TRANSIT: Wisconsin DOT promises $13.5 million for Milwaukee transit to settle lawsuit

Suit alleges discrimination against urban minorities in $1.7 billion construction project; state promising expanded services in response

Transit News Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel May 20, 2014
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The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) has agreed to spend $13.5 million on public transit options in the Milwaukee area as part of the settlement in a two-year-old lawsuit centered around the Zoo Interchange expansion project. No immediate timetable was given for when the expanded service would begin.


The lawsuit was brought against the state in 2012 by the Black Health Coalition of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope. In the lawsuit, the two groups allege that the Zoo Interchange project discriminates against urban minorities by not including improvements to the public transportation system.


Under the terms of the settlement—which was negotiated in court-sponsored mediation—WisDOT will spend up to $11.5 million over four years for new bus routes in Milwaukee, and an additional $2.5 million in the same period for general public transit improvements, such as real-time travel information.


According to WisDOT, the exact location of the new bus routes has not been determined.


The $1.7 billion Zoo Interchange expansion is scheduled to begin in 2015 and wrap up in 2018.

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