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Milwaukee County's Transit Crisis: How did we get here and what do we do now?

The recent history of transit in Milwaukee County is one marked by desperation and false hope. Simply put, public funding sources have not kept pace with growth in operating costs. While warning about the consequences, transit officials have averted disaster - and perhaps inadvertently delayed a solution - by spending down reserves, deferring needed capital expenditures and implementing gradual service cuts and fare increases.
The hope was that elected officials would heed the warnings and provide a dedicated funding source - one that would be sizable enough to both restore and enhance service, including the types of improvements that would attract new riders and provide for steady revenue growth. That hope, of course, has not materialized. And now, the hole that has been dug is so deep that there are few practicable solutions.