Letter to the editor
River Falls resident opposes Scott Walker’s public transportation plans
December 9, 2010
It looks like our Governor – Elect Scott Walker wants to derail planned development of high speed passenger train service in our state. Federal funds have already been granted to Wisconsin to fund this project, and I urge our state government to proceed with this great opportunity.
Development of high speed rail is an investment in our future. As part of extended train service which also includes Illinois and Minnesota, it will keep Wisconsin in the loop of development of our Upper Midwest region in this new century.
The high speed rail project will generate jobs in our state, both now and in the future. Construction of the train system will provide jobs in the short run. In the long run the trains and ancillary activities, plus businesses that situate along train lines, will provide jobs.
Trains will provide an additional means of transportation, serving a diverse range of citizens including commuters, students, vacationers, elders and youth, plus those who simply prefer to travel via public transportation.
This service will enrich the “social capital” of our state. In most places where trains have been introduced, train ridership has exceeded planning estimates.
The already allotted federal funds to Wisconsin for train development have given us the start we need. To say no to this opportunity now, I fear, runs the risk of isolating Wisconsin in an era when increased connections are vital. Plus, the allotted federal funds would need to be returned.
I look forward to living in a state and region where public train transportation is a workable travel option. Let’s say yes to the train.
Krista L. Spieler
River Falls resident