Two DMV service centers on Madison’s west side, at Sheboygan Avenue and Odana Road, are being closed and consolidated into a singular service center at 8417 Excelsior Drive this month. While the soon-to-be-defunct service centers are directly on Metro Transit’s bus lines, the new Excelsior Drive service center will not be directly accessible by public transit.
On January 3rd, Norman Davis, the Director of Madison’s Department of Civil Rights, filed a formal complaint against the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to the Federal Transit Administration. The crux of the complaint alleges that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s decision to “close, combine, and relocate two DMV service centers on the west side of Madison… disparately impacts racial minorities and disabled persons who live near the service centers, and for those who rely on public transit to obtain DMV services.”
This is particularly important as an issue of accessibility for those who may be getting a license for the first time, and for those who need a Wisconsin ID so that they may vote in elections. Those taking public transit to the new Excelsior Drive location could use Routes 15 or 73, which have extremely limited daytime hours or require a walk to the DMV station from the bus drop-off site. Neither Routes 15 nor 73 can be quickly or easily modified to serve a new DMV location — the process would be costly for Metro Transit and could take as long as a year.
Substitute host Chali Pittman speaks with Alder Rebecca Kemble about the City of Madison’s civil rights complaint to the United States Department of Transportation. Kemble currently serves on several Common Council committees related to transportation in Madison.