Why I Care About The County Bus

respectfully submitted by Bill Sell

I’ve had a (marginal) seat at the transit table in Milwaukee. No surprise that I have an opinion about the usefulness of MTS as manager of our County Transit.

I’ve learned things that the media seems to avoid. I started out as a complainer; I sit on the Milwaukee County Transit Services Advisory Committee (TSAC) as a complainer, and I’m sure when I retire from this chair I will continue to have complaints. Nothing is perfect but the strength of a local nonprofit reflects the strength of its owners, in this case, County residents.

While I still bemoan the shortcomings in Milwaukee County’s bus service I have a view of transit and a viewpoint. I would like to share something of the three years of service with you.

The question before us today is Shall Milwaukee County change transit managers?

I say a firm No in answer to that question and my reasons are supported by facts in 5 categories: paratransit management, cost savings, MTS awards, outside audits, and the power of a nonprofit institution over a national corporation.

The other day I was flabbergasted when another transit advocate told me she had never heard of the TSAC. That failure is on my desk, so let’s begin:

The Milwaukee County Transit Services Advisory Committee (TSAC) is appointed by the Chair of the County Board to advise the County Board and Milwaukee County Transit Services (MCTS); we are a dozen bus riders and a driver representing the Amalgamated Transit Union local; one of our riders depends on a trained dog and moves through the city as undaunted as a courier. I am humbled by the opportunity to have been chair for three years, but the success of the committee is its members.

And we collaborate with disability advocates who sometimes attend our meetings, which are open to the public. (That means *you* gentle reader. Please come for a visit. Stay and you will be put to work.)

To the specific question, why do I support the continuance of MTS as Transit Manager?

ASIDE< DEPENDING>>>>>>>>>>> The TSAC support the MTS proposal to continue as Transit Manager for the next five years. In the interest of meeting deadlines, I submit this Op-Ed as a personal statement.

3. PARATRANSIT SAVINGS

4. LIST OF COST SAVINGS

5. AWARDS HERE?

6. AUDITS

Last edited by Bill Sell.   Page last modified on August 11, 2013

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