A new report touts the benefits high speed rail could bring to Wisconsin. The study from WISPIRG shows proposed high speed rail lines across the Midwest would bring a big boost to the economy.
Director Bruce Speight says a complete Midwest high speed rail network could create 57,000 permanent jobs and over 15,000 jobs tied directly to the construction of the project. About 13-thousand of those would be in Wisconsin.
Speight says high speed rail would also help to greatly reduce traffic congestion on highways and at airports. A proposed Milwaukee to Madison line along, he says, would result in 780,000 fewer car trips each year between the two cities over a ten year period.
Critics have attacked high speed rail for being too expensive to build and maintain, and worry that low ridership will result in taxpayers subsidizing projects. Speight says those complaints ignore the potential economic and environmental benefits. He says WISPIRG’s report shows the public will have easy access to the trains, greatly improving the chance that they’ll get onboard.