Governor -Elect Scott Walker has delivered on his campaign promise to kill passenger rail in Wisconsin. The Republican said repeatedly that he would rather send back $810 million and the 9,000 jobs that came with it rather than pay $750,000 in annual operating costs. As a result, those looking at a cheaper more convenient way to travel to Milwaukee or Chicago will be forced to drive – just as gas prices are predicted to pass the $3 a gallon mark by weeks end.
The state will now have to send back approximately $145 million to the federal government as a result of the termination. In addition, Talgo, Inc. which recently located in Milwaukee said it will look to move its operations in Illinois – taking 145 jobs with it. Ohio will also lose its passenger rail money as a result of the Governor-elect’s opposition to rail there.
The $1.195 billion originally designated for those high-speed rail projects in Wisconsin and Ohio will now be used to support projects in the following states:
- California: up to $624 million
- Florida: up to $342.3 million
- Washington State: up to $161.5 million
- Illinois: up to $42.3 million
- New York: up to $7.3 million
- Maine: up to $3.3 million
- Massachusetts: up to $2.8 million
- Missouri up to $2.2 million
- Wisconsin: up to $2 million for the Hiawatha line
- Oregon: up to $1.6 million
- North Carolina: up to $1.5 million
- Iowa: up to $309,080
- Indiana: up to $364,980