New report shows state of public transportation in Wisconsin

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- During a two-year period, 19 authors in Wisconsin compiled "Arrive Together."

A first-of-its kind report using census data, information from transit authorities and personal stories to illustrate the state of transportation in Wisconsin.

The report looked at nine municipalities throughout Wisconsin, including La Crosse and Eau Claire.

"Our current system is failing us and we need improvements as soon as possible, especially to our public transportation system. Some of the ways that that needs to happen is increased funding for transit so that it can meet the needs of people, regional collaborations," said Cassie Steiner, one of the author's of the report.

One of the ways of regional collaboration is through a Regional Transportation Authority.

Something Representative Jill Billings has been in favor of for many years.

"If we had a Regional Transit Authority they could look at the area in a more comprehensive way and look at employers or shopping areas or places where people really need to get in the region," said Billings.

Usually people with low-incomes, disabilities or seniors are the biggest users of public transportation.

But Steiner says those are not the only people affected.

"This impacts all of us. Most drivers know how frustrating congestion is and many people think that fixing congestion is just adding a lane, but continual studies have shown that that actually makes congestion worse. To improve congestion we want to move more people on fewer vehicles, so transit is your answer there," said Steiner.

The report recommends transit investment and using Regional Transportation Authorities to address economic and workforce development issues and improve other areas.

For a full copy of the report click here.