Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Draft RTA Plans - Part 2

Part Two of the Draft RTA transit plan:

Plan for Transit


1. Public Participation

From its very first public meeting of March 4, 2010 the Dane County Regional Transit Authority has encouraged public comment on its role and assignment and no meeting has passed without the public offering comments.

The RTA guaranteed public participation in its work by adopting at its first meeting a resolution that it would not impose the statutorily permitted sales tax without a positive vote in a referendum by the voters of the RTA.

The RTA has rotated its meeting locations throughout the RTA geographic area to encourage citizens from around the region to be able to attend and comment. To date meetings have been held in the following communities.

The City of Madison

The City of Middleton

The City of Fitchburg

The City of Monona

The City of Sun Prairie

The City of Verona

The Village of Waunakee

The Village of Shorewood Hills

The Town of Westport

At meetings around the region local communities have presented information on comprehensive plans, land use plans, and transit plans. The RTA board members have been addressed or met with representatives of current transit operators and providers including Madison Metro which has other community partners, the Monona Lift, the Sun Prairie shared ride taxi system, and specialists in Elderly and Handicapped transit services. Transit Commissions have been consulted in Fitchburg, Sun Prairie, Monona, and Madison. Results from the Waunakee/Westport transit survey have been presented.

A web site DaneCountyRTA.org has been established which posts agendas and minutes of the RTA in addition to these being posted with the Dane County Clerk. Draft principles approved by the RTA for the transit plan have been posted. Links are provided to other sources of transit planning and information including the Madison Area MPO and Transport 2020.

2. Advisory Group

The RTA has formed an Advisory group of citizens to broaden participation in transit planning. The group includes additional municipal officials, members of several local transit commissions in the area, major employers and labor, business and environmental groups, and citizens. The Advisory Committee is expected to provide comments on draft documents and assist the planning process.

3. Ongoing Review of Planning

The RTA members have acknowledged the need for ongoing and more detailed planning beyond a plan for transit for voter consideration at a referendum. The Madison Area MPO does transit planning as part of the overall transportation planning for the area. The RTA does not seek to duplicate that work but rather build on it. The several transit operators and area municipal governments also do more detailed transit plans and the RTA will benefit from their efforts again avoiding duplication.

4. Local Government Input

Once a draft plan for transit is prepared local governments within the RTA area and in Dane County outside the RTA will be provided copies. The plan will be shared with the Madison Area MPO, which does comprehensive transportation planning including highways and other modes. Comments are welcomed.

5. Public Hearing

The RTA will hold a public hearing on the Plan for Transit. All are welcome to attend and voice concerns, comments, support or opposition.

6. Outreach and Education

Upon approval of a plan for transit services in the RTA area the RTA members will communicate the plan to the press, public bodies and citizens. RTA members appointed by specific jurisdictions will, as part of their ongoing relationships, present the plan to the appointing authorities. The plan for transit services will be on the RTA website. Again copies of the approved plan will be provided to local governments. Speaking engagements and media opportunities will be sought and welcomed.

7. Referendum

The RTA will seek support for the plan of transit services at a referendum of RTA voters at a regularly scheduled election.

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