It’s time to get commuter rail moving

Southeastern Wisconsin needs a balanced transportation network that includes improved roads, healthy bus systems – and commuter rail. It’s time to move forward.

Milwaukee County Board Chairman Lee Holloway is right to emphasize the need to provide sufficient and separate funding for the Milwaukee County Transit System. But he’s wrong to argue, as he did Monday, that another transit project shouldn’t go forward until the transit system’s problems are resolved.

The fact is that the region can do both: It can find a way to rescue bus transit, and it can build a commuter rail line that will link workers to jobs along Wisconsin’s eastern shore. That’s why the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Transit Authority did the right thing Monday when it voted 7-2 to seek federal approval for preliminary engineering on a $283.5 million commuter rail line from Milwaukee to Kenosha. The RTA also wisely decided to hold off on enacting a rental car tax to fund the KRM system until the Federal Transit Administration approves the start of engineering.

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