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Lt. Gov. Barnes lends support to La Crosse mass transit program

Brad Williams

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The city of La Crosse is aiming for independence from fossil fuels over the next 30 years, and part of that campaign includes putting electric buses on city streets. 

The MTU recently acquired two electric buses, and Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes came to the city on Thursday to see the buses and talk about the state’s goals for reducing traditional auto use.

“The fact is, if we can reduce the burden, if we can get more people going the same place or going in similar directions on buses, on foot, on bike, we save our roads a lot of stress,” said Barnes, while visiting the MTU barn on Isle La Plume.    

Barnes says the bus is a good option for people who can’t afford cars, or don’t find it convenient to have one, and believes the MTU, Xcel Energy, and the state can work together on promoting cleaner mass transit.         

“We want to build healthier, safer, more accessible communities, and greener communities, and this is the path forward,” said the lieutenant governor. “And we want to be as helpful as possible with the resources that we’re able to be able to divvy up across the state.”

Earlier this year, the city approved two hybrid buses for the MTU, that can operate with gas or electric fuel.  Transit director Adam Lorentz expects the MTU to get 10 new buses over the next 18 months.     

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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