Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Milwaukee-To-Madison Rail Will Spur More Local Train Service

Two predictions:

The Midwest High-Speed Rail plan will move forward regardless of the loss of Chicago's Olympic Games bid, so the Milwaukee-Madison service will open and be a success.

And that will speed the development of commuter and light rail/trolley connections in both cities.

Bank on it.


Anon Jim said...

Hmmm . . . "Bank on It" you say?

Let me ask you something James - would you be willing to invest in these various choo choo train projects you get so excited about?

And no I don't mean my tax dollars - I already know the answer to that - but your own personal money?

PS: Guess it turns out Chicago not getting the 2016 Olympics did have it's silver lining.

anon Tom said...

Piggybacking "Anon_Jim....

You stated that it (Milwaukee-Madison service) will be a 'success'. Please indulge me. Can you provide measureable and quantifiable statements that you would use to define 'success'? They do not have to be terribly complex. Simple ones will do in helping me understand what you mean by 'success'.

In business, we have to do this all the time.

As examples.....
The M-M service will have an initial cost of only $400 million.
The M-M service will have a daily ridership of 125 by 2015.
By 2015, the M-M service will have an annual taxpayer burden of only $25 million.

And, while we're talking about the M-M service, is the plan to still terminate at the Madison airport, or is there somebody with a pinch of common sense trying to convince the Peoples Republic of Madison that it would be beneficial to run the line to the Capitol area?

For as much criticism as you have for the Oconomowoc I-94 interchange (justifiably so)- i.e. the interchange to no-where, an inflexible rail system running to the airport is equally stupid.

anon Tom said...

Ok. You've posted numerous articles since my blog entry. You've responded to numerous others.

You've got such a love relationship for rail service that I thought my request for defining "success" would be rather easy.

But, like my numerous other information/clarification requests related to rail service, you’ve failed to provide any response. Do you have anything concrete to back up your beliefs?

I LIKE RAILROADS. I am an ideal candidate to commute into Milwaukee from Waukesha every day. I am not opposed to light rail. But I am also not in favor of light rail. You’ve not provided any personal views that would cause me to side with your viewpoint. Instead, you merely reference alleged (ill-defined) successes in other cities.

Again, all I've asked for is a measurable and quantifiable definition of "success". Without doing so, you have zero credibility regarding the topic.

James Rowen said...

To Anon Tom;

Here's a hint: If you want to stamp your anonymous foot on a blog, go elsewhere.

Or start your own and don't hide behind an anonymous handle in the comment section of someone else's blog.

There are 62 light and commuter rail systems operating or in the planning stages in the US.

Each of the systems has different riderships and funding sources. There is no cookie-cutter definition of success for them all.

Those in operation - - are meeting local goals - - which include congestion mitigation, cleaner air, transit-oriented development along lines and at stations, and so on.

With regularity, these systems are being expanded because people like them, are willing to pay the fares and contribute through taxes or fees to keep them going.

Exceeding projections is also the norm - - the Hiawatha in the Twin Cities is a perfect example.

Baltimore, too. Dallas. Houston. San Jose. And on and on.

The success is in the operation.

Do you apply the same criteria to road-building, and their funding?

To the airport?

Public transportation needs to be a mixture to help the economy, through choices.

Each mode has multiple users, benefits, costs, expectations and performance. It all needs to work together for successful cities and states.

anon Tom said...

Interesting retort, Jim. Let’s address the first part…

You’ve enabled your blog to accept anonymous comments, yet you criticize my use of them.

Do you want me to go elsewhere because I am simply utilizing a feature you have enabled, or because my viewpoint regarding passenger rail service differs from yours? You’ve never expressed disdain toward my anonymity when I’ve agreed with you – particularly some Wisconsin-based environmental issues.

Have you sent similar responses (expressing distain) to other anonymous posters who share your views? Other recent anonymous posters have been Ian Gilson, crackbaby, JPK, and IRV. You didn't criticize them for using the anonymous feature. Perhaps you'd prefer and be okay with my postings if I signed my comment - Tom McBride?

Is my anonymity what is really bothering you, or my requests for a real answer like you sorta (but not really) provided. If the anonymity is really bothering you, then you should send similar responses to others using the feature, or turn it off.

James Rowen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James Rowen said...

To Tom:

Yes, I did enable anonymous comments, and I am not entirely comfortable with it.

And no, I do not take issue with more anonymopus comments that are relativey supportive because it is the detractors, sometimes, who do the shouting or name-calling, or stamping their online feet in a demanding way:

Give me my answer now! - - for example - - gets under my skin.

As for rail: Dozens of American cities have one form or another of rail transportation.

It should be an option, along with other modes of transportation.

A friend of mine just discovered the amazing rail link in Atlanta that goes to the airport - - an option that hd not been publicized online by his hotel.

When people get out of this region and into other American or foreign cities, they marvel at rail systems that are there if you want to use them.

It is conceivable that when the current plans are implemented, Waukesha County will be partially or totally bypassed, given political leaders there who have blocked regional transit arrangements, thus locking in that county's residents to the coming 20 years of I-94 congestion from construction from the Zoo Interchange west to the Jefferson County line.

That would be regrettable, but that's where folks there are headed if there isn't an attitude change out that way.

James Rowen said...

There's a typo in "anonymous" near the end of my previous comment. I have to stop writing with only one contact lens in place.

Anon Jim said...

"Success" for a choo choo system is to get the Federal government to pay for it and then soak the local taxpayers to subsidize the operation while undercharging the ridership.

That is the "winning" strategy they used up in Minn. for the Hiawatha.

Built for between $700 million to $1 billion and now is run charging riders only 1/3 of the actual costs to operate the system.

Guess "success" is defined by who you are.