What the Riders said about the Ride, the Passengers, the Driver, the Camaraderie.

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Email your comments on Bus Rides to Protest Bus Cuts

The cuts in Menomonee Falls will definitely effect where I work. We have a bus line that goes past our factory which some of our seasonal employees use to get to work. We are right now polling our workers to see the impact. Our next step will be to send a letter to elected officials stating our concerns about cutting these lines. The buses are some of the only means of transportation that some of them have to get to our plant.

Lori LaGrow

Lori’s comments reference this news account:

Barrett fights to save bus route
Posted: Aug. 30, 2007

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett urged Waukesha County officials not to drop a bus route …

Dear County Executive Scott Walker:


It’s a short sighted plan. It decreases MCTS ability to generate income, which in turn will only lead to further cuts in the future. You are starting a vicious cycle that penalizes the working poor, school children, the handicapped and the environment. Instead, increase ridership and services to make transit viable.

Advertise it is enviro-friendly. There are people who ride the bus strictly for environmental reasons. I am one of them. I own a car, but I choose to either ride my bike or ride the bus so that I do not use gasoline. Reach out to others like me.

Take steps to reduce the stigma that has grown around bussing in this town. It is not just the poor who can and should ride the bus, but that is what most people in Milwaukee think. Teach them otherwise. Raise parking fairs downtown. Make it economically undesirable to park a car. This will encourage people to take the bus and reduce traffic during the morning and afternoon commute. Use the money generated by the increased parking fees to offset the cost of transit.

Please. Fund Transit. Fix transit.

Here’s an idea - USE transit. Take the bus once, you might actually see some of the people your choices will affect.

I’ll be on the 10, 11 or 15. See you there.

Adam Traner
South Herman Street
Milwaukee, WI 53207

Dear neighbors

AND What will we do next?

August 27th, Russell and KK. Bay View rises to the occasion. So happy has our effort been, to protest bus route cuts, that our ride attracted a record number (17) on Monday, including two gentlemen from ilevel who are doing a video of public transportation in southeastern Wisconsin. They interviewed several of us. I was interviewed ON the bus! Something that has never happened to our fearful County Executive, Scott Walker, and he is the chief, the CEO, the brains behind the bus system.

We also drew into our ride two County Supervisors: Marina Dimitrijevic, that Bay View star of the County Board, totally visible to the voters, at events, accessible, friendly, and (shall we say?) always willing to go that extra mile (3 in this case).

County Supervisor Gerry Broderick and one of his east side voters, Mary Kelly, were on this ride. Gerry is so totally cut from different cloth. He is effective as a politician because there is a sense about him that he generates, it goes something like this: I’m an ordinary citizen and YOU could do my job too. (I’m not so sure) but it’s clear he trusts the voters and is unafraid to take risks himself. A politician that is willing to risk the job is going to be more effective. Gerry actually is an artist and why he put up with being on the Board for some 8 years is amazing, but he loves to make difference.

Jill, a Bay View Matters person, whose full name I did not get. (Jill? Are you out there?) Hiroko Washizu from Tsukuba City, Japan, who visits Milwaukee yearly and uses the bus to get to campus for her research and to the zoo to meet her friends including a certain Snow Leopard. And, I’ve been told, visiting the great restaurants along the Route #15. She depends on the bus to make Milwaukee accessible to her.

Janine Arseneau, a small person who lives big and supports so many things so very well. It is a credit to Bay View to have her support. If she comes to breakfast Monday, ask her about Grandmas Without Borders, Core El Centro, Urban Ecology Center. This woman is tireless.

Catherine Turminaro, who recently was my alley neighbor and now is planning to leave our fair city for a cottage up north. Thanks, Cathy, for giving Milwaukee’s bus yet another push out of the mud. Do you realize there is NO public transportation anywhere near that cottage?

Kay Augustine, Jennifer Jaworski, Adam Traner (who rides a fixie bike, how cool is that!), and others whose names will return to me. The city thanks you. The chatter around town is that cutting buses is just plain stupid. Thanks for helping bring the issue to the County Executive. And NOW please call him to tell him we are NOT done with this issue.

Scott Walker 278–4211 CountyExec@milwcnty.com

OUTPOST, LABOR DAY, 9 a.m., 2826 S. Kinnickinnic. Meet for breakfast, and talk - what should we do next? Other bus rides? The hearings? A petition? Naked protest anyone? Music on a bus? It’s all on the table. Email brought us this far, but, folks, you have to meet these heroes in person. Let’s sip coffee and munch Outpost bakery. (Breakfast runs from $2 to $6). Bring your ideas.

see you there, then
Bill and the Riders

Bay View Freedom Riders

There was a time when the people rejoiced,
Because they no longer were forced
To the back of the bus.

And then the time came
When they were no longer afforded
A ride on the bus, in the front, or the back.

And a new movement slowly emerged
(starting out in Bay View)
That brought back the bus for the people.

Viva, the Bay View Freedom Riders!

hello bus butterflies!
thank you so much
for flying out to show
your support!
how loverly you all are.
And what splendid shades of green!

lets do it again!

yes, next time…i need help getting off the busmobile
it seems this driver fears
my getting away!

love & light,
-miss jennifaire ((*~))
(August 13)

What a wonderful gathering of neighbors.

After years of hearing about her, and her fabulous brand of close to the people politics, we met Supervisor Peggy West and her strong support of working Milwaukeans - her district lies generally north and along side Marina’s. And her beautiful daughter. «Children have a different take on bus riding; Grandma used to give me a pass to take the neighborhood bus around and back to her house. (I think she wanted me out of the house.)»

Tony Zielinski, dressed to the nines ready to go to work for us. When I dropped in on a local merchant, merchant told me how Tony knows we need Routes 11 and 15 to support the kind of Bay View growth that is right for our neighborhood. This is the common wisdom of Bay View.

If you belong to an organization in Bay View, ask the leadership to support these bus rides.

In our company, a man who works for County Transit, supportive personally, and helping us understand how the process works. Another fellow I met at Transit Riders Union meeting who introduced himself as a Route 15 rider. On the bus he was coming up from the south burbs wearing green.

Godsil, ever present photographer, came by and promised us pics.

Jennifer, the only rider I’ve ever known who cannot convince the bus driver to stop by pulling the cord. Twice now. But don’t be hard on the driver; he is truly delighted to see us do this. Jennifer is bravely facing this humiliation again, and has told me she would ride again. We have a volunteer to help the driver spot the stop. ;-)

Jenny, in from Duluth to help us.

Erica, with boyfriend, whose job allows him to sleep in (I have the same complaint about doing these rides)

Steve stayed on the bus after downtown to meet more riders.

Consistent bus rider (no car, no bike), playwright, wit, Mike Neville, telling us stories about New York subways and, yes, New York buses (they have buses too.)

The bus party is growing. 12 first run. 15 second. And since YOU will be aboard August 20 or 27, it will continue to grow.

Rave review for the neighbors of Bay View I fell in love with.

We can count on each other.
love to all
Bill Sell

Party on the bus. The Way to go!

Thanks for your concern. I work for the Transit System and may not speak to the press. Many of us have been feeling very depressed as all the news is bad. We feel powerless to do anything about our fate. It seems that certain persons both elected and unelected who work for the media with talk shows that express nothing but hate are in charge in Milwaukee. The transit system’s job is to transport people in the best manner possible in the most efficient way. Over the years we have been bled dry to balance the County’s budget and now things are at the breaking point.

But enough about us. The real victims are the elderly, the handicapped, the school students and those who are unable to drive for economic reasons (including some who will be cut off from their places of employment). While not in Bay View, the Rt. 20 is also slated for extinction which besides being a slap in the face to the Hispanic community, will cut off students from Ronald Reagan High School, one of the more successful high schools in MPS. With the abandonment of the Rt 64 (S. 60th St.), the complete south end of the Rt 67 (S.84th and S. 92nd Sts.), the final abandonment of the already limited service of the Rt 35 to Southridge and the complete abandonment of the Rt 28 (S. 108th St-Hy 100-Mayfair Rd), the whole South Side will be extremely impacted by these cuts. And this is only the first round as 2009 and 2010 are slated for even more cuts. So again thank you for your concern and supportive action.

An MCTS employee

Your ticket to better transit. Use it!

steve, adam, bill, godsil, marina, tony………
And all the other lovely *green bus butterflies* i met today!!
sO nice to meet you!
thanKS… for coming out…
hOpe to see you all again
any many more faces!

please join us

next monday…
lets meet at svens at 6:30 am for coffee!!
come one come all!!
Save The Bus Routes………!!

miss jennifaire (jaworsky)
write to Jenna

I had an early morning meeting so took the 15 from KK and Oklahoma to Sven’s for my morning coffee and then walked home. It was a treat to see the dozen or so folks get on board.

I moved to Milwaukee 30 years ago and until last year I had never taken the city bus. I grew up in a town that had no transportation other than feet, cars and bikes. The bus didn’t cross my radar. Last year I decided to take the energy crisis seriously (wake up Mary) and started taking the bus to work at Marquette and Jim took the high mileage car to work in Wauwatosa. If I missed the freeway flyer I could count on the 15 to get me home at the end of the day. I met new neighbors, was able to catch up on reading and do some knitting while chatting about the weather and local news. I’m glad I made the switch and hope that I will continue to have the option to do my small part.

I no longer work at Marquette but will continue to use the bus and leave the car in the garage.

mary griffith

Wow! My wife, Chris, and I tromped down to Sven’s this morning and joined a baker’s dozen of green-clad riders to help save the 15. Most jumped off downtown, but we rode up to Brady street for breakfast and talked to some great people along the way. We met neighbors, regular riders, and elected representatives.

What struck me was the number of riders who don’t really have a voice in the debate. They simply don’t have the time or means of taking part in these discussions. I think the County Supervisor should be holding his budget hearings on these routes instead of obscure places around town. These are the people who will suffer the impact of this grandstanding.

We will be riding again next Monday. See you then?

Steve and Chris Midthun
contact: Steve and Chris

It was good to get out and do something for a cause. I saw two people that I knew, and there were enough “green” supporters on board that I knew word of the protest had gotten around.

We handed out flyers and got the word out to a lot more people, too. I am looking forward to next week. In China, I actually saw buses wave people off because the bus was too full. Maybe that will happen to us!! I wonder how many buses we can fill with green protesters.

We ride the bus, dammit, and we will not go down quietly!

My heart was warmed by the large turnout of willing bus riders this morning. We hit a magic number with 12. And we handed out 100 fliers. And I saw on the faces of some riders both surprise and delight that “someone” was taken their bus service seriously.
Our flier announced August 13 for a repeat.
Repeating makes it easier to build —
for all the wonderful new ideas we have offered each other here
Pick one
afternoon rides or anything else. YES, let’s add, build and enlarge.

repeat August 13.
Be ready to make a change, depending on what we learn.
Come on the ride and offer your ideas.
Offer your ideas here on BVM.
There are more ideas than folks just now; we need more folks.

One idea emerged without much thought.

And so - Adam, Arly, Erica and I handed out the remaining fliers to the next five #15 and #11 buses that stopped at Water and Wisconsin. These are working stiffs who just need to get through a miserable day at a miserable job. Some angry at the world. Some ignored us. And some took the flier happily. It’s possible now that a few hundred more know about the August 13 ride.

Egads, I made a mistake.
It could all go down the tubes if they actually used my face on TV tonight.
Tony was next to me, grinning, happy to be there.
I was happy to have him there.
It’s always better when you do things that everyone likes to do. Only a wretched few in this town actually want to get rid of transit; we are on the side of the angels on this one. Tony and Marina are two elected officials who stepped into this argument in public. They did not have to, did they?

Help us bring the other Supervisors on that bus; make calls and invite them, Monday, August 13, specifically, Svens, 6:45, coffee, 7 a.m. bus ride. Bay View is serious. Call them all; ride them so they ride the bus with us.

The laughs this morning, the hugs make it all worth while. I’ll do it again, just for the hugs. Someone else, please, answer that TV man’s questions.

A reporter asked me if I thought this protest would be effective.

I laugh.


If anyone could be “effective” just by a good plan, that person would be like the political genie in demand by everyone. And I assure you, I haven’t the foggiest idea about being effective. I do stuff because my genes tell me to do stuff and to make my life worth living. I’m happier tonight because of what we all did; and am proud to be part of a gang of citizens that won’t let the bus die.

rider outsider
Bill Sell
mail to Bill Sell

Last edited by billsell. Based on work by bs and ef.  Page last modified on September 04, 2007

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