Bob is a retired education administrator who was an academic administrator for a local university for 28 years and spent almost 10 years as an administrator/manager at an educational association in Brookfield. He and his wife now run a small consulting business called DeRoche Consulting LLC.
I promised myself that I would not write about this again, but as a member of the Wisconsin Association of Railway Passengers I can’t resist it. As we all know by now, the new governor of Wisconsin decided not to take federal government money to build a high speed rail line between Milwaukee and Madison. I think the point the newly elected officials are missing is that this rail line was not just about Wisconsin. It was about the region. Wisconsin sits between two great centers of economic activity - Chicago and the Twin Cities of Minnesota. A high speed, high quality passenger rail connection should benefit Milwaukee, Madison, and other Wisconsin cities along the route. Another possible benefit would be the reduction in flights from Mitchell and O’Hare to Madison and perhaps to the twin cities or no decrease in flights with people taking the train who would not fly anyway. In addition, our interstate highways are increasingly congested. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to take some pressure off the interstates by providing high speed rail as an alternative (especially when it’s snowing)? Here is a quote from Sam Newberg which I think helps to sum up the argument for new transportation options:
“And for those opposed to the public “subsidy” required for the rail operation, did I mention the $15 billion being spent on O’Hare? Oh yes, I did. And please look up the total amount your state spends each year on road maintenance. The proposed public cost to help operate an energy efficient and weather-resistant form of transportation between two major employment and population centers is a mere pittance compared to the public cost of road and air travel – a better
balance between the three is required.”