The Way I See It!

I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.

KRM Economic Benefits Aren’t Credible Study States

Info, KRM, Local Government, Taxes

I an going to start this off by saying this is a long post, which may make some other bloggers upset that they have to read.  Many of the younger crowd are so self centered and need things to be short because they lack big attention spans.  This is what society has created.  I am sure they will quickly run to their blogs and write about me and my comments or how long they feel my blogs are.  They may even pull out the statements that what I write is boring that they almost fall asleep reading it.  I don’t think these people could just curl up on the couch or sit in a chair and read an entire book in one sitting.  If there isn’t a big explosion or cliff notes, they cannot keep their attention to read.


Choose what you want to hear and you will miss the truth


I will not say I am sorry for the length of my post(s)!


Emphasis is mine!


When you read Patrick McIlheran’s take on the KRM, think about Cudahy’s Mayor McCue, who to me appears to be condo happy and I know he places a lot of hope that the KRM will turn things around in Cudahy.  While that is all fine and dandy, how realistic is it after looking what the costs are and how much use it actually will get?   What is the bang for the buck?


Remember there were people touting how much visitors would be coming from the KRM, and then we found out least than 1% of riders will do this.


Think hard and deeply about this as well - M&I forecloses on Cudahy condo project


Marshall & Ilsley Corp. has obtained a $3.6 million foreclosure judgment on a new condominium development in Cudahy, and the city's taxpayers are facing a possible loss from their role in helping finance the project.


(Condo sales at a trickle due to stagnant market)


Be informed is all I ask.  Please look at the study and listen to the pod casts and then read 8th District Supervisor Milwaukee County Patricia Jursik response to the study.


Milwaukee's Commuter Rail Plan's Supposed Economic Benefits

Aren't Credible; System Would Require Massive Subsidies

Report outlines several better transit options for region


Reason Foundation

Policy Study 372


Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee Corridor Transit Service Options: An Investigation and Analysis

By Thomas A. Rubin

Project Director: Robert W. Poole, Jr.


KRM Commuter Rail Plan’s Supposed Economic Benefits Aren’t Credible;

System Would Require Massive Subsidies

Reason Foundation report outlines several better transit options for region


The claimed economic benefits of the proposed commuter rail line for the Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee corridor are “not credible” and other transit options should be studied, according to a new study by Reason Foundation, a free market think tank.


The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee analysis of the local economic benefits of the construction of the rail line wrongly assumes all expenditures, and jobs created, would be local, even though there is no local capacity to produce many of the components, such as the $48 million rail cars.  And the $2.1 billion increase in property values the rail project alleges would mean that each of the 3,696 projected 2035 round-trip riders would be “worth” $568,000, a claim that “cannot be taken seriously” the Reason Foundation concludes.


Reason Foundation finds every new passenger boarding the commuter rail system would cost $28.  Yet passengers would pay just $2.92 for a ticket, meaning taxpayers would subsidize over $25 for every new one-way rail passenger.  By comparison, the total cost per passenger for the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) in 2007 was $3.


“Amidst a recession and tough economic times, it is more important than ever to make decisions based on cost-effectiveness and benefits to citizens,” said Tom Rubin, author of the Reason Foundation analysis and a transit consultant.


Full study report here


Vicki McKenna’s Pod casts on

“Tom Rubin discusses the realities of rail.”

Click Here


“Some people continue to believe rail would solve all economic and social problems.”

Click Here

Jay Weber’s take on this

Rail is expensive if it is or isn't used.

Click Here



Rail doesn't work. 

Jay Weber's Podcast Click Here


Jay Weber - Jan 5: Already an accident with new Phoenix light rail


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Patrick McIlheran’s take on this

(Please read all of the article, but here is a snippet.)


Magic costs more than mere rides


Backers of commuter trains down the south shore start off with a measured tone, but they soon get to the chorus of dreams.


To them, rail transit isn't just about commutes.  It's about transforming us, drawing smart young people to work downtown and cocoon in new industrial-chic lofts in Racine.  Without trains, we're not just immobile; we're Dullsville.  With them, we could be Manhattan.  Can you put a value on that?


Well, you can put a price.  It's fairly high, according to transit backers' data and Tom Rubin's merciless accountancy.


Rubin, who used to be the chief financial officer for a transit agency in Los Angeles, was almost hired by train backers here to study how great the Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee, or KRM, line would be.  They demurred, so he ended up doing the study anyhow for the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank.  He uses numbers from the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Transit Authority to calculate how much we'd be spending for each of the new transit passengers lured out of their cars by the train.


We'd spend $28 per ride, an estimated $25 of which would fall on the taxpayers.


I'm not saying KRM is dumber than dirt or that it'll fail," he told me.  What he is saying is that the region has other good options it hasn't looked at, ones that may cost a lot less.


One that he suggests examining is running express buses up I-94.  The freeway's problem is that it's nine miles west of downtown Racine.  But there's room to put in park-and-ride lots, and the buses in Racine and Kenosha easily could run routes out to the freeway. Depending on how you run the express coaches, they could serve as their own feeders and distributors, picking up riders in town and distributing them to destinations beyond downtown Milwaukee, meaning fewer transfers.  And buses would be much cheaper and could be started much sooner than trains.  All they would lack is rail's sex appeal.


On the other hand, moving a lot of people around - the basic idea of transit - at fairly low cost is pretty appealing itself.  In New Jersey, about a quarter of long-distance commuters into the real Manhattan go by buses.  Taxpayers subsidize rail riders there by $4.42 a ride and bus riders by 80 cents.  In Los Angeles, coaches from far suburbs carry commuters on jam-free high-occupancy toll lanes at reasonable fares that cover more than 90% of the cost, a figure unheard of in rail.


"For the vast majority of riders, the mode of transit isn't important," said Rubin.  Surveys repeatedly show regular users care more about how far they'll have to walk, how many times they'll transfer, how long they'll have to wait - all things where buses can beat trains.


He isn't saying a bus scheme up I-94 is a cinch, only that it deserves study.  Especially since they adapt.  You can add buses one at a time, and change them or drop them if routes flop.  With a train, we'd be on the hook for $249 million in construction before the first passenger rode.


"Commuter rail is, to a very high degree, an all-or-nothing option," he writes.  It's impossible to erase a mistake, so we'd just keep throwing money in.


That's a virtue, say rail's backers: Such permanence means riders won't worry that the route will change.  This will induce them to buy nice condos nearby and sell their cars.  Thus, say rail backers, it will reshape the lakeshore cities and downtown Milwaukee.


But think about what that permanence implies.  To lure people to live in downtowns rather than elsewhere, authorities would be saying they'd spend hundreds of millions of dollars to install a train and to run it even if no one rides on it.  They don't believe such profligacy would spook off tax-weary citizens.  They're betting that such a faith-based wager - which, again, costs taxpayers many times what a bus would - would transform us.


By this point, we're way past transit and into the realm of hope and magic.  Nothing wrong with hope and magic, but, for the money, there may be better ways of getting people to work.


Patricia Jursik’s Email to me


“Thank you for contacting my office.  I am familiar with the Rubin study.  It is interesting to note that a very conservative business group The Metropolitan Milw. Assoc. of Commerce, specifically Pete Beitzel, criticized Rubin and stated his opinion follows the money that is paying him.  I would also note that all of the chambers of commerce in our south shore communities favor the KRM piece, Cudahy has created an economic development plan that uses a transit station as a catalyst for development, as well as So. Milw.  While the county board's transportation committee voted against the RTA proposal, I have reservations about the total elimination of KRM because of the many business groups that see it as a positive move on behalf of their businesses.”


New study questions commuter rail line

Site Meter

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Page Tools