Transit advocates in Madison and elsewhere are quick to point out that traveling with one less car can save a household on average over $9,000 a year (based on national 2019 figures for traveling 15,000 miles), whether that household goes from having two to one car, one to no car or just not getting a car in the first place. Transit advocates also tout the socially inclusive nature of a public system that serves people of all ages, incomes, ethnicities, and physical abilities. And they argue that even riding diesel, rather than electric, buses can substantially cut down on one's carbon footprint while enabling road diets and the reclamation of public space disproportionately allocated to car parking. After all, the city's 2018 Comprehensive Plan's No. 1 transportation strategy (p.
Beginning August 23, 2020 Madison Metro Transit resumed a roughly 85% level of regular service (revenue hours), a huge improvement over its much leaner "essential" routing that began near the end of March. At that time, Madisonians got to see how essential it is to have a public transit system that continues to operate, even during a pandemic, and even in a much-reduced form.
As of May 17, there are 12,571 positive cases and 453 deaths from COVID-19 in Wisconsin, and 537 and 25 respectively in Dane County. The numbers will be higher tomorrow. Madison Metro's administrative offices are closed to the public but its buses continue to operate. Buses provide an essential service. Essential travel includes going to work, medical appointments and grocery stores. Passengers enter and exit the bus through the back door, if they’re able.
In the Spring of even-numbered years, Dane County elects Supervisors for two years. All 37 of them. Does that matter for public transportation? Not so far, but things could and should change. Almost half the seats on the County Board will be occupied by someone new.