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Friday, November 19, 2010

Governor-elect Walker should get on board

From a post by Wallace White, principal and CEO of Milwaukee's W2EXCEL LLC, on the BizTimes blog:

Here are my reasons for supporting high speed rail for Wisconsin:

$810 million of work for our engineering firms and contractors and some of our minority and women owned companies. For example, Norris and Associates, a Milwaukee based African-American engineering firm, had won a subconsultant contract with a HSR engineering company. He had just hired 3 engineers and now has had to lay them off. The same is true for all the other companies who had just started to work on HSR contracts.

The returned money may not just go to Illinois or New York where there are Democratic governors. Other Republican governors would love to have the money. Gov. Rick Perry and the Republican administration of the state of Texas is seeking HSR funds to run trains between Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Houston. The Republican administration of the state of South Carolina has applied for HSR funding to connect Savannah, Charleston, Florence and parts of North Carolina. The Republican administration of Minnesota has joined the Democratic administration of Wisconsin to study HSR between Minneapolis & Madison. They have received $1 million of planning money from the federal government.

The United States is in competition with the rest of the world for economic survival. Transportation is a large part of this global effort - we are competing with Japan, China, Brazil and Europe - all of which have already committed to some form of HSR to expand their economy, reduce pollution, provide service to rural areas and to the poor. Wisconsin Governor-elect Scott Walker should understand - this is part of a bigger picture. . . .

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