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News Archive II

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News Archive II

 

AMTRAK "SUCCESSFUL" AS TAX MONEY PIT

Subsidy Scope.com, October 27, 2009- Amtrak lost $32 per passenger in 2008. How much more "success" for the Doyle 'cow-speed' rail Milwaukee to Madison, can you afford? Click here to read the article.


WISCONSIN'S HIGH-COST, LOW-SPEED RAIL

The Antiplanner, March 1, 2010- This report by Randal O'Toole lays down many facts, and at a minimum, everyone should know this:

With three stops between Madison and Milwaukee, the average speed will be just 58 mph. That’s a bit higher than the current Badger Bus, which averages 42 to 52 mph depending on which bus you take. But the rail route is longer than the bus route, which means the train will take longer (1 hour 40 minutes) than the fastest bus (1 hour 30 minutes).


WHY NOT LOOK TO FUTURE INSTEAD OF 19TH CENTURY?

Wall Street Journal, March 20, 2010- This guest essay by Randal O'Toole is a must-read: Taking the Driver Out of the Car.

STOP THE LOW SPEED TRAIN TO MILWAUKEE!

Check out this new website - StopTheTrainWisconsin.com  - dedicated to information about plans for a Madison-Milwaukee train. Sign the petition, contact your rep... act now because time is short.


 

NEWS FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TRACKS

March 26, 2010, JS Online, by Patrick McIlheran: Perhaps they could just add a property tax surcharge?

"The reality is that sales taxes are a volatile source of money. Using them will require rainy-day budgeting to a degree probably impossible for governments today."  [Read more]

March 10, 2010, JS Online, by Patrick McIlheran: Buses vs. trains? No contest

"Trains will carry, the state figures, three times what Badger does. Presuming they drive his company entirely out of business, they'd still have to lure twice again as many people out of cars to make even their subsidized numbers work. Backers say it'll happen because trains are so much cooler than buses." [Read more]

March 3, 2010, JS Online, by Patrick McIlheran: High-speed rail: greatest con on Earth*

"So why do we need a train? To send a message about our region, say backers. Right, and that message is: Wisconsin, where we'll squander your tax money for years to come."  [Read more]  *This article is a must-read!

January 31, 2010, Chicago Tribune, by John Hilkevitch: Latest CTA date with severe service cuts draws mild protest

The public clamor that erupted over previous transit "doomsday'' threats is amounting to little more than a whimper this time as CTA service cuts are set to take effect next Sunday, barring a last-minute breakthrough to solve a budget shortfall.  [Read more]


WISCONSIN'S HIGH-COST, LOW-SPEED RAIL

March 29, 2010, The Antiplanner. Randal O'Toole, author of Best Laid Plans and Gridlock, comments on the Madison-Milwaukee medium speed rail. Did you know that...

"With three stops between Madison and Milwaukee, the average speed will be just 58 mph. That’s a bit higher than the current Badger Bus, which averages 42 to 52 mph depending on which bus you take. But the rail route is longer than the bus route, which means the train will take longer (1 hour 40 minutes) than the fastest bus (1 hour 30 minutes)."   [Read more]


RANDAL O'TOOLE UPDATE

Over 100 people attended Randal O'Toole's presentation on March 24th.  You can view the video from the Madison City Channel website by looking under "Streaming Video: On Demand" for the title, Randal O'Toole Presents: "Gridlock: Why We're Stuck in Traffic and What to Do About It" March 24, 2010. 


ADD YOUR COMMENTS TO WisDOT SURVEY

March 19, 2010.  While this "survey" is most likely biased in favor of rail, you should still state your opinion

But be aware: most of the statements they include in favor of rail are simply not true--i.e. that it reduces congestion or increases economic development.  We recommend you take the survey and make use of the "other" comments to voice some actual FACTS left out of the survey.


MAYOR DAVE'S WORST NIGHTMARE

March 16, 2010, ibmadison.comCato Institute's O'Toole Calls High-Speed Rail "the Next Boondoggle"--Author Randal O'Toole is probably Mayor Dave's worst nightmare.

"The title of his new book, Gridlock: Why We're Stuck In Traffic And What To Do About It, would suggest simpatico with the Mayor's rail advocacy, but it's actually a critique of various forms of transportation, including commuter and high-speed rail. Suffice to say, he doesn't come down on the same side as the pro-rail Mayor of Madison and Governor of Wisconsin."  [Read more]

RANDAL O'TOOLE UNVEILS NEW BOOK

Catch Randal speaking at lunch in Waunakee Wednesday March 24, or later that day at the UW-Madison. 

Click the image to enlarge: 

WHAT WILL ADDING 2 TRAINS/DAY TO CHARTER ST. HEATING PLANT DO TO TRAFFIC?

$2 million to rehab train tracks, nearly 3 times as many trains and train cars per week to deliver biomass instead of coal.  This is "Green" progress?  How much more fuel will the trains consume?  How many more minutes per week will all traffic (including pedestrian and bicycle) be idling their time and gasoline away waiting for the biomass trains to pass?

“We do anticipate that switching from coal to biomass will impact traffic on and around campus,” said Carla Vigue, a spokeswoman for the Department of Administration, which oversees state buildings.  [Read more]


THREE MYTHS ABOUT RAIL TRANSIT

Self-described "pro-rail" Dane Co. resident submits three myths on commuter rail for Madison:

  • Rail is "greener" than cars;
  • Rail moves huge numbers of people;
  • Rail is cheaper.
Read his Letter about Madison commuter rail here.
He also tipped us off to an editorial from Machine Design magazine (June 2, 2009) that is a must-read: "Taken for a ride."

Planners: Too soon for a rail referendum

Dec. 8, 2009: "Regional planners oppose a Dane County vote that would dictate whether they can consider commuter rail when outlining transit strategies."  [Read more]


You'll pay for the means of coercing you
Dec. 2, 2009:  Milwaukee sees the arrogance of our 'trainiac' Supervisors, as Dane County residents keep their eyes closed tightly.  As Patrick McIlheran writes, "It's all about trains. Backers say the authority will enhance all kinds of transportation "options," but what moved the issue was news that the feds won't fund the commuter trains that some in Madison lust for unless there's a new layer of government and a dedicated tax. " [Read more]
 

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