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Milwaukee County bus system to get one-third of stimulus transportation funds

The Milwaukee County bus system will get about one-third of Wisconsin's $82 million transit dollars under the federal economic stimulus package.

County Executive Scott Walker, who's been critical of the stimulus concept, says he'll accept the transit aid. That's because the Milwaukee bus system has massive fiscal problems.

Last year, two outside groups said the system would have to cut service by 35 percent next year unless it receives more state or local funding.

Regional planning commission director Ken Yunker says the new stimulus money will let Milwaukee County buy some, but not all of the 155 new buses it must get.

Rob Henken of Milwaukee's Public Policy Forum says officials still need to work out a long-term fiscal solution for the transit system.

Gov. Jim Doyle's proposed state budget would allow the Milwaukee, Madison and Fox Valley areas to set up their own regional transit authorities, complete with the power to levy an extra sales tax of up to 0.5 percent.