Mayor Frazier and the City of Milton Common Council are pleased to report the 1st quarter success of the community’s investment into the Innovation Express. The Innovation Express is a jointly funded bus services that transports people to the Cities of Milton, Janesville and Whitewater. According to Janesville Transit System records, Milton passengers boarding at locations outside the Piggly Wiggly pick-up and drop off increased by a whopping 411% with 435 rides taken during the first quarter of 2014 compared to just 85 last year.
Mayor Brett Frazier commented on the first quarter report by stating "The Innovation Express was a priority for the City of Milton. Public transportation is an important component of economic and community development for our City and the Council and I felt confident that, if given time, ridership would validate our investment in the program. Obviously these numbers bear that out and we still have the opening of the Blackhawk Technical College’s Advanced Manufacturing Training Center coming later this summer."
Despite a reduction in the number of trips due to the loss of a federal grant, the City of Milton was among the first of the regional stakeholders to commit to an increased investment in the service, and increased its budget contribution from $15,000 in 2013 to just over $27,000 to continue the service in 2014. Mayor Frazier traveled to Whitewater and encouraged their Council to continue an investment, and through the continued efforts of JTS Director Dave Mumma, the University of Wisconsin Whitewater has also continued to promote and invest in this regional service. The thoughts behind the regional approach to the service is that it affords all three communities the opportunity for people to connect to the regional assets and employment opportunities that each community has. Mayor Frazier went on to state "We can talk about the economic benefits of this service, but the Innovation Express is also helping citizens of Milton connect to resources like doctors and shopping in Janesville and education in Whitewater. I believed as Mayor that this service was not just a value to our employers, but also to our citizens as they seek to take advantage of the benefits of the high quality of life in Milton while still accessing the amenities of other communities."