February 25, 2009

County Board less sure about commuter rail...

When it comes down to other-people's-money, the Racine County Board votes enthusiastically one way. But when the hand is reaching into our own wallets ... well, it's a different story entirely.

According to the Journal Times, the board voted 13-10 Tuesday night in favor of the creation of a Regional Transit Authority -- as long as the state doesn't impose a county sales tax to support it. Such a tax is the latest proposed funding source to pay for the commuter rail project known as KRM, that would connect Milwaukee and Chicago -- and run through Racine.

But just two years ago, the same board voted 19-4 when the funding platform for KRM was gonna be a $13 tax on car rentals.

Car rental fees, of course, are presumably collected mostly from out-of-towners, donchaknow; but a sales tax would be collected from .... ahem, local voters! (Like the Brewers' stadium tax, and we all know how well that worked out!) Not to mention that the overall economic landscape has changed dramatically in the past couple of years; it depends on which side you're on whether that makes a stronger case for commuter rail or a weaker one.


  1. Let's not build it since no one is going to ride it.
    Prove that folks outside of a very small part of Racine will. Come on see if you can.

  2. I've always wondered what the taxpayer’s opinion was during the Eisenhower administration while the planning was taking place to construct the Interstate system. If it were in today’s environment, would one inch of concrete been laid?

    If some system of transportation is not constructed, the Racine community will begin to have the look and feel of the Waukegan and Winthrop Harbor. There will be little business remaining except that supporting the bedroom community. Unfortunately that business will be unable to support the current government tax base.

    We can only hope that someone will emerge with the leadership to push the Racine area forward rather than relive the good old days – that are long, long gone.

  3. Missy 2 Shoes2/25/2009 1:19 PM

    There are a few candidates for Mayor who solme vision - but I am supporting John Dickert for Mayor because he has a long view of what it takes to revitalize an area with projects such as KRM / RTA. He is the only one with proven ability and leadership that can go the distance on this KRM thing AND get it done at the state level. I don't know where he stands on KRM but if you are looking for someone to champion that cause I would look at Dickert first to see if he is on board with it.

  4. Missy 2 Shoes2/25/2009 1:19 PM

    sorry - should have read candidates with some vision

  5. Anon 12:31 writes:

    "If some system of transportation is not constructed, the Racine community will begin to have the look and feel of the Waukegan and Winthrop Harbor."

    Uh anon, did you realize that both Waukegan and Winthrop Harbor have METRA?

  6. You people should really open up your freaking eyes...

    We have rail service from Racine to Milwaukee and Chicago already.

    We have METRA in Kenosha.

    There is coach service that runs the KRM line that no one rides. We haven't even looked at trying to promote and market that for much less money.

    Our transit system is not lacking in any way.

    Yet you people think wasting $250,000,000 + will help somehow?

    KRM is an over-priced joke that duplicates services and will not add anything to the local economy other than a huge sucking sound from the money it will suck out of all of our wallets.

    This over-priced idiocy does not even include a stop at the major transit hub in the area, Mitchel Field.

    And that lovely planned stopping point on State Street will really be a selling point.

    This is a BAD deal every way you look at it.

  7. If they build it, I'll ride it.

  8. Actually, the coach that transports people between I-94 and Ohare Airport is well used.

    Rather than spending all the money on KRM as a rail service on a hunch it may work why not try something with coach service along I-94 linked up to a city bus stops along the route.

    If it works you have some real statistics to back the idea rather than hunches.

    In the business world we do proof of concept projects before we spend a boat load of money on an idea.

  9. I live in the city of Racine. I could go one mile to catch the KRM. I don't want to drive 10 miles to Sturtevant to catch the train and I don't want to drive even further to I-94 to catch a bus. Wasted gas and wasted time.

  10. Pete - the title of this post could just as easily be: KRM proponents prefer other people's money to fund their transportation.

    Wisconsin - I don't want to pay for your transportation.

  11. I use the metra in Kenosha. It is a mess. There are few trains available. The times are not convenient. The ride lasts forever. Why would anyone buy more of that? It is not vision to keep adding on to that dismal system. I am not impressed in the least with the politicians who think they are doing us a favor by shoving this down our throats.