The high speed rail project continues to cause a lot of controversy.
It was announced last week that Wisconsin will get $810 million from the federal government to build high-speed passenger rail service from Milwaukee to Madison. Critics point to the longterm costs, including government subsidies and lack of ridership.
“I think we have to ask ‘what are the costs of bypassing this opportunity?'”
Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council, says highways and airlines are subsidized, too. He says it’s a matter of making better choices for a more balanced system.
It’s about time Wisconsin gets a good chunk of federal money, Still says, because Wisconsin has long been a tax donor state.
“For the better part of the past 50 years Wisconsin has been a tax donor state. And that means that our taxpayers send more federal tax dollars to Washington than they receive in return.”
The expensive project is expected to create 13 thousand jobs. And, Still says, high speed rail could help foster high-tech collaboration between scientists, investors and businessmen from within the so-called IQ corridor region, which extends from Chicago through Wisconsin into Minnesota. That would better put our state in line with both coasts and the rest of the world.
Construction of the Milwaukee-to-Madison line is scheduled to begin by the end of this year, and should be completed by January 2013.
Jackie Johnson report 1:50