Money eludes Dane County transit planners

By Paul Snyder

A half-cent sales tax increase would give Dane County planners the money they need to craft a regional transit strategy.

But the Dane County Regional Transit Authority needs the strategy to persuade voters to hand over the money.

“Yeah, it’s a bit of a conundrum there,” said Steve Hiniker, executive director of 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, RTA member and chairman of the Plan for Transit subcommittee. “Basically, we just have to rely on the dedication of a lot of folks.”

Hiniker’s subcommittee is piecing together the RTA’s explanation for why voters should approve the sales tax increase. That pitch, he said, must cover expanding bus service and explaining how the Madison-to-Milwaukee high-speed rail line would blend in with proposed commuter rail between Middleton and Sun Prairie.

Hiniker, like the other eight members of the RTA, is a volunteer. He said he spends 15 to 20 hours a week working on transit issues.

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