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K Route bus service future unclear


WESTON, Wis. (WSAU) --

The future of bus service to the south Wausau metro area is still uncertain, as communities plan their 2015 budgets. The Community Life & Public Safety Committee for the Village of Weston discussed the bus service issue, but made no decision or recommendation to the village board. Village Administrator Daniel Guild says, “It was just research and discussion. No decisions have been made.”

Several bus service supporters attended the meeting, including members of the North-Central Area Congregations Organized to Make an Impact, or NAOMI. That is the same group that successfully worked to restore the K Route bus service to the south metro area through a referendum in June of 2012 with 64% support from the public. The mandate for bus service from that referendum expires at the end of this year.

Communities are looking at the issue again as they begin work on the 2015 municipal budgets. Tax subsidies for transportation have gone down in recent years, putting more of the cost on the local governments. The local governments don’t have much money, which could force them to choose between bus service and other municipal services.

Wausau’s Metro Ride system is also affected by the budget decisions of Weston, Schofield, and Rothschild. Transit Director Greg Seubert has previously said he is already working on various budget scenarios to cover K Route options, or no K Route at all. He is hoping to know by August if the villages want to keep their bus service.