Backers and Leaders Want Gravy Train

In Milwaukee, another unelected authority has revived another way to spend the public’s money: commuter rail:

As soon as next month, regional leaders could start discussing whether to get aboard a $237 million plan to link Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha and the southern suburbs with commuter trains.

This is no doubt in addition to the light rail initiatives. Normally, this would be a problem with a plan, but since it’s a government authority, it’s no reason to pause:

Rail backers are touting the plan’s expected economic benefits, while the new Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Transit Authority is wrestling with how to pay for the service.

If people wanted it, there would be a market for it, and perhaps a free market enterprise of some sort could provide it. But, nah, it’s all about featherbedding authority positions and salaries for the participants.

Kudos, though, to the plan’s originators. With full knowledge that there’s no funding in place, they’ve come up with a plan that’s even more expensive than the last one:

In its latest form, the Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee commuter rail line, or KRM Commuter Link, would offer more frequent service and more stops – but at a higher cost – than the version that emerged from a previous study in 2003.

Man, I wish I were a quasi-government functionary, shuffling papers and preparing plan documents for an exhorbitant salary. Unfortunately, I am cursed with self-respect.

UPDATE: Owen of Boots and Sabers, more proximate to the impending fiscal train wreck than I am, weighs in.

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