Org: Lack of buses in snow emergencies unacceptable for Madison | People
Bus advocates group says Madison needs a snow emergency bus service
The Madison Area Bus Advocates, a non-profit group comprised of citizens who describe themselves as “pro-bus,” said Madison Metro’s service shutdown during a snowstorm Dec. 21 highlights the need for a busing plan in snow emergencies.
The president and vice president of the advocacy organization -- Susan De Vos and Michael Barrett -- shared their thoughts on the need for emergency service for bus patrons during Southern Wisconsin’s frequently travel-adverse winter weather.
De Vos and Barrett said Madison’s Metro Transit needs a skeletal snow emergency plan:
Our winters are harsh; we can have excessive snowfalls, and conditions are not always amenable to a "business as usual" format. So despite all our technology, there are simply times when we need a contingency plan, as during the recent blizzard of Thursday, Dec. 20.
Fortunately, Wisconsin’s governor declared a state of emergency that day so all government offices, schools, and other enterprises uniformly shut down.
But the next day, despite entreaties from the sheriff and others to stay off the roads, many people had to travel. For example, UW-Madison’s campus insisted staff and students conduct regular business (it was finals week). City of Madison offices opened. Madison is also home to a number of hospitals and state emergency operations, neither of which can just take a break when the weather is bad outside. Madison is the state capital and county seat. It always needs to stay operative, even if in a very limited way. But since Metro did not feel that it could run all its weekday routes safely that Friday, Dec. 21, it shut down completely.