MMAC: Walker rail application receives MMAC support



MILWAUKEE…Governor Scott Walker’s announcement today that he will apply for federal rail funds to upgrade the Milwaukee to Chicago Hiawatha train line was met with praise from the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC).

“While some state passenger rail projects have been controversial, the Milwaukee to Chicago Hiawatha line has had strong consensus support and steadily growing ridership,” said Steve Baas, MMAC Vice President for Government Affairs. “We are pleased that the Governor has thrown his support behind this important regional transportation link and applied for federal funding to upgrade its service.”

Governor Walker announced today that the state will apply to the federal government for a High Speed Intercity Rail grant of at least $150 million. This funding would be used to purchase two additional train sets for the Hiawatha line and eight locomotives. In addition, the request will also seek funding for a train maintenance facility in Milwaukee.

The Hiawatha line provides daily service between Milwaukee and Chicago and saw record ridership last year, carrying nearly 800,000 passengers.

“Business and leisure travelers alike have been voting with their feet in favor of the Hiawatha line,” said Baas. “The funds requested by Governor Walker will help make this service an even more convenient and more attractive transportation option for commuters in this critical economic corridor.”

The MMAC represents nearly 1,800 member businesses employing more than 300,000 workers in the metropolitan Milwaukee area.