Commuter Rail For Milwaukee?

Commuter rail between Milwaukee, Racine, and Kenosha is being discussed again. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, it will cost $237 million to start. The plan proposes 14 round trips on weekdays and 7 on weekends and holidays. The fares would be around $10 one way, and buses and shuttles would theoretically take riders from the train stips to jobs and other locations.

Statistics on the proposed rail include:

  • It is estimated that there would be 1.43 million rides of the train per year. (That’s less than 4,000 rides per day.)
  • Operating costs would be $14.7 million a year
  • Farres collections are estimated at only $3.8 million per year.

An awful lot of taxpayer money is potentially going to be spent on a rail line that may not even be needed.

  • Who is going to ride this train?
  • Who decided that we need this commuter rail?
  • Why do we want to run a train that can’t even come close to covering its costs through ridership?
  • Is the supposed “economic development” near the rail stations going to be new development that otherwise wouldn’t have occurred, or is it just a shift in location of development that will probably happen anyway?

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