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Letter: Coalition endorses transit improvements, vehicle registration fee

For Immediate Release

City of Madison Common Council

210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Madison, WI

53703

 

Monday, October 28, 2019

 

Dear Members of the Madison Common Council,

The undersigned organizations write in support of the proposal to create a municipal vehicle registration fee of $40 in order to make critical improvements to the region’s transportation system. We believe that the proposal before you is fair, well-conceived, and integral to the success of the City’s Metro Forward plan. This proposal and Metro Forward are important steps toward transforming our shared transportation system to better meet the needs of the region’s residents while cutting harmful emissions from this heavily-polluting sector. 

The current transportation system isn’t working for many people in our state and region. From car commutes to bus rides, travel takes too long and pollutes too much. Madisonians without access to a car and those who get around in ways other than driving are often cut off from the places they want to go. The transportation sector, and personal car travel in particular, is responsible for nearly one third of greenhouse gas emissions in the state. And transportation pollution poses serious threats to public health. 

To enhance the quality of life in our communities, do our part to reduce harmful emissions and protect public health, it’s time to make a change: Madisonians need more clean and healthy transportation options like public transit, walking and biking. We must also do more to speed the transition to an all-electric transportation system. And we must do a better job at assessing the true costs to our communities, to our environment and to public health of a fossil-fuel-powered, personal-car-centered transportation system.

The proposal before you would help accomplish these goals in a way that is practical, fair and effective. Adopting a $40 vehicle registration fee while directing revenues toward improving existing Madison Metro service, preparing the region for bus rapid transit (BRT), and making the transit system accessible to more young people and adults is an important step toward  a clean transportation system that works for everyone.

We appreciate the Council's concerns regarding the impact of a $40 registration fee on low-income drivers. However, we believe that the proposed accompanying investments in expanded transit service and other measures will help offset this burden.

We thank you for your work in service of the Madison community, and for your efforts to create a clean, effective transportation system for all in the region.

Sincerely,

Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group (WISPIRG)

RENEW Wisconsin

1000 Friends of Wisconsin

Clean Wisconsin

Wisconsin Environment

350 Madison (added 10/29/2019)

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