Transportation Alternatives

If you don't have or don't want to drive a private car, what are your transportation options in the area?

MTU - La Crosse Municipal Transit Utility. Fixed route service from south La Crosse through Onalaska and into La Crescent, Minnesota. Every MTU bus has a two-bicycle rack. Per ride fares ($1.50 adults/$0.75 seniors/disabled) and monthly passes. Connects with Onalaska/Holmen/West Salem Public Transit at Valley View Mall. MTU transfer pass accepted by OHWS Transit.

While there are few official park and ride lots, parking and riding can save commuters big money! Depending upon your schedule, you may consider parking and riding from Woodmans, Valley View Mall, Center 90 (limited MTU schedule), Bridgeview Plaza, Walmart south, and K-Mart on State Road.

Consider this example. Your commute to your job in downtown La Crosse is 40 miles round trip and you pay about $30 per month to park your car. Assuming you work about 21 days per week and using the federal gas mileage rate of about $0.55/mile (takes into account fuel, depreciation, maintenance, and vehicle wear and tear), your monthly commute costs about $492. If you drove 10 miles to Woodmans and used a monthly bus pass ($35) to take the bus to and from your work, your monthly commute would cost only $266. The annual savings would be more than $2,500. If parking rates and/or fuel costs were to rise, the savings would be even more. Plus you would not have to worry about driving in congested traffic and could use your time on the bus to read, nap, or work. In addition, 45 individuals, each driving her/his own car creates congestion and pollution, where 45 individuals each riding in one bus does not.

Onalaska/Holmen/West Salem Shared Ride Taxi. Shared ride service. Must call ahead to arrange pick up. Per ride fares and coupon books. OHWS transfer accepted by MTU. Transfer to MTU at Valley View Mall.

Enterprise Car Share.  Enterprise car share ended in 2017 because of lack of interest.

La Crosse County Minibus. County aging unit service for elders (60+) and disabled county residents. Must arrange ride by 2 p.m. of the day BEFORE the trip. Limited hours. All vehicles wheelchair accessible.
Scenic Mississippi Regional Transit (SMRT). Regional public transportation with three routes. Weekdays only. Per ride fares, punch cards, or month passes. Every bus has a two-bike rack and is wheelchair accessible.
  • Route 1 - Blue Route (Monday - Friday) has three routes that all start in Viroqua, then stops in Westby, Coon Valley to La Crosse. This route then returns to Viroqua through Coon Valley and Westby. Blue Route also stops in LaFarge early morning and late afternoon. There is an early morning route, a mid-morning route and a later afternoon route.
  • Route 2 - Yellow Route (Monday - Friday) has four routes that all start in Viroqua, then stops in Westby, Coon Valley to La Crosse. This route then returns to Viroqua through Coon Valley and Westby. There are two morning routes, a mid-day route and an afternoon route.
  • Route 3 - Red Route (Monday - Friday) has three routes that all start in Prairie du Chien, then stop in Lynxville, Ferryville, De Soto, Genoa, Stoddard to La Crosse. This route then returns to Prairie du Chien by stopping at the same locations. There is an early morning route, a mid-day route and an afternoon route. 
  • Route 4 - Green Route (Monday - Friday) started operation on October 2, 2017 and goes to and from Tomah twice a day (Tomah - Sparta - West Salem - La Crosse - WS - Sparta Tomah). Plans are to add a third, mid-day, route in 2018.
Ride Sharing/Car Pooling. Commuters who join car pools can reduce their costs considerably. Consider: four people drive from and to the same general location every day for work. Each pays to park. Each pays for gas. If the four formed a car pool so that each person drove only once every four weeks, her/his commuting cost would be cut by up to 75%. And three out of four weeks, passengers would be able to sleep, read, work, or converse and not have the stress of driving in congested traffic. If enough car pools formed, congestion and pollution could be reduced.

Go By Bike. If your trip is less than ten miles round trip you can save money and be healthier riding your bike. You can extend your bike range by taking your bike on the MTU. The county is working to identify good bike routes for the area. In the meantime, you can check local and area proposed bike routes here.

Personal benefits: Burn calories; work muscles; get into nature; increase lung capacity; maintain balance and coordination; increase blood circulation; reduce harmful effects of UV radiation; boost
metabolism; increase life expectancy; improve self-esteem; promote the growth of new brain cells; increase memory; reduce signs of aging; make immune cells more active; reduce stress; lower risks of cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, all types of cancer, high blood pressure, and obesity; improve vascular health; boost motivation,workload management, and interpersonal performance;
increase creative thinking; save money; and improve sleep quality. Parents who bike with their
children experience all these benefits and help their children develop healthy attitudes and practices.

Community benefits: Less stress on transportation infrastructure and reduced need to construct and
maintain car-centric facilities, improved air quality, improved community safety, increased community and neighborhood involvement, better for small businesses, and encourages others to bike.

Global benefits: Reduces greenhouse gas emissions and demand for fossil fuels and improves empathy, mental health and capacity for critical thinking.

Here are a few local/regional/state resources that can help.

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