City of Madison residents: please contact your alder to support bus service to the new DMV office on Excelsior Drive. To get an ID for voting, citizens must go to the DMV. Currently there is extremely limited bus service to the new DMV location between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., so people who do not drive due to disability or economics would have trouble getting there. The following message was sent to all City of Madison alders last week.
In December, the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles plans to close its service offices on Odana Road and at the Hillfarms Office Building. Anyone who needs a Wisconsin ID for voting purposes will have to go to the DMV on Bartillon Drive, east of Stoughton Road, or to 8417 Excelsior Drive, west of the Beltline.
Metro Route 15 serves Excelsior Drive now, but there is no service between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Madison Area Technical College West is also on Excelsior Drive, and added service would no doubt help students also, in addition to workers and residents at nearby locations.
The League of Women Voters of Dane County is seeking a lead sponsor for a budget amendment to extend the hours for Metro Transit Route 15 service to Excelsior Drive According to an email sent by Metro Transit Administrator Charles Kamp today to City Clerk Witzel-Behl, the cost would be $76,500 annually.
Without the added service, a mid-day bus trip to Excelsior Drive from the west side takes about an hour, involves at least one transfer, and requires at least 13 minutes of walking.
Regent Neighborhood: 1 hour, 1 transfer, 13 minutes walking
Nakoma Neighborhood: 1 hour, 1 transfer, 25 minutes walking
Vilas Neighborhood: more than 1 hour, 1 transfer, 19 minutes walking
With the added service at mid-day, walking times from these neighborhoods would be 7 - 12 minutes, and total travel time 25-46 minutes.
As a recent UW study commissioned by the Dane County Clerk showed, thousands of Wisconsin voters did not vote in 2016 because they did not possess the correct ID (or thought they did not). The City of Madison has a proud history of doing its best to make sure that each eligible voter can cast a ballot. Please consider taking a lead role in helping non-driver citizens of Madison obtain an ID for voting by making the DMV location accessible by bus.
All budget amendments must be submitted by November 8.
Free cab rides to the Madison DMV offices are available. Anyone who needs assistance in getting an ID, because they would find a bus ride to the DMV difficult or because they could use some advice or help, should call the Voter ID Coalition at (608) 285-2141.