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Kleefisch Stands Against Doyle/Obama Train
Lt. Governor Candidate Calls Wasteful Spending "Insane"
Oconomowoc)- Lt. Governor Candidate and Oconomowoc resident Rebecca Kleefisch is decrying the visit of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to Watertown today. LaHood is visiting to celebrate the wasteful spending of hundreds of millions on a medium-speed train from Milwaukee to Madison.
“Amazing, the things that happen in your own backyard,” Kleefisch said. “Watertown is only miles down the road from my house, but today it seems like good sense is a million miles away with the promotion of the Obama/Doyle runaway spending agenda.”
The DOT Secretary is joining Governor Jim Doyle to visit to the site of the proposed rail corridor between Milwaukee and Madison. The federal government is giving Wisconsin $810 million for the line, a move Kleefisch says defies common sense and fiscal logic.
“We already know that it takes 23 cents per passenger mile to drive from Milwaukee to Madison in our cars. The rail system may seem like a good idea when you consider that it takes the same amount, 23 cents, to get from one city to the next in out-of-pocket costs. But the place where it doesn’t add up is in taxpayers’ contributions to this beauty: it takes only 1 cent per passenger mile in taxpayer subsidies for us to drive from Milwaukee to Madison, but it will cost the hard-working families of Wisconsin $1.50 per passenger mile in subsidies for this train! That’s insane in the middle of the deepest recession in generations!”
Kleefisch cites figures delivered by internationally renowned transportation expert, Randal O’Toole.
“This rail system isn’t even ‘high-speed’ as the proponents love to claim,” Kleefisch said, “it’s expected to go 58 miles per hour, only 6 miles per hour faster than the privately-owned and already existing Badger Bus system. It might get you there 10 minutes faster…at the cost of about $8 million in yearly subsidies…in perpetuity.”
Kleefisch is also concerned about ridership of the pricey 1930’s-eratransportation network.
“Planners say that 361,400 passengers are going to ride this. But the train would cost $330 per week if you were to take it back and forth each day. That’s far more expensive than driving or taking the bus. Who’s going to afford this? Especially right now? We need to invest in our existing infrastructure,” Kleefisch said. “Let’s make sure our roads and bridges are taken care of. We know that people use those."