Local business org. asks Walker to support high-speed rail - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Local business org. asks Walker to support high-speed rail


MADISON (WKOW) -- A group of business leaders in Madison are asking Governor-elect Scott Walker to let high-speed rail move forward.

Downtown Madison, Inc. sent a letter to Walker last week, voicing its support for the rail project.

The group said businesses have been preparing for and investing in their businesses in preparation for the rail line. It said the trains will increase access to Madison and bring more consumers to town, which is exactly what we need given our current economy.

Here's a copy of the letter sent to Walker:

Downtown Madison, Inc (DMI) is a membership organization with 525 members and a 50 member Board of Directors.  Our membership consists of businesses not only located downtown, but also throughout the region.  Our mission reads: Downtown Madison, Inc. is committed to sustaining, planning for, and growing downtown Madison as a vibrant regional economic engine that offers a best-in-class quality of life for businesses, downtown workers, residents, and visitors.

Our members take their mission very seriously and that is why it was not a difficult decision for our Board of Directors to support the high speed rail connection from Madison to Milwaukee.  We have a history of supporting all means of public transportation because it is good for our region, our cities and downtown Madison.

The reasons for our strong support are simple:


  1. Our region is growing and we need a coordinated, comprehensive transit system for the future that will encourage and accommodate our growth.  The Madison/Milwaukee/Chicago (and eventually Minneapolis) connection is key.


  1. The Chicago/Milwaukee/Madison/Minneapolis connection will increase our access to the prime Midwestern centers of business and capital.  You recently said that you are looking to the University of Wisconsin to assist you in creating jobs for the state; we share that goal.  However, the University needs our help in breaking down barriers to those who can provide capital and can otherwise assist us in leveraging our intellectual output from the University.  The (soon to open) Wisconsin Institute for Discovery is an example of our world connection, and relying on just air and automobile travel will only limit access to our area.  


  1. For the business traveler, time is money.  The ability to get work done en route has huge value.  The train will be attractive for that reason for the business traveler to Madison from Milwaukee or Chicago (and ultimately Minneapolis), because it allows the most time to get work done on the trip.  


  1. The Madison/Milwaukee/Chicago connection will also be good for tourism.  The opportunity to get on a train for weekend getaways to UW sporting events or other area events will be good for our region and the local economies. 


  1. The more connections that we have for people to access our communities the better it is for our regional economy and local economy—and that translates into jobs and economic growth.


Local economies are the backbone of our communities.  Since the announcement of the high speed train connection from Madison to Milwaukee, our local businesses have been preparing for and investing in their businesses in anticipation of the rail connection. At this time in our economy that is exactly what we need—investment that results in business and job growth. 

We also understand that if the project is stopped, the opportunity for high speed connections will simply go to another State—this does not make sense when it is ready for Wisconsin and our region.  We strongly urge you to support this project to move forward so all the citizens of Wisconsin can reap the rewards.  Thank you.


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