Common Council Discusses Shared Ride Taxi Service

February 26th, 2019

An Increase in Shared Ride Taxi Service


During the Whitewater Common Council meeting that took place on Tuesday, Feb. 19, the council voted to increase the fare costs of the Shared Ride Taxi Program due to a decline in ridership.


The Shared Ride Taxi Program, Brown Cab operates under the funding of WisDOT and US FTA grants but due to the fact that citizens are not riding as much, the city of Whitewater is responsible for any balance remaining if the grants fall short of program costs.


This means that fares will have to increase in order to reach the city budget-funding requirement. Previously, the Finance Committee reviewed the potential fare changes on Jan. 15 for it to be discussed at this meeting.


The fare changes include an hourly cost to operate, an increase from $28.87 in 2018 to $31.73 in 2019-2020. The expected amount of operating fare will increase to $32,370 from $22,934 taken from 2018.


To reach this goal, the recommended motion is as follows:


  • Agency/Package delivery fares: $9.50 per trip
  • Out of town mileage fare: $2.25 per mile
  • Additional wait time: $0.40 per minute


The members of the council agreed to these changes but as it was time for the public hearing, new concerns were taken into effect.


Brienne Brown, a citizen of Whitewater, spoke at the public hearing expressing her concerns with disabled citizens not being allowed to board the transportation systems at certain times of the day.


The council members explained that all vehicles are handicapped equipped. Lynn Binnie, Alderman of District Four, stated the disabled/elderly transportation fare “really is one of the most important services.”


The hours of operation had a factor in this concern because disabled citizens were not granted access to the transportation systems around 7 p.m., when the hours of operation state that Monday through Wednesday during the university session is 7 a.m. until 9:30 p.m.


The council discussed these issues and Brown stated, “that there needs to be better communication.” There were no other citizens that spoke during this time.


Cameron Clapper’s visit to Madison


Cameron Clapper, the City Manager, went to Madison on Feb. 20 to attend the League of Wisconsin municipalities Lobby Day event. This event involves meeting with local government leaders and state representatives to discuss current issues that impact local communities.


Clapper was in attendance to give an update on the 2019-2020 Legislative Agenda, which ensures sustainable funding and efficient delivery for municipal services.


One of the Legislative priorities is to strengthen local democracy. This includes restoring municipal powers such as regulating location of cell phone towers, creating regional transportation authorities, condemning property for bike and pedestrian paths, and prohibiting short-term home rentals.


Also included to strengthen democracy is the League disapproving legislation in regards to limiting municipal authority that relates to spending and taxing decisions, police powers, land use regulation, labor relations, tax incremental financing, and water/sewer utilities.


The Legislative Agenda was discussed briefly at Tuesday’s meeting. All of the council members approved of what was on the agenda, giving Clapper permission to present it to the League in Madison.


Clapper made a presentation thanking the citizens who have been removing the snow off streets and sidewalks on these cold and snowy days we have been having.


He also reminded everyone that Tuesday’s meeting did not appear on the local TV station because of a technical glitch, but is working to get it fixed as soon as possible.