City officials working to get at least 24 streetcars for Milwaukee.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
April 7, 2015
Milwaukee, WI – On Monday, the City of Milwaukee began contract bids for 4 Streetcars at $4M each and seeks 20 extra at a projected cost of $100M for 24. The Streetcar project will include an additional cost of $50M per track extended mile costing taxpayers up to $1B for the already approved project, according to Alderman Bob Donovan from the 8th Aldermanic District.
In February, the Milwaukee Common Council on a vote of 9-6 approved the Street Car Project. Mayor Tom Barrett signed the Street Car measure.
At the time, city officials and Mayor Barrett proposed at least one Streetcar for the partially federal government funded project. Since the measure was passed regardless of opposition by Milwaukee residents and a failed campaign to place a referendum on the ballot to get local voters to either approve or reject the Streetcar measure. This week, Milwaukee residents found out that at least 24 streetcars will he roaming throughout the city in the near future at a cost of more than $1B.
Alderman T. Anthony Zielinski in February projected the $1B cost for city taxpayers. Alderman Zielinski who opposed the streetcar project claimed that the city will have to borrow at least $69M and will end up paying the loan for $105M assuming that no cost over run occurs. But Zielinski suggested that a $27M open cost is expected and an estimated $996M or nearly $1B will be the cost for the project on the long run.
The Street Car Project approved by the Common Council would have cost $124M for the 2.5 mile proposed route to nowhere, but now a City of Milwaukee contract bid to build an additional 24 streetcars on the long run including 4 upfront will surpass the projected costs for taxpayers not including the maintenance costs to keep the streetcars operating.
Opponents of the Street Car Project say, that it would be cheaper to get bus type trolley’s, which would not need rail tracks and would have easy access to any proposed Milwaukee street route. The city would then use funds to fix all the pot holes on the streets of Milwaukee, than to waste taxpayer funds on streetcars.