder Keith Furman

Image of Alder Keith Furman,
Council President

Alder Keith Furman,
Council President

Contact Information

Council Office

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

District 19 Blog

COVID-19 Update: Metro Changes, State Safer At Home Order, Voting and Property Taxes

March 23, 2020 8:38 PM

I wanted to share some of the latest news from the City about COVID-19. The Public Health Madison and Dane County's website and the City's COVID-19 website remain the best place to get up-to-date info.  

Metro Transit to Implement Free Fares & Rear Door Entry/Exit Only

Starts Tuesday, March 24

Metro Transit continues to play critical function providing transportation for employees of essential services, including hospital workers, grocery providers, and others.  For many in our community, Metro Transit is the only way to access food, medical appointments, and pharmacies.  As transit agencies around the nation are adapting service and safety protocols, Metro Transit is joining them with additional measures.

Rear Door Entry and Exit
Effective Tuesday, March 24, 2020, customers are asked to board and exit buses using the rear doors. This new required practice will continue until April 20, 2020 or until such other date as may be determined to address the COVID-19 medical emergency.  Disabled customers in wheelchairs will continue to board at the front of buses. Customers are asked to maintain social distancing and leave at least 6 feet of distance from the driver. Fares will not be collected.

Safety and Social Distancing
The following measures and requests announced March 17, 2020 continue. 

  • Capacity on Metro Transit buses is limited to 15 passengers plus the driver.
  • We ask that Metro Transit be used only for essential trips such as travel to medical appointments, grocery stores, etc.
  • Please use alternative forms of transportation if they are available to you.
  • Enter and exit the bus through the rear doors.
  • You should maintain a distance of 6 feet from the driver and your fellow passengers.

It is particularly important for riders who are at a high risk of severe illness, including paratransit riders, to avoid public transit.

High-risk individuals include:

  • People 60 years or older
  • People with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes.
  • People who have a weakened immune system
  • Women who are pregnant

Transit Service
Metro continues to follow Saturday schedules all seven days of the week. Metro will provide regular weekday (Monday – Friday) commuter service to Verona/Epic (55 & 75), Fitchburg (44, 48 & 49), Sun Prairie (23) and Middleton (72). The University of Wisconsin Campus routes currently will operate regular weekday service Monday through Friday, and standard weekend service on Saturday and Sundays.

As the situation evolves it is likely there will be additional service modifications to maintain access to essential service sectors, and potentially reduce service to low need areas.  Metro Transit will communicate service modifications as appropriate to address community needs.

Available routes and Saturday schedules can be found online at, or call Metro Customer Service at 608-266-4466.

Governor Evers: safer at Home Order

From Governor Evers: 

We have been working hard to ensure the health and safety of the people of our state as we have responded to COVID-19 in Wisconsin. We've taken some important steps, but folks, time is of the essence. So today I'm announcing we'll be issuing a #SaferAtHome order tomorrow (3/24/20).

You can read more about what this means to you on the Governor's Facebook page. More details will be released tomorrow.


The City of Madison has reserved four parking spots on Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. outside the City-County Building and the Madison Municipal Building for curbside voting starting Friday, March 20th. Voters who are high-risk for COVID-19 can register to vote and/or cast their ballot from their vehicle. High-risk populations include older adults and people with chronic health conditions. Curbside voting will be offered at 8:00 am - 6:00 pm, Monday - Friday, March 20th - April 3rd.

The Clerk's Office is open to the public. It's recommended you vote by absentee ballot if possible. You can request an absentee ballot by mail or email. In-person absentee voting locations are changing frequently, so be sure to check locations and hours online.

If you plan to vote on Election Day, please check MyVote WI on Election Day to verify your polling location.

Property taxes due on March 31

From the Finance Department:

The payment process for property taxes, including penalties for late payments, is established in State Law. Local taxing jurisdictions, including the City of Madison, cannot change payment dates or waive penalties for late payments without action by the State. The City has been in contact with the State urging action to provide this short-term relief to affected property taxpayers in response to this public health and economic emergency. Currently, there is no change in property tax due dates. We are aware of conversations surrounding this topic at the City, State, and Federal levels. If a change is made, Finance will update the website and issue a press release.

Today's Public Health Update

  • Over 1,800 tests have been run in Dane County. So far, 70 have come back positive. (Note: While they typically report the same number as what the Wisconsin Department of Health Services lists on their website, today Public Health had more real-time information to share.)
  • Over half of people with a positive test are in the 20 to 44 age group. This is likely due to the fact that many tests early on were from travelers--most of whom were working-age adults. We're seeing people from all age groups test positive, and everyone needs to take protective measures to keep themselves and their families safe.
  • About a quarter of folks with positive tests in Dane County have no known exposure to someone with a positive test, no travel history, and no healthcare exposure. This proportion is increasing. This tells us that community spread is happening. Every person who stays home makes it more difficult for COVID-19 to spread.
  • In looking at Public Health's contact investigations, those who have tested positive for the virus have increasingly fewer high-risk contacts outside the home as time goes on. This is promising, and we can continue to reduce that risk by implementing stronger orders, such as the one the Governor will be releasing tomorrow.

Discussion Regarding COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on City's Budget

It's early, but the City is already talking about possible impacts to the 2020 and 2021 budget. There was an excellent presentation at the Finance Committee meeting today you can check out.

As always, if there is anything I can do to help, feel free to reach out:

-Keith F

Tags: COVID-19

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