To the Milwaukee County Transit System Administration and Drivers,
We write this letter as riders of the Milwaukee County Transit System and as representatives of the tens of thousands of students who also ride and pay for this service. A bus pass is purchased by thousands of people, not only students at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and Marquette, but also other community members who live and/or work in the city.
Summer classes at our universities, like other universities, are full courses that may meet for fewer days during the semester. Because of this, missing multiple days of class and study time at the library severely impacts students’ education and their ability to achieve success in the future. For many students, this is the last class that they need to take for graduation. If their grade suffers and they fail the class, they may have to stay an extra semester in school to finish at a high expense.
Those who are placed at the biggest disadvantage because of this work stoppage are those that truly need it most. It is the student who is not able to purchase a car or whose family doesn’t have an extra car or a car at all—the less wealthy, less privileged student—that gets hurt the most. Furthermore, both UWM and Marquette both have students who are unable to walk because of a disability they may have. This three-day stoppage affects their ability to get around at all.
Additionally, there are thousands of students at these universities that work summer jobs to help pay for their school, rent, food, and for many, familial expenses.
We urge the Milwaukee County Transit System and the drivers thereof to reach an agreement. UW-Milwaukee and Marquette students, as well as, our fellow community members are hurting as a result of this impasse.
An incredible 74% of UWM students remain in Wisconsin after graduation, and a large portion of Marquette students do as well. Whether a temporary home for some students or permanent for others, the City of Milwaukee holds a place in our hearts and we sincerely hope that both parties can come to an agreement.
Mike Sportiello, Student Body President, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Zack Wallace, Student Body President, Marquette University