Sunday, December 11, 2022

Vos' anti-Madison, anti-rail BS is soooo 2010. And more absurd after what went down to Foxconn

As the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill was being debated last year, the Biden Administration included a sizable increase in funding for Amtrak to improve and expand passenger rail. And our part of the country was included in the plans to expand service, as shown in the light blue on this map.

See Madison being included in that new service? It's led to a lot of interest in a town that would seem to have a lot of potential ridership.
"There's a significant amount of money there for passenger rail and the meetings that I've had with the Federal Railroad Administration are very positive, and the meetings with Amtrak even more so. And we are literally on their map for where they want to expand," Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said in an interview.

"To me, that's a really positive signal that this is something that we could get done."...

The proposed expansion would include Madison and other communities between Dane and Milwaukee counties on a route between Chicago and St. Paul, Minnesota.

Madison city officials are studying six potential sites for a new Amtrak station, including spots in the city's downtown, near the University of Wisconsin-Madison's campus, and at the Dane County Regional Airport on the city's east side.

Hundreds of people attended or tuned into a meeting this week intended to gather input on where the potential train station should be located, Rhodes-Conway said. City officials will soon apply for federal funding
So while service wouldn't likely come to Madtown for several years, it's something that's back in serious discussion nearly 12 years after Scott Walker got $800 million in rail upgrades (including Amtrak expansion to Madison) killed because...the Obama Administration was going get the Feds to pay for it

Soon after that meeting, the topic came up in a forum that Assembly Speaker Robbin' Vos was taking part in, and Robbin' decided to use the same resentment BS play that Walker did.

Nice priorities, eh?

Although that being said, what can Robbin' do if the Feds give money to WisDOT and the City of Madison to improve the rail lines? Governor Evers sure isn't going to get in the way of this for the next four years (he'll likely try to help make it happen). Is Robbin' and the rest of the gerrymandered Legislature going to cut any of the $6.8 million in annual state funds that currently supports the Milwaukee-Chicago passenger rail line, a route that was profitable to Amtrak in Q1 2022? Doubtful.

It's also an absurd statement for Robbin' Vos in particular, because this is the guy WHO HAS FOXCONN LOCATED IN HIS OWN DISTRICT. Not only is that boondoggle nowhere near what was promised, but Robbin' had no problem spending $252 million in state money to expand I-94 around Foxconn, and said nothing as Scott Walker's WisDOT diverted another $134 million in state funds to upgrade local roads in the area.

But now he has an issue with state funds helping to add rail service to the state's 2nd largest city in a market filled with college students that don't have cars?

Let me also remind you that if it wasn't for Scott Walker's stupid pose against the Black Man in the White House, not only would we already have passenger rail service between Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago, but we were also slated to have new service go through Eau Claire up to the Twin Cities by now.

And it would have cost state taxpayers a fraction of what we blew on Foxconn.... and continue to blow on subsidies to that company for hiring people that likely would have been hired for other jobs anyway, and watch communities in Robbin's own district go bankrupt (and need state bailouts) due to all the debt they took on to build up infrastructure on that scam.


  1. The WI GOP is afraid that if we ever do get rail service, and it is successful, they will look like the fools they are for turning down the high speed rail money.

  2. What do you mean--LOOK like fools?

    1. Exactly. I think that ship has looooong sailed.

      Walker's/WisGOP's BS pose against rail was dumb in 2010, and looks much dumber today. And it should never be allowed to fall down the memory hole.