Janesville61.1°

Milton could get taxi program

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Stacy Vogel
September 23, 2009
— As executive director of The Gathering Place, Paula Schutt sees a need for public transportation in Milton.

"Because Milton doesn't have any way for seniors who have no car to get around, it makes it very, very difficult for folks to go to the doctor, to get their hair done, to go to the grocery store, all those things that make our lives keep going," she said.


But that need could butt heads with a tight 2010 budget.


The city council got its first look Tuesday at a proposal to bring a shared-ride taxi program to the city. AECOM Transportation, a consulting company, conducted the study as part of a larger study looking at transportation options between Janesville, Milton and Whitewater.


Several local communities offer shared-ride taxi programs, including Edgerton, Fort Atkinson, Jefferson and Whitewater, the study says. The cities all contract with the same private company, Brown Cab, and users pay fares subsidized by federal, state and local money.


The study estimates a Milton program would cost about $105,000 in its first year. It estimates the city could receive $30,000 in fare revenue and $60,000 in federal and state money, leaving $15,000 for the city to cover.


The proposal includes regularly scheduled trips to the north side of Janesville, where riders could connect to the Janesville Transit System.


Rock County already offers specialized transit for disabled and elderly people, but the program is overwhelmed, Schutt said. It prioritizes medical trips and often doesn't have resources to meet other needs, she said.


"We have a need in addition to what they provide," she said.


Mayor Tom Chesmore said Milton has been talking about a program like this for years. Several people spoke about the need for transportation during listening sessions he held in June, he said.


"The stickiest part is going to be finding the money," he said.



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