The Transit Commission develops and recommends to the City Council policies on the various elements of public transportation and transportation facilities. The purpose of the Transit Commission is to provide for the safe and efficient transport of persons and goods within the community. It regularly weighs public transit options, evaluates transit operation monthly, and gives any proposals due consideration in relation to citizen needs, while also understanding operating budget constraints. Put another way, the Commission’s responsibility is to get the “biggest bang for the buck” in service and dollars, for Monona residents and businesses.
A few other “datapoints” may be helpful:
- Monona’s Sustainability Plan (2015), calls for improvements to alternative transportation networks in Monona and to support increased use of alternative transport within the community. These goals are based on a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; increased alternative transportation reduces automobile traffic.
- Through a survey completed in 2021 and anecdotally for years, the Transit Commission has heard from some in the community that they need or would like more transit, or want Monona to contract with Madison Metro, finding the private service offered to be too expensive or too limited in scope/range.
- In the City’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Report, completed in 2022, there are two recommendations specific to expanding transit: 8) Make it a priority to secure public transit to serve affordable and senior housing developments, 9) Consider transit options that are alternatives to automobile ownership when reviewing housing development proposals.
- The City’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Implementation Committee, which began meeting in January 2023, has reiterated the need to expand public transit to equitably serve more of Monona.
- The American Community Survey (ACS), which collects data not unlike the US Census, estimates that 15% of adults in Monona do not drive or own a car.
To gather more input from the community, the Transit Commission held three Public Information Meetings, accepted comments online and on paper, and conducted a comprehensive survey. The Commission also created these FAQ’s and posted all relevant documents. After thorough and careful consideration, and many more discussions with both Madison Metro and our current transit provider, the Commission made a recommendation to the City Council on December 4, 2023.
The Commission has weighed Madison Metro’s proposal, in contrast to our current public transit service, for more than two years. The Metro route now recommended is different than what was initially offered by Metro and we believe more responsive to both resident feedback and Monona needs.