Hannah Kasun: Walker administration should focus on existing transit options for workers

The column below reflects the views of the author, and these opinions are neither endorsed nor supported by WisOpinion.com.

WisOpinion.com recently featured an opinion piece titled “Ray Allen: ‘Commute to Careers’ program connects talent with opportunity.”

It is certainly true that Commute to Careers is promising for those in Wisconsin who lack accessible and affordable transportation to work. However, if there is money to be spent on transportation issues, it should first be put towards saving an existing public transportation initiative called JobLines, which is set to lose its funding at the end of this year. JobLines, made up of Milwaukee County Transit System routes 6 and 61, has proven to be reliable and affordable public transportation solution that connects 1,000 daily riders from Milwaukee to jobs in the city’s suburbs.

According to the preliminary results of a study conducted by the UW-Milwaukee Center for Urban Development, 45 percent of these riders would have to quit their job if the lines were cut, and 89 percent say that the lines have been “extremely important” to their ability to find and keep a job. If Gov. Scott Walker really wants to help Wisconsinites get to work, he needs to first focus on saving JobLines and the jobs that depend on it before funding a new initiative.

— Kasun is a native of Delafield and spent much of her time in Milwaukee while growing up. As a student at UW-Madison she is interested in the intersection of society and the environment, and is currently working with the John Muir Chapter of the Sierra Club to advocate for transportation equity.”