Transit Task Force

Next Meeting: Second Thursday of every month at 11:00am via Zoom

Transit Task Force

Join CUSH, RIC, MICAH and SOPHIA Transit leaders, along with transit advocates from Sierra Club, WISPIRG, and our other transit partners, to check in on our strategy to make sure our transit priorities are reflected in the new state budget and to make other plans for our transit work.

Please join us -- all are welcome!

Meetings: Please contact Sister Barbara at the email/phone number below to be added to her email notification list.

Contact: Sister Barbara Pfarr at bpfarr@wisdomwisconsin.org or 414-841-2762

Recent Work & Resources

February Update

The focus of the SOPHIA Transit Task Force for the next few months is the state budget! We must make sure that increased funding for transit and local roads doesn’t get stolen by the proposal to expand I-94. Spending an estimated $1 billion on this project at the expense of fixing our local roads and repairing our existing road and transit infrastructure is a big price to pay for a mere 3.5 miles of interstate. Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s public  transportation system and local road system are languishing due to lack of investment.

The plan to expand I-94 would worsen the climate crisis, negatively impact public health, and exacerbate racial injustice.

1. It would worsen the climate crisis. The transportation sector is the largest contributor to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in the US. Expanding highway infrastructure that caters to single passenger traffic will increase carbon emissions. This project is in direct conflict with the expressed goals of the Governor’s Climate Task  Force. Here’s the bottom line: climate-friendly governors do not expand highways. 

2. It would negatively impact public health. Because highway expansion almost always increases the number of cars on the road, air pollution increases with these projects. Traffic pollution causes asthma, cardiovascular disease and dementia. Entertaining the idea of expanding a highway during a pandemic is inexcusable.  

3. It would exacerbate racial injustice. Wisconsin’s decades-long focus on highway transportation instead of public transit investments has worsened the region’s racial and economic segregation. Not only are highways a physical barrier, but they also increase air pollution in the surrounding communities - which are Communities of Color. In 2014, the federal government found that the Zoo Interchange caused “irreparable harm,” to minority communities. This project on the same corridor is no different. Members of low income and minority communities often lack reliable transportation options. Yet, this project is being reconsidered even at a time of heightened awareness about structural racism in Wisconsin. 

Our strategy: We’ll be participating in WISDOM’s training events through the School for Democracy (https://wisdomwisconsin.org/sign-up-for-wisdoms-school-of-democracy/), all leading up to Madison Action Day on April 15, then following up with our state legislators.

We all saw on January 6 th the wrong way for people to make their voices heard. We’re committed to do it the right way and we hope you’ll join us!

Click the video to listen to Sister Barbara's testimony

Transit Equity Day Hearing

On February 4th, the chair of SOPHIA's Transit Task Force, Sister Barbara Pfarr, gave a testimony during the national Transit Equity Day hearing. Her testimony starts at 43:21 if you'd like to listen to it. Thank you Sister Barbara for taking the time to provide a testimony!

Arrive Together: Transportation Access and Equity in Wisconsin

A first of its kind report, "Arrive Together" shows how people’s needs are not being met by Wisconsin’s transportation system. The report examines the effectiveness of public transit access to major employers and other areas of interest in nine cities and regions across Wisconsin. It highlights stories from transit riders, opportunities for improvement within transit systems, and the serious barriers and needs for improvement at the state level.