Wausau Pilot & Review

County officials this week will review a proposal to offer bus service from downtown Wausau to Rib Mountain, a pilot program that could expand to Weston.

A resolution to provide bus service from the transit center to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and Rib Mountain retail stores, with additional weekly service to the Weston area if feasible, is on the Marathon County Board agenda for Thursday.

Since the closure of the Wausau Shopko retail store, residents who rely on bus service for transportation have “very limited options to buy daily necessities at a reasonable cost” because no discount department stores are located along existing bus routes, county officials say. Recent discussions with Wausau Metro Ride to explore services to the wider metro area produced a proposal for an “economic way to provide once-weekly service,” according to county documents.

But now county officials will need to find a way to foot the $10,000 bill. Options include amending the 2020 budget, which would require a 2/3 vote of the board, or an instruction to the County Administrator to include the item in the 2021 budget.

The program, if approved, would be reassessed after nine months.