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Response to Busing Request
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On Monday, January 18, the Pleasant Prairie Village Board considered and subsequently denied a Kenosha County request that the Village consider paying Kenosha Transit its requested 316% increased fee to transport City of Kenosha residents to LakeView Corporate Park. LakeView Corporate Park’s business association previously paid $7,725 annually for limited bus service. When notified of the 316% increase for service in 2011, LakeView Business Association member businesses voted on the matter and decided to discontinue receiving the service. Members of the Kenosha County Human Services Committee, in response, asked the Village of Pleasant Prairie to pay approximately $40,000 per year to bring city workers to LakeView Corporate Park.
The Village Board considered the request along with information from SEWRPC (Southeast Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission) draft findings related to Kenosha County’s Transit Development Plan 2010-2014 – Chapter 5. After consideration, the Board voted to deny the County’s request based on the following.
- The transit system does not serve the employers who begin operations at 6:00 a.m., as the first stop in the corporate park was not scheduled until 6:50 a.m. Paying an annual fee that increased by 316%, for a limited service that does not meet the needs of the businesses it is meant to serve, does not appear to make sense.
- Village residential taxpayers, who would be paying for the service through property tax dollars, do not have access to Kenosha Transit services. They would be paying for city residents to use the service.
- The restoration of this single bus route would not address the underlying and much larger issue, which would be serving the needs assessed in the SEWRPC draft findings.
- Based on the SEWRPC findings, certain Kenosha Transit routes performed very efficiently and met the needs of those it serves, while others performed very poorly. The LakeView route was found to be one of the lowest cost and most productive routes for Kenosha Transit, yet it was eliminated.
The SEWRPC draft findings in Kenosha County’s Transit Development Plan 2010-2014 – Chapter 5 assessed: how well the transit system serves existing populations, employment and activity centers and land users; the system’s overall ridership and financial performance; and the system’s impact on reducing gasoline consumption and traffic congestion. “Considering the growth in population and employment that has taken place outside of the City limits and considering the importance of addressing fuel consumption and traffic congestion, the most logical solution to the overall issue could be the creation of a regional transit system that would not be concerned with confining service to within the political boundaries of one municipality,” explained Mike Pollocoff, Village Administrator. “A regional system could show potential businesses looking to set up shop anywhere in Kenosha County that we’re open for business and ready to see the larger employment and lifestyle picture for the benefit of the region and the State. Given the current financial condition of government in the State, however, this may be a service that cannot be afforded at this time.”