Group says state's "Brain Drain" reveals need for transportation - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Group says state's "Brain Drain" reveals need for transportation alternatives

La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – More college graduates are leaving Wisconsin rather than staying put, and a lack of alternative transportation could be one reason why according to one organization's new study.

The Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group (WISPIRG) Foundation survey reveals a “brain drain” in the state, as people would like more options for traveling.

The report, which surveyed 530 college students across 14 Wisconsin campuses, found that 84% of those students said it is “very” or “somewhat important” for them to have alternative transportation options.

WISPIRG Director Bruce Speight said the brain drain could be connected to a lack of local funding.

“When you look at our state budget, we spend an incredibly small portion of the budget, state and federal budget on transit, bike, and pedestrian infrastructure, while spending a lot on our roads and highways,” Speight said.

Speight said the state needs to cut out wasted spending on highway programs, and use those savings to improve alternative transportation infrastructure.

“It comes down to resources, local especially, but also the state and federal resources. The report is really pointing to the fact that we need to rethink how transportation is funded and how it is implemented throughout the state,” Mayor Tim Kabat said.

According to the same report, 60% of those students said they would “more likely” stay in Wisconsin after graduation if there was more transportation options available.

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