It’s become a high-profile political football in the race for governor, but when it comes to high-speed rail, if they build it, will people ride? “It could be exciting.” That from Craig Thompson of the Transportation Development Association on prospects for high-speed rail connecting Madison and Milwaukee. “We in Wisconsin got all of the money that we asked for to do that line,” notes Thompson. “Areas like Florida and California, they got about half of what they asked for.”
Thompson says whether high-speed rail is popular with the public will depend a lot on ticket prices. “I think people are very interested in high-speed rail. I think it’s going to come down to whether we can make it easy, convenient and affordable to use.” The Madison-to-Milwaukee link is expected to be in service in 2013, although Republican candidate for governor, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, has made stopping the project and redirecting the federal dollars to other transportation needs a key issue in his campaign. Democrat Tom Barrett has supported the line.
John Colbert, WIBA