Build a light rail passenger service connecting the airport, Capitol East District, downtown and UW campus. Consider extending service to Hillfarms area and provide park-and-ride capacity at Hillfarms and at the airport.
Response: 1. Metro Transit and the City of Madison worked with community leaders in 2009-2011 to form a regional transit authority (RTA) that would result in additional funding for investments in new services such as improved service to the airport, and high capacity service to different corridors, which could include the airport. In 2011 a plan (see attached) was adopted that referenced the need for future study for high capacity transit, such as bus rapid transit, to corridors throughout the service area. Since that time, a couple things have occurred. First, a BRT conceptual plan was prepared by several local and regional planning bodies, and completed in 2013 - see attached link (http://madisonareampo.org/documents/BRT_two-page_Summary.pdf). Although the intial conceptual plan did not envision service to the airport, the study was only a conceptual one and changes could occur through the upcoming City of Madison Transportation Master Plan, where high capacity transit is expected to be a focal point (see link http://www.madisonareampo.org/planning/documents/tmp-scope-mpo-060612.pdf). Service to the Capitol Square, UW campus, and Hilldale area are included in the conceptual plan. Second, the regional transit authority (RTA) enabling authority was rescinded by the legislature, but support is growing to reintroduce RTA legislation in the state, and filling these kinds of service gaps would most likely be considered then. Metro Transit andt the Mayor's office are working with key legislators to reintroduce RTA enabling legislation.
2. As noted above, the BRT conceptual plan is likely to get more review through the City's Transportation Master Plan process. Additionally, a more technical plan would need to be developed in order to be considered for funding by the Federal Transit Administration. Finally, the RTA wll continue to be reviewed by community and state leaders, and this is likely to be a key item to be resolved before high capacity transit can be implemented in our region.
3. N/A - This service improvement is feasible with added investment through completion of the Transportation Master Plan, a detailed technical design and engineering review, and a new funding source like an RTA.