Increase in bus fare proposed

“If anything, we feel this (increase) is not the most desirable thing to do, but it’s the lesser of two evils,” Caurso said. “It was evident that if we were to avoid service cuts, we’d have to raise fares. We’ve had customers tell us, ‘I’ll pay more, just don’t take my bus away.'”

Funding for the Milwaukee County Transit System comes from the property tax levy and state and federal aid, said Jim Villa, chief of staff for County Executive Scott Walker. The state has imposed a limit on how high counties are allowed to raise the levy, he said. Milwaukee County can raise the levy $22 million, but recent re-structuring of bonds held by the county “to take advantage of the current market” brought that amount down to about $3.5 million, he said.

Villa said Walker has not raised the tax levy at all in the budget proposal. The amount of the tax levy money going to MCTS for next year is the same as this year, he said.

MCTS is getting the same amount of money next year as it did this year from the state and federal government too, he said. MCTS needs more money to pay for increases in wages, healthcare and fuel.

“Cuts and fare raises are a