I really don’t understand why politicians continue to push for a “commuter rail line” between Kenosha and Milwaukee. What’s in it for them? Why lie in order to get it constructed?
This rail line is being pushed as something that will increase commerce and be heavily used by people commuting to work. The fact is that no one seems to know anyone who will actually be riding the train. No one seems to know anyone who actually wants it or has any substantive proof that it’s needed. And the commerce? Pie-in-the-sky as well. I promise you that these train stops will be near-abandoned and not the hub of any sort of business activity.
A study of the KRM commuter line by the Reason Foundation proves that this will be a massive waste of taxpayer money with little (if any) benefits recognized. Check out the results…
On economic benefits:
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee analysis of the local economic benefits of the construction of the rail line wrongly assumes all expenditures, and jobs created, would be local, even though there is no local capacity to produce many of the components, such as the $48 million rail cars. And the $2.1 billion increase in property values the rail project alleges would mean that each of the 3,696 projected 2035 round-trip riders would be “worth” $568,000, a claim that “cannot be taken seriously” the Reason Foundation concludes.
And the cost ($28 cost per ride, with only about $3 collected from the passenger, and the remaining $25+ paid for by taxpayers… totaling $50 round trip per day per rider funded by taxpayers):
Reason Foundation finds every new passenger boarding the commuter rail system would cost $28. Yet passengers would pay just $2.92 for a ticket, meaning taxpayers would subsidize over $25 for every new one-way rail passenger. By comparison, the total cost per passenger for the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) in 2007 was $3.
The cost to construct this project is estimated at about $250 million. Of course, we can expect that the costs will actually go far beyond this. Yearly costs to operate the trains are estimated at close to $15 million. (So multiply that by some number larger than 1 to get the real cost.) What an idiotic project to still be talking about…