bus enters the Waukesha Metro Transit terminal.
— Cost, efficiency and time are three important aspects
for workers who commute from Milwaukee to the suburban
counties for their jobs. With a shortage of workers to
fill jobs in Waukesha, Washington and Ozaukee counties,
the WOW Department of Workforce Development Board
conducted a transit ridership survey to collect data that
could help figure out how to connect potential employees
with work and these three items were top of the list for
Catherman, president of WOW Department of Workforce
Development Board, said “it’s not as simple as saying
we need to bring people in from Milwaukee.”
better understand the decision-making process of potential
workers, several groups worked together to collect the
data via survey: Waukesha-Ozaukee-Washington Workforce
Development Board, Milwaukee County Transit System, Metro
Go, JobLines, Employ Milwaukee and Regional Transit
Two-hundred-and-seventy-nine people took the survey, which indicated 51 percent of
respondents take the bus to work, while 50 percent take a
car. Ten percent walk to work and in single-digit
percentages people carpooled, biked, participated in a
church ride share program, did a shared ride service taxi
or used another mode of transportation.
each of the categories, 100 percent of the respondents
said they would travel anywhere from 10 minutes to two
hours for wages that ranged from $18 to $22 per hour,
while at $10 to $12 per hour, 48.8 percent would travel 10
to 20 minutes, while 25.48 percent would travel 25 to 30
minutes, 18.8 percent would go 35 to 45 minutes, followed
by 15.3 percent for 60 to 90 minutes and 17.95 percent for
90 to 120 minutes.
highlight, according to the survey results, is that the
biggest drop-off was at the 30 to 45 minute mark.
15.1 percent of respondents are willing to take the bus
(172 out of 279) are willing to travel 30 to 45 minutes
for a $10 to $12 per hour job. Few respondents were
willing to travel for more than 45 minutes for less than
$18 per hour.
it comes to transfers, 27 percent said they didn’t want
to make any transfers, while 35 percent said one transfer
was OK, 26 percent said they’d do two transfers, 7
percent said three or more transfers are OK while 5
Decker, Waukesha County Board chairman, said the survey
provides “the data that we have been crying out for.”
For instance, it will aid in determining what it would
take to get workers from Milwaukee to New Berlin to fill
empty jobs in manufacturing.
the group will take the data and consult with experts in
the area and present it in open house formats.
a solution, or more than one, will likely take money.
want the data so we can say, this is the best investment
for you,” Decker said.
solution, Decker believes, will lie with a combined
of the other related issues being discussed include a lack
of bus shelters, dependable day care that is convenient
for the worker and technology that would allow riders to
see where the bus is on the route.
addition to just getting the unemployed to jobs, Decker
said the focus is also on developing them into better
employees by helping them improve their skill set.
want to take the barrier away from getting a job, and
second, from getting a better job,” he said.