County to Lose $4 Million on GO Pass – Alexander Supports Immediate Fix to Flawed Program
MILWAUKEE—(July 13, 2016) The Milwaukee County Department of Transportation today recommended that the County discontinue the “free” bus ride GO Pass program because of its extreme cost to county taxpayers and negative effects on the transit system as a whole.
Supervisor Deanna Alexander sounded the alarm in 2015 that transit advocates and senior citizen groups opposed the GO Pass and that reports foretelling millions of dollars in lost revenue were hidden from public view. The Milwaukee County Board pushed forward anyway, and when major losses were confirmed GO Pass supporters feigned surprise and distrust.
“Policymakers went our of their way to hide the true costs of this program and now those selfish actions are coming back to bite us,” said Supervisor Alexander.
During today’s meeting of the Transportation, Public Works and Transit Committee, Supervisor Dimitrijevic, the author of the GO Pass program, claimed that eliminating the program would offensively take a service out of the hands of seniors and the disabled. However, Supervisor Alexander contends that if the County Board had not ignored the fiscal projections while it so aggressively carved out this unnecessary program, there would not be a $4 Million dollar per year problem to fix.
“GO Pass supporters are missing the big picture by claiming that the pass leads to independence. The GO Pass is a free handout of public money to people who all become dependent on the government gift. When people ask for better service, you don’t just slash the price to zero and give everything away for free,” Alexander continued.
Don Boehm, Director of the Milwaukee County Transit System reported that an average of 50 people per day sign up for the “free” GO Pass, 89% of which are current bus riders whose contributions to bus system revenues are lost going forward.
“Our bus system is bleeding taxpayer money and it is primarily the fault of liberal Santa-Clause-style policies that see every person as an opportunity for coerced dependence on the government. I fully support immediately replacing this program with reasonable and fiscally responsible public policy.” Supervisor Alexander concluded.