MADISON, Wis. — Over 7,000 Wisconsin supporters of high speed rail have signed One Wisconsin Now’s petition calling to “Save the Train” and called for Republican Gov.-elect Scott Walker to drop his opposition to the high speed rail project, which will create thousands of Wisconsin jobs and increase the state’s ability to attract new business and commerce.
To gain campaign contributions and win the Republican primary for governor, Walker flip-flopped on his previous votes as a legislator in favor of high speed rail during the administration of GOP Gov. Tommy Thompson.
High speed rail between Madison and Milwaukee was finally approved for Wisconsin in 2009 through investment by the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the leadership of Gov. Doyle.
Among the highlights and benefits of the project:
- As many as 13,000 new jobs for Wisconsin in the next three to four years;
- $822 million worth of work;
- $3.5 to 4.6 billion over the next several decades in reduced travel time, reduced congestion and reduced contamination emissions;
- Substantial reduction in the state’s dependence on foreign oil, which conservative founder of the Heritage Foundation Paul Weyrich called, “One of our greatest national vulnerabilities.”
- [WISPIRG, “The Right Track”; Wisconsin Department of Transportation; WI DOT “Milwaukee-Madison High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Service,” “Economic Impacts of the Midwest regional Rail System”; U.S. Energy Information Administration “Petroleum Statistics”]
“Over 7,000 Wisconsinites from every corner of our state want the thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of economic benefit from high speed rail,” said Ross. “Scott Walker promised job creation was his first priority and it would be an outrage if he abandons that promise.”
One Wisconsin Now produced an informative video about the benefits of high speed rail, titled, “Moving in the Right Direction,” which is available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEwgv1fQDSQ.