Noticed a flyer on a bus stop this afternoon: The Milwaukee Transit Riders Union will be holding its first public meeting on Saturday, April 28 at 10:00AM at the East Library. They have some lofty and noble goals, which I wish them luck in achieving.
For me, the crux of MCTS's problem is infrequent, irregular service. When I first started working downtown, I tried taking the bus from the East Side. I'd stand outside in the freezing cold of wintertime, often waiting 15 or 20 minutes for a bus to show up -- a time during which I could easily have driven there.
In the end, I decided that if I was going to freeze my tail off for 20 minutes, I might as well be where I'm going when it's done. I started biking instead. Now I bike most of the time, drive when it's raining or below 15 degrees, and ride the bus only when it's snowing.
People would sometimes tell me, oh, you should check the schedule!
Well, no. Even if the buses actually adhered to a schedule (and in all my experience, they do no such thing), I should not have to check a schedule. I should walk out to the stop, wait a few short minutes, and have a bus arrive. That's how a functional transit system works.
You should never have to wait more than ten minutes for a bus -- and that's only if you were a block from the bus stop when the last bus went by. Anything more is an absurd imposition on your schedule, a waste of your time. MCTS would do well to consider that.