One city’s loss may be another’s gain with the train that will connect Milwaukee to Madison. The state DOT has dropped plans for a high speed rail station in Oconomowoc. The agency says city officials in the Waukesha County community did not want a rail stop.
Milwaukee County Clerk Joe Czarnezki has asked state officials to consider an additional stop in the western part of his county. In a letter to the DOT, Czarnezki says a Wauwatosa station would be ideally located near the Milwaukee County Research Park, Milwaukee Regional Medical Center, Medical College of Wisconsin and UWM’s proposed engineering campus. Czarnezki tells WRN the location “would have a great benefit to business and other travelers in southeast Wisconsin.”
Although Tosa is the bordering city to Milwaukee, Czarnezki doesn’t think nearby potential passengers would drive to the Milwaukee stops planned downtown and at the airport. He says it’s very unlikely travelers would drive west on I-94 and stop at a Waukesha County station, “Once they’re on the interstate they’ll probably keep driving to Madison.”
Czarnezki says state and local officials in Waukesha County have expressed opposition against the rail believing none of their constituents have a desire to ride the train. He says it makes no sense to spend tax dollars on a rail stop where nobody wants one.
Meanwhile, Oconomowoc’s elected leaders were shocked by the DOT’s decision saying despite concerns of funding and parking, they never withdrew their support for a rail stop in their city.