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Are they still talking about that stupid train up there? Unbelievable.
What is with the train kick? We've got the same fight down here in Ohio. I can't escape. I feel like I'm being railroaded somehow. (Bad joke. I know).
Federal money, a.k.a."Tax payer" is just a lure. The project will go over budget by millions, and will be late in finishing. Then, who's going to be left holding the bag in paying for the maintenance of this loosing project after it's put in? The state and its taxpayers! Any project like this the elites in government propose is burden on the taxpayer. What part of we're "BROKE" is not understandable?
The Economy stupid!I'm livin my life in pain, I bought a ticket on the right trainbut my ticket's been punched cuz I'm on the wrong track. Looks like I'll be a slow Walkerall the long way back.
The train has been stopped in lieu of a more sensible approach.://www.theonion.com/video/obama-replaces-costly-highspeed-rail-plan-with-hig,18473/RAmen
If we get cut out of this, Chicago will be connected to Minneapolis through Iowa, and the opportunities to get new businesses and to connect with others will be lost. Our loss will be Iowa's gain.
How could it go 110mph? My understanding is that there are stops along the way and is not a non-stop from Madison to Milwaukee? Might make for a sickly ride.
futurerichguy.....Because on the low end this "handout" will end up costing Wisconsin taxpayers millions of dollars a year, every year after it is constructed. If Obama was throwing hundreds of millions as us for road and bridge repair, everyone here would welcome it with open arms.
because its stupid and we need the 90 expansion prodject even more and that will help spur the local economy as well as creat more jobs and its a 3-5 year prodject
When GW was president, grants were being handed out to southern states left and right on massive projects with questionable benefit. The only complaints I heard then were about Jim Doyle not getting any of these handouts. Now we get a handout from Obama, and we want to reject it. Why?
Let’s say a person lives 6 blocks from a train depot, and works 6 blocks from one. Six blocks is a reasonable distance to walk, for an able bodied person. How many people will be within walking distance of a depot on each end? These will be the majority of people that a train will service.
Now this is fine when the weather is nice, but what about when it rains, or snows heavily, or is very hot, or very cold. Will a potential rider want to endure these situations to ride the train? Will a woman who works in an office want to go out in the snow and cold in high heels? Will anyone want to get sweaty on a very hot day before going into work? Lets throw in windy days, how many of you women want to let your hair get messed up just so you can ride a train?
Throw in schedule; does it get me where I need to be close to the time I need to be there? Will I spend an extra amount of time in the commute? Can I count on the train getting me to work on time?
I would suspect that everyone will keep their cars even if they are in this situation. How often will people decide that it is just easier to drive when the weather is not good for a nice walk before and after work?
And we are not talking a train to commute from the suburbs to the central city. It will go from Madison to Milwaukee. What is the ridership base made up of? The people who live within walking distance of the depot on each end that commute from Madison to Milwaukee or vice versa?
Lastly will the ridership costs be on par with the cost of commuting by car? Who would suffer the inconvenience of taking the train if it is more costly than taking the car?
Despite what ideologues think it adds up to empty trains.
Why don't they just approve it now? Five or 10 years from now they will pass it anyway, at double the cost. It happens all the time with school referenda.
Come on people, we can afford to pay and maintain this train easily. We just take the money away from building, improving, repairing and maintaining our roads and bridges that just about everyone uses. No one would miss that because riding the train is fun! And since its fun, no one is going to want to drive. Plus since we don't have to worry about these silly roads, that are not fun, we can all just catch the train on Delavan Road! Oooops! I forgot, the only people who can have fun live in Madison or Milwaukee. Well that is OK, there is nothing wrong with only those people having fun at the expense of the rest of the state. I will just take my fun to the auto repair shop so I can get another alignment. Stupid pot holes!
Courage is what it takes an investor or small business person to gamble their life savings on an idea. Forethought is what our politicians should be using when planning future spending, our tax dollars, with a +2.5 billion state debt and a +13 trillion national debt.
It's interesting how those against the rail service pick and choose their facts.
$33 was the "projected" high end. It clearly states that the fares would more than likely be at the low end.
In 2009 741,000 people boarded the train service from Milwaukee to Chicago.
As someone that spent many years in an area with superb commuter rail service that I utilized every day, I can tell you that during peak periods, it was standing room only, and in fact I had do wait for the next train to find room many times. People will use it. Is it cost effective? Depends on if Wisconsinites can have the courage and forethought to make a change. I don't see that happening.
The metra system is subsidized ~45%, to keep ticket prices at that level. Subsidize is another term for lets have everyone pay for it, via taxes, even though everyone doesn't use it. btw, wisconsin is ONLY 2.5 billion in the hole, illinois is +13 billion; do you really want to be just like them?.
Couchsit - Thank you for info on consumer surplus, it does make it easier to understand. I have not done enough study on whether the rail money would have been well spent or not, but cannot understand why the present Gov. did not consider the millions that would have to be paid back if an opponent of the rail became Gov. Did Doyle have to commit to this money early on or could he have waited?
@ ellipsis -.Courtesy of dot.wisconsin.gov's 'From Vision to Reality' Fall 2010 newsletter:
FARESFares are estimated from $20 to $33 for servicebetween Milwaukee and Madison. Discounts would be available to frequent travelers, seniors and children.
RAF, now you are injecting facts, figures and critical thinking into the debate. You might spoil the pipe dream for those who think it all someone elses money that will run the train.
Well put RAF
Much of the benefit calculated from HSR justification studies comes from a concept called Consumer Surplus (I do not claim to have more than a layman's understanding of this). Consumer surplus is the difference between the price paid by a purchaser and the price that the purchaser would be willing to pay for the good or service. Unless I misunderstand, operating subsidies will be used to create the Consumer Surplus in the first place. While I agree HSR will still have social value, I feel the overall economic benefits are being overstated.
I worded my question about GDP poorly. I did not mean to infer that HSR is why they have low growth. Take the UK and France. They have similar populations, population growths, and GDP growth in the past 40 years. France had HSR during that time and the UK not so much. This would infer HSR has little effect. Perhaps there are other factors that would make this statement false. I just think it should be looked at since HSR is being pushed as a vehicle for growth here.
To those that think the train will allow job commuters travel daily between milwaukee and madison for employment I have many questions, lets start with the most important one. If the one way ticket cost is ~$33, ~$66 round trip. Who is going to pay ~$330 a week to commute from train depot to train depot for their job, don't forget to add in the cost from the train depot to their work and home?
janesvillean I do not agree with you on the train I do thank you for your civil response to some of my questions.
janesvillean - You need to learn what wasteful spending is.
Not all spending is investing, but all investing is spending. Investing is something you do with your money to try to get a return in the future..The comparison with a personal budget is inappropriate. In fact, during times of reduced economic demand, increased government spending is essential. Luckily, this comes at a time of perhaps the lowest borrowing (bond) costs in living memory. There really is not a better time for government spending to have an impact. Certainly, cutting back government spending will only compound the problem and reduce the ability of businesses and consumers to increase their own spending. Austerity is a fool's trap..couchsit, a general rule of thumb is that rail investment is 20% more efficient than highway investment. The permanent infrastructure encourages rail-oriented development and increases the efficiency of the transportation network for decades hence. As to competing modes, road is not affected by HSR nearly as much as air, which is inefficient, delay-prone, geographically inconvient (away from city centers), and energy-intensive. As the TGV network grew in France, intra-national air travel fell dramatically. As to GDP, the main reason that Western industrial powers are lagging is demographic. High speed rail is also being built by high-growth countries like China. Beware the too-easy confusion of correlation and causation..RichE95, I would never call the federal money "free" except in the sense that it's already there for the taking. The state's decision is not going to change whether that money is used for rail -- it will only change where it is used for rail. .BART is an inappropriate comparison. That is a commuter railroad that serves a broad urban area. It is really not the same animal in any way as an intercity route, which California is also planning. Chicago does not have cute futuristic rolling stock, but Metra is definitely one of the superior commuting rail networks in the world, and even it is not directly comparable. It does serve Kenosha, Aurora, and South Bend, but is really not an intercity service.
Spend, spend, spend is not investing. If you are in debt personally and have your credit card maxed out, do you go open another one to continue the same poor behavior? If you are fortunate to come across money do you use that to pay off some of your debt, or do you buy something that is not needed, but wanted? You're a fool if you do. It starts from the top and just because our government insists on printing endless money and handing it out WITH STRINGS ATTACHED, doesn't make it right! It's b.s. that they even lay on the table that if you don't take it, someone else will. How about keep it and find more productive ways to use it.
If you do actually read the cost benefit analysis, you can see that high-speed rail can be a good investment if the situation warrants it. The studies clam that current rail plan will have a cost/benefit ratio of about 1.6, if you believe the studies.To me there are just too many questions that I have have not seen addressed. Perhaps the issues are so small they need not be analyzed, but at least an acknowledgment would be nice.- Will telecommuting and meeting over the internet hurt business travel in the future?- I realize that rail will create demand just by existing, but how will it effect jobs in the air and road industries? How will it effect gas tax collection?- Why do countries with a long history of High Speed Rail (Western Europe and Japan), have some of the lowest GDP and population growths in the world? Would growth there be even worse without High Speed Rail?
You can say it's your grandkids money and we shouldn't spend it but reality today says it's gonna get spent by someone. In order for it to become your gradkids money then everyone that is associated with government has to change their mind set for that to happen. That isn't gonna happen anytime soon so we might as well invest it in Wisconsin and high speed rail would be a wonderful addition to the state. I also agree that I-90 needs to be widened asap to avoid needless deaths and if they could be done together that would be great. JMO :)
Commenters like patracian1 and Janesvillean fall into the familiar trap that justifies government waste. Somehow they feel $800 million dollars in stimulus is free money. It is not! It is my grandchildren's money. I remember a Janesville City Council member bragging that we got a million federal dollars for the bus stop downton. He couldn't comprehend where that money really comes from. It is a shell game that has put our country, state, and city in the place they are now. They just love to spend money and make us think it falls from heaven. Perhaps the defecit commission will help. We are all responsible for getting in the mess and we must all take responsbility to get out of it. It is time to say no to projects like this rail proposal. If a project is deemed viable for Wisconsin, Wisconsin taxpayer's must fund it. No more lobbyists from one level of governement seeking funds from another level.
In tough times we as a country should be tightening our expenditures not expanding them...I know in our home we are fixing what we already have or not buying that new car or boat because we can't afford to go into debt because the big "what if" is staring over our shoulder . The "what if " being unemployment or illness etc...If this is such a great idea it will stand the test of time and in a few years when we as a country are on our feet again , then do it...JMO !
Trains have not been one of the primary modes of transportation in this country for years and never will be. We are not Europeans. Our culture demands independence and speed (power as well).
So the methods of travel include Auto, plane, bus. Trains are only use for freight. Exceptions include mass transit in highly populated areas.
Get over it, kill the darn thing.
Part of me wants for high speed rail but, but my a bigger part says it is not worth it. My biggest concern would be how projected ridership was calculated and what the confidence levels of these calculations were. I actually went into the bowels of the WDOT website to try and find this info to see if it could change my mind. There is a doc from 2006 called MWRRI Cost Benefit Analysis. It does not get into ridership estimates, but calculates economic benefits based on that. It references another doc for the ridership numbers. That doc (which I could not find on the WDOT site, I ‘believe’ I found the correct doc elsewhere) still did not get into specifics, but states that the ridership results are in accordance with standard procedures and are within +/- 20% of the calculated values and were calculated at a 80% confidence interval. In short, these documents didn't change my mind, partly just due to the difficulty required to find the information in the first place, and partly because I felt there were other factors and influences were ignored.
The BART is a whole different animal than the proposed Wisconsin rail. I bet there are more people within walking distance of the BART than there are people in Wisconsin. The other difference is the traffic. Nothing, and I mean nothing, in Wisconsin even comes close to the traffic nightmares that are daily around the Bay area. This is why ridership is so high. Different story here in Wisconsin. I might actually use the BART if it could get me from SFO to Livermore, but it only goes far enough to strand you in Dublin.
Ridership numbers are not there to warrant taxpayer subsidized mass transit. What we do need is for I-90 to be widened and improved to prevent further needless deaths there. Federal government forcing a train on us with our tax money is another reason that the federal government should knocked down a notch.
Janesvillean......We should all know by now when the government gives us an "estimated cost" on one of their projects, that that cost usually ends up being a fraction of the actual cost. I would be all for it if the program could sustain itself, but it looks like this one would turn into a huge money pit for Wisconsin taxpayers. I agree with Walker's decision to abandon the project....
facts101, regional high-speed rail has been studied in detail for approximately 30 years. I don't know what, in advance, you would dismiss in terms of a study, but some of them are available online or have been summarized in the press. The line would be limited to 79mph initially, but after track and crossing upgrades could go 110mph, well within the capability of the rolling stock. The final ticket cost hasn't been settled but is probably in the $50 range. The per-ticket subsidy is impossible to calculate because it depends on actual ridership, but taxpayer costs were estimated at $7.5 million a year, which isn't really that much spread across 4 million taxpayers..As Madison and Milwaukee are both large cities, calling it the train to nowhere would seem inappropriate.
The BART system claims average weekday ridership of 327,629 passengers. Its laughable to think this train would have ridership like that.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bay_Area_Rapid_Transit. Wisconsin is not Calif and I hope it never becomes like that. I wonder how much of this train is subsidized by the taxpayers in Calif? Not that they care since the state has seen nothing but red ink in their budget for decades.
So when is someone going to talk about how fast this thing was going to go. Or what studies have been done independently (not left or right) on ridership and future costs to taxpayers. The hell with the bridge it was pork kind of like this train. Surely those who are defending this project can come up with something? Something where someone is not trying to sell this train or make it go away. Could it be I am right and this is not going to be a "high" speed train thats why no one wanting the thing is going after that. 70 miles an hour is not high speed sorry folks. You can drive 70 miles an hour on the interstate so you gain nothing. How much is a ticket? How much of that ticket is taxpayer subsidized? How much is this train going to cost us say in a 10 year time line? This thing is a pig on roller skates so quit trying to put lipstick on the pig..its still a pig.
FACTS101... double check your FACTS... bridge to "nowhere" would contect the mainland city to the Ketchikan regoinal AIRPORT.. the island was the only flat to build it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravina_Isl...
There already is the AMTRACK, us that rail.
Is everyone sure this is a high speed rail? Last I read this train would go 70 miles an hour. Which does not make it a high speed rail since most people drive 70 miles an hour already. justsaynotomath please don't let the door hit ya on the way out. And I think we can call this the train to nowhere even if its not built yet. They never did build that bridge after the facts came out about it. Has anyone seen or gotten any real facts on this train as far as cost? I don't mean from left or right I mean real facts. We know what its going to cost. But what is projected ridership and whats it going to cost the taxpayers in up keep costs when its done. All we have seen is what the feds are going to give us. Not what its going to cost us years from now.
totellthetruth: Though I'm not sure whether I agree or disagree with the train proposal, I do know that the noise factor of a high speed train is negligible. I've ridden the "bullet" train from Tokyo to Osaka as well as the TGV from Nice to Paris. Both trains are so fast that the sound passes those living next to the tracks in just a few seconds with very little disturbance. Inside the passenger compartments, there's almost no sound at all.
I too love to ride the trains but it this one makes no since. Most of us will never use it.If we have to go to Madison/Milwaukee its the same drive as going to the train station. Alsothis 810 million is just the start up- it's a good bet this will cost twice that much before it's done and that cash is coming from Wisconsin taxpayers.
justsaynotomath - It would sell every home along the route? Please tell us how that is possible.
RichE95-so how do you propose the state secure money to fund projects you deem more worthy of funding? Republicans want jobs now, just not these jobs...Badger Bus is hardly quality transportation; sufficient would be a more accurate term (I am a frequent bus rider).
When can we start calling it 'The Train to Nowhere'?
One Senator expressed the opinion that earmarks are a "gateway" drug to excessive government spending. A stake needs to be driven into the heart of these activities. The view of partarician1 is the conventional (use it or lose it) logic to government spending. Those views must end if our grandchildren are to have anything left. Check out Badger Bus Company. Quality transportation even with internet wifi is already available. The low train volume combined with the remaining need for local transportation makes this project absurd. The fare from Milwaukee to Madison for the train alone is projected at $80 round trip. Do supporters really think that will be realistic for working people?
It's 50 year old technology that taxpayers cannot afford. Madison-Milwaukee commuter rail does nothing to attract employers to Wisconsin. Employers want to see an improved interstate system, and improved freight rail systems.
It is short-sighted and foolish to reject rail service to Milwaukee. More important is service to Chicago, New York, and Seattle.Riding the train is so much more enjoyableand energy efficient, than flying or driving.
Why shouldn't they move ahead? The money is ear-marked for this type of project ONLY; it's not like the money can be used for something else-it will go to other states and not be saved, which I believe are the hopes of Scott Walker, as far as this project is concerned..The players are already lined up and ready to start. Wasteful spending-I don't feel it is.I do believe however, that there needs to be more spent on the repair and/or replacement of the national infrastructure i.e. roads, highways, utilities, parks, etc. instead of most other projects. The two projects can occur simultaneously with public funds-federal and local, to the benefit of A LOT OF PEOPLE...
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