Posted: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 --- 9:50pm
As Madison Metro Transit moves forward with budget discussions, local bus riders are speaking out about what they'd like to see change.
Wednesday night, Metro Transit held a public input meeting, less than a month before Madison City Council is set to finalize the 2014 city budget.
Bus riders weighed in on everything from a want for a reduction in travel time to expansion of service at night.
But, change requires money; something Metro Transit has struggled to get more of in the past.
Metro Transit General Manager Chuck Kamp says they have a short term solution. Last week, Mayor Paul Soglin proposed a 5.5% tax levy for Madison Metro Transit. That would mean a nearly $12 million increase. It's not the best news for taxpayers, but it's good news for bus riders, like Amanda Rule, who've long awaited change, like fixing the overcrowding problem.
"When I was in Middleton, a year ago, I was on Route 70. It was always overcrowded then” Rule tells NBC 15.
Another option to covering expenses is raising the price of bus fares. But, Kamp says even though it's not completely off the table, raising fares is unlikely to happen next year.
“My message to passengers would be, from Metro's perspective, we are working to find a way not to raise any of our fares next year. But, stay tuned cause we're not done with the budget process” says Kamp.
Madison Board of Estimates will meet on October 24. Then, city council makes a final decision on the 2014 budget, during the first week of November
If you couldn't make it out to Wednesday's meeting, you can still weigh in on Madison Metro Transit.
On Friday, October 11, Metro Transit will have a tweet chat, from noon to 1pm, using the hashtag #MetroInput.