transportation

Mark Gottlieb has reportedly tendered his resignation to Gov. Walker, effective January 6, as secretary of Wisconsin's Dept. of Transportation. The DOT is facing a one billion dollar deficit and sharply differing opinions about how to address it. 

Bill McChesney/Flickr

The relationship in Milwaukee between public schools and private choice schools has long been a contentious, or at least a competitive oneState funding comes attached to thousands of students who can attend either sector at public expense. Now, the concern is transportation.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation

If there’s one state issue that riles a lot of Wisconsin leaders these days, it’s transportation. Wisconsin could face a $1 billion shortfall in its next transportation budget. Should lawmakers scale back projects or find more money?

An Assembly committee held the first hearing Tuesday on the Department of Transportation's spending plan. Legislators from both political parties questioned the administration’s priorities.

Wisconsin is facing a $1 billion deficit in its transportation fund.

Gov. Walker has proposed delaying road projects because he does not support upping the gas tax or vehicle registration fee. Republican lawmaker Rob Hutton plans to reintroduce legislation that would eliminate the state’s prevailing wage when it comes to road projects.

The state of Wisconsin has had a prevailing wage law since the early 1930s. It requires companies that contract with the state to pay their employees the certain wage, benefits and overtime, based on the area in which they’ll be working.

Ann-Elise Henzl Reporter Milwaukee Public Radio

Hundreds of Milwaukeeans ride the bus every day to jobs in Waukesha County. But the funding that helps pay for the routes will dry up in a couple of years. So leaders are spreading the word about the routes' successes in hopes the service will continue -- and even grow.

Milwaukee leaders often call for businesses to create more jobs in the central city. Yet until that dream comes to fruition, hundreds of residents are finding work miles from home and using Milwaukee County buses to get there.

Michelle Maternowski

Gov. Scott Walker is drawing sharp criticism for his plan to delay highway projects, including the Zoo Interchange in Milwaukee. In the past, the governor has hailed the interchange as key to state businesses that transport products throughout the region.

Elnur / Fotolia

Anyone who's driven in the Milwaukee area recently knows that there are some roads that are in rough shape.  But do the pot holes and frost heaves and other bumps paint an accurate picture of the overall condition of the city's transportation infrastructure?

This week, Wisconsin state agencies will submit their spending requests for the next two years. Many eyes may focus on the state’s transportation budget. It faces a $1 billion deficit, and at a time when Wisconsin’s roads are rated as among the worst in the nation. There’s no shortage of opinions as to where the state could get more money.

Gov. Walker continues to insist he will not raise taxes or fees to fund road projects in Wisconsin. Co-chair of the Legislature’s budget committee Rep. John Nygren says the state has to consider increases, now that it’s heading toward a $939-million shortfall in its transportation budget.

Bad Roads Cost Milwaukee Drivers Thousands

May 6, 2016
Michelle Maternowski

Has your car ended up in the shop after hitting a pothole on a Milwaukee road or highway? A Washington D.C. based transportation research group says that’s happened to quite a few drivers in Milwaukee. Bad roads cost the average Milwaukee driver more than $2,000 a year.

Those costs come in the form of repairs, wrecks, wasted gas, and time spent stuck in traffic. 

Sebastian Joseph / Flickr

Starting February 29, Milwaukee County Transit System passengers will no longer be able to purchase paper tickets. From then on, bus rides can only be bought with cash or M-Cards, reloadable electronic smart cards.

M-Cards have been available for sometime, but now Milwaukee is following the lead of other cities across the country in eliminating paper tickets. According to MCTS spokesman Brendon Conway, M-Cards will make life easier for riders and the transit system alike.   

Bublr Bikes / facebook.com

A year after officially launching, the Milwaukee bike share company, Bublr Bikes, has big plans for the future. The company’s distinctive blue bicycles can be rented at 11 locations now, but the company plans on having 50 locations by the end of 2016 and around 100 locations by 2018.

"It's been very exciting," says Bublr Bikes Executive Director Kevin Hardman. "A year ago, I was the only employee of the organization, and we now have two other full-time staff and an additional nine part-time staff."

Most Assembly Republicans want Wisconsin to mete out delays statewide and not spare the massive Zoo Interchange reconstruction project in Milwaukee.

On Monday, 33 of 63 GOP representatives put their demands in a letter Monday to Gov. Walker and Republican legislative leaders. The 33, who represent rural and out-state districts, say they want to rein in spending on transportation until the state has the money but want any resulting delays to affect all corners of Wisconsin.

road construction
Marge Pitrof

State Republican leaders issued dueling press releases on Thursday, about their positions related to transportation funding in the next state budget.

Sen. Alberta Darling says will not retract her comment that Assembly leaders want to delay work on the Zoo Interchange, in order to pressure the state Senate to approve a hike in the gas tax or vehicle registration fees.

d76 / Flickr

As the fiscal year comes to a close, one of the biggest questions that remains is the fate of transportation funding.

Currently, the Wisconsin legislature has significant work to do with Governor Walker's proposed biennial budget, which plans to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars to pay for various highway projects. However, one program that this new budget affects especially are Wisconsin's transit programs. 

Pages