Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Residents receive alternate bus route

By Maddy Scheel

Feb. 24, 2016

Two months after the loss of funding for public transportation, Whitewater residents receive an alternative route.

The new bus route is called Milwaukee-Janesville Loop.

It makes two daily stops in Whitewater on the way from Janesville to Milwaukee.

Although the bus is not a replacement for the Janeville-Milton-Whitewater (JMW) bus express, which ran several times a day between the communities, it is an alternative, said Rebecca Smith, the Janesville Director of Transit.

The new bus route running is through Coach USA and started up on Feb. 15.

Residents and students are affected by the discontinuation of the bus route, and some have voiced their concerns to Smith.

“I think it is probably a range of people who are affected,” Smith said. “We serve the UW-Whitewater campus, as well as workers going to Generac and Freedom Graphics in Milton. I would say, predominantly the people I’ve heard from were more workers trying to get to work, but there were also some students that were affected as well.”

Smith said any time there are changes to a specific service, some people are bound to be disappointed or upset.

The loss of funding was not the only factor that caused the route to close; much of the reason for closing it down was due to having a lack of sponsors and a decrease in ridership,” said Chris McDonell, assistant city manager of Whitewater.

The route was made primarily to get workers without access to personal transportation to their workplaces in Milton and Janesville, but served as an outlet for UW-W students who needed access to stores and services outside of Whitewater.

The route  no longer runs through Whitewater because Generac Power Company pulled its funding, which gave $15,423  annually for the bus.

According to a Sept. 16, 2015 Royal Purple article, the sponsors for 2015 included the City of Janesville ($15,923); the City of Milton ($30,112); and UW-W University Housing and Residence Hall Association ($3,711), totaling $65,169 in sponsorships.

“The last major sponsor for the route, Generac Power System, indicated that they were no longer interested in funding the route,” Smith said. With the loss of that significant sponsorship I could not recommend that Janesville Transit continue providing service to Whitewater.”

Another main reason for the route being discontinued was the lack of funds in the city budget for it.

“Certainly any time you change a service level…every service level has users and every service level has people who are champions of that service,” Smith said.

It’s unclear whether the JMW bus route will ever come back, Smith said.

“You know, if there was ever an [agreement] with sponsors who were interested in the service, it would be my responsibility to examine that as an option for service,” Smith said.

For rates and route information for the Milwaukee-Janesville Loop, go to the City of Whitewater’s Transportation website.

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Founded 1901
Residents receive alternate bus route