Friday, November 19, 2010

Why It Just Doesn't Make Sense to Scrap the Rail Project

This article by Jesse Russell at I think is one of the best break-downs of the different cost scenarios of the rail project would be:

What happens if the rail extension is now cancelled? U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has made it clear that Wisconsin will be slapped with a $100 million bill for federal money already used on the project under Doyle's Administration. This isn't a bluff. After New Jersey Governor Chris Christie cancelled a more than decade old tunnel plan that would have connected New Jersey to Manhattan the U.S. Department of Transportation slapped the state with a $271 million bill due immediately. That's only the initial estimate from the US DOT who are calculating additional costs which could put the final bill over $350 million.

No matter what the actual number is, Wisconsin will lose. Not only is Governor-elect Scott Walker costing the state an estimated 9000 future jobs, but he is now throwing away $100 million in infrastructure. If the opponents numbers are to be believed, more than 13 years in operating costs. If the proponents are to be believed that's more than a century's worth of operating costs. I don't know if the opponents or the proponents are right about the math. I think it'll actually end up being somewhere in the middle and in that case, Wisconsin still loses.
You tell them Jesse! If this new governor is really serious about creating jobs, he should support the rail. If he wants to make sure that people can actually get to their jobs, he should support the rail. If he doesn't want to waste taxpayer's money, he should support the rail. So why doesn't he support the rail?

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