The City of Madison will receive over $7.5 million to purchase 15 new public transport buses as part of a $18 million public transit grant for Wisconsin communities announced Wednesday.
Gov. Tony Evers unveiled the grant with Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary-designee Craig Thompson and Wisconsin Department of Administration Secretary Joel Brennan.
The grant will help fulfill requests for 34 public transit buses from the cities of Beloit, Wausau, Sheboygan, Madison, Eau Claire, Racine, Green Bay and La Crosse. Madison will use its share of the funding to purchase 15 new buses.
“We know that reliable transportation is critical for many Wisconsinites,” said DOA Secretary Brennan. “I am proud we can support these communities by investing in their public transportation efforts through these grants.”
The grants are part of the second round of State of Wisconsin Transit Capital Assistance Grants made possible by the Volkswagen Mitigation Program. The program was established after the Volkswagen Group of America admitted to violating the Clean Air Act from 2009 to 2016 by selling nearly 590,000 diesel engine vehicles that used software designed to cheat on federal emissions tests.
“Wisconsinites from Beloit to Eau Claire depend on reliable public transit systems for everything from getting to work or school safely, visiting the doctor and everyday things like grabbing groceries,” said Gov. Evers. “It is not only a more sustainable form of travel, but it is also an economic driver, and this critical investment will support communities across our state.”
The grant has been received well by other leaders across the state.
“This is an amazing opportunity for our community to improve our aging public transit infrastructure while reducing our carbon emissions! While continued investment is needed in public transit, this grant funding is a great boost for Racine and will help people get where they need to go,” said Rep. Greta Neubauer, D-Racine.
Sen. Jeff Smith, D-Eau Claire, also echoed his support for the grant.
“Continued support for local transit systems wouldn’t be possible without Governor Evers’ leadership. Public transport investments, including the grants announced today, improve our community’s sustainability efforts and provide the support families need in these uncertain times,” said Smith.