UP: Madison Metro. Madison's bus system announces it carried a record number of passengers, nearly 15 million, in 2011. It was a 9.5% increase over 2010. The agency attributes the increase to more people commuting, smart-phone applications that make catching a bus easier, and people riding the bus to last year's protests at the Capitol. Chuck Kamp, Metro's general manager, tells the Wisconsin State Journal: "After the 2009 fare increase, people thought ridership would go down and we would lose revenue. We thought ridership would increase slowly and then pick up, and that's happening not just here but across the country." Translation: "I told you so."
DOWN: Wolves, cranes. State Republicans have proposed allowing people to hunt two formerly endangered species, gray wolves and sandhill cranes. Although some experts believe the animal populations could be sustained while being hunted, they question the timing of the proposals, after so much money has been spent restoring healthy populations. The state now has about 1,000 gray wolves and 25,000 sandhill cranes.