ON-Lion Letter
A recent study from the John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy rips the proposed Milwaukee Streetcar project as an expensive and inefficient scam.  If City of Milwaukee officials were truly concerned about providing affordable-transportation options to their residents, they could provide expanded bus service at an initial cost of less than $2 million and annual operating costs of less than half a million per year, nearly all of which would be covered by fares, according to "The Streetcar Scam" by Randal O'Toole.

"But buses aren't good enough for Milwaukee, which didn't even consider buses as an alternative in its environmental assessment of the streetcar," writes O'Toole, a senior fellow of the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.  He is a prominent national expert who works on urban growth, public land, and transportation issues. 

"The plan to build a streetcar line in downtown Milwaukee is a pure and simple scam," O'Toole concludes.  "The only beneficiaries will be the engineering and construction firms who design and build the line."

The report also busts the myth, advanced by streetcar advocates, that the streetcar will lead to increased development in the economically depressed city.  "Downtown landowners and developers will benefit only if the city decides to throw hundreds of millions of dollars of additional subsidies to development along the line," it says.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports the MacIver Institute.
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