Federal Government Removes High Speed Rail Funding

The federal government has chosen to take back funding awarded to Wisconsin for the development of a high speed rail line between Milwaukee and Madison.  Funding for improving and building high speed passenger rail was included in the stimulus bill passed by the U.S. Congress in 2009.  The U.S. Department of Transportation allocated $810 million to Wisconsin to establish a high speed passenger rail line from Milwaukee to Madison.

Governor-elect Scott Walker expressed his opposition to this project during the recent gubernatorial campaign, citing the potential for ongoing costs to state taxpayers to maintain the rail line.  Governor Jim Doyle stopped further action on this project following the November election.  It is expected that this funding will now be redistributed to other states.

6 Responses

  1. Beth Hansen

    You should state this correctly. The federal government has chosen to take that money back because Scott Walker has stated that he will not allow its use for the purpose it was designated, which is rail. He wants to use it on road, bridges, highways. The money is for rail between the twin cities and Chicago. Saving tax dollars on roads, saving gas in cars, you know, SMART things like that. God forbid we should be smart… or honest.

    1. JPN

      Beth, if the objective is to build a high-speed rail system from the Twin Cities to Chicago, why no let Minnesota build it from the Twin Cities to Rochester to Chicago? If you want to take the train to Milwaukee, you can take Amtrak. Regradless of where the high-speed rail went, you would still have to embark from St. Paul.

      Perhaps high-speed rail is a “neat idea.” My experience has showed me that neat ideas don’t necessarily make for good public policy. Besides, rail service has been available be Chicago and the Twin Cities all 55 years of my life and hardly anyone I know has taken advantage of it. Why would high-speed rail change that?

  2. Erin

    It was so nice of him to give the money to other states. I imagine that Mr. Walker has someone else driving him around while he works on state issues. I enjoy trains because I can do anything I like while getting to my destination. He was foolish to use this as a platform.

  3. bob strong

    Thanks to those involved for recognizing this as a boondoggle. Taking tax dollars to build a rail system that will never turn a profit, and will only further burden the taxpayers is what we elect you people for.
    It doesn’t matter how many jobs are created- it is not worth the price.

  4. Shelia, do you think this was a good idea for the state?

    You’ve been in the state Assembly and Senate since the high-speed rail was endorsed by Gov. Thompson. Did you think it was a good idea then?

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