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Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Southridge dumping bus stop the right route to go

To some, the Simon Property Group was Simon Legree.

The private owner of the Southridge Mall announced last fall that a bus stop near Sears would be removed and replaced with a stop near the edge of the property, some 1,000 feet from the mall entrance. Simon cited safety concerns.

The knee-jerk reactions were predictable.

"This will be a huge inconvenience for shoppers, some of whom are elderly, others who may have disabilities or are parents of small children," Milwaukee County supervisors Mark Borkowski and Michael Mayo wrote in a news release.

"When you're talking about seniors and disabled people having to walk through traffic, in the winter weather — I mean, are you kidding me?" Supervisor Steve Taylor said at a Franklin Town Hall meeting.  "What's safer: Seeing a big bus and knowing where it is or (seeing) some person walking through the parking lot, maybe without all their faculties and being slow?"

Supporters of private property rights obviously were mean and cruel. Meanwhile opponents of Simon’s move engaged in a lot of name-calling but offered no alternative.

Research done by George Mason University shows Simon’s decision was a good one. They studied what the impact would be if bus routes were eliminated in the community that service the university. reports:

“They concluded the system could reduce travel times by 23 percent and cut operating costs by about same amount if it scrapped 43 percent of its bus stops. That may seem dramatic, but they say it wouldn't drastically reduce the number of community members served by the system.

“When bus stops are frequent, not only do buses have to stop more often to pick up and drop off passengers, they also use value time accelerating and decelerating. Those two factors alone can take up to 26 percent of total bus travel times. All that stopping and starting can also increase emissions.”

There’s more:

“…such a reduction in travel times would likely encourage more people to use the system since it could be more useful for them. Moreover, the transit system could use the savings to fund things that might encourage transit use, like cheaper fares or upgraded bus shelters.”

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