Tuesday, August 14, 2018

When does Walker run as 'the pro-transit governor' [Sic]?

As we know, Walker savaged the teaching profession, deeply cut K-12 and UW system funding - - but is running as 'the pro-education governor.'

So when does he start campaigning as 'the pro-transit governor,' having been forced through a court order to add a pittance of funding for some bus services in the $1.7 billion Zoo Interchange project, later reduced bus purchase statewide funds and made them less useful to system operators, including having:

*  Cut bus purchase dollars:
The governor also used his veto powers to...shift how the state uses $42 million from a national settlement with Volkswagen for violating clean-air laws. The Legislature wanted to give $32 million to local transit systems and use $10 million to replace state vehicles. Walker would allow more money to be used for state vehicles.
*  And here's how that's playing in Eau Claire
Money from Volkswagen’s settlement over its emission scandal is intended to help Wisconsin cities buy new buses, but Eau Claire may not apply for those funds because there are strings attached. 
Wisconsin is making $32 million in grants available for replacing public transit buses, but cities who use that money will have to forego part of the annual aid they get from the state for 10 years.
*  Meanwhile, while transit advocates like urbanist and Milwaukee Ald. Bob Bauman are pushing for transit options to serve the Foxconn site which is in something of a service desert given transit disconnects engineered by Walker and his GOP sidekick State Rep. and now-Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, it appears Walker's people are offering warmed-over word salad and little else on the transit menu.

(Reader rule of thumb: when you see officials caught off-guard responding to media with  "implement...plan...partnerships...incentivize coordination," just stop reading.
FOX6 News reached out to both Foxconn and the governor's office. The company did not immediately respond. A spokeswoman for the governor's office referred our question to the Department of Administration. 
Steve Michels, spokesman for the DOA, said Governor Scott Walker has asked the Department of Workforce Development to "implement a multi-county transportation plan through partnerships with local governments and the Department of Transportation to incentivize coordination of transit services and reduce route gaps." What, exactly, that would look like and how it would affect commuters is unclear at this time.
Come to think of it, by these standards, Walker is the clean government, clean air, clean water governor, too.

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