Requiem for a Choo Choo

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I don't know if the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel believes that it is being fair and unbiased, but it seems that up until last week, there was regularly an article or a letter to the editor written by someone sensible, who believes the $810 million train between Milwaukee and Madison is a farce, it is always preceded by some not who believes it is the best idea since sliced bread. Well, Frederick Rohwedder doesn't have a thing to worry about.

New numbers came out that will showed people who are against the train that this was going to be a better deal for us. Ridership will be up, costs will be down, and the taxpayer supplements will also be lowered. Who couldn't see this coming?

The arguments are laughable are the ones that people make about the cost and convenience of taking the train versus driving a car. Instead of driving straight to Madison, will have to divert our traffic to downtown where this train station will be and park somewhere. I'm sure that won't cost anything.

And what about that fuel savings? It is roughly 90 miles to Madison. Most cars get 20 to 30 miles per gallon. So that would burn at least 3 to 4 gallons in one trip. Even at three dollars a gallon, this would come to about $12. Is a one-way ticket to Madison going to be $12 or less? Even if you factor in maintenance and insurance, how much higher will the cost be? After all, you do have to get to the train station. So unless we take a magic carpet ride or have a generous friend who will drive us there with no cost to us, there won't be a lot of savings either way.

But when fuel prices jump because the Obama administration wants this country to import all of its oil instead of drilling off the coastal waters, then the train riders will really see a savings. Because we know that the train won't use any fuel, right? Isn't that going to run on wind power or solar power? We were guaranteed a Green train, right?

How about all that extra productivity everybody is going to be enjoying? All those e-mails we’ll be reading, all that texting we’ll be doing, all those phone calls we’ll be making on our daily commute will just be making a sole productive, workers will be able to screw off an extra hour on the job. The thousands of people who would have been taking the train daily will have absolutely no problem donating their hours to their employer. Except for the union workers-they'll have to add that to their time cards. They'll have an hour and a half of overtime every day. I'm sure the boss will happily pay that.

How about all the new friends who will be meeting on the train? What could be better than a conversation on your cell phone while being in the presence of your newfound best friends? If it's anything like walking down the street, a cell phone conversation will take precedence over interpersonal conversations. That's 21st-century courtesy. But now, people will have to use Facebook to dream about what might have been.

Now that the snow is here, we can't forget about that added benefit of not driving in the snow. Traffic always slows down in a snowstorm. Thank goodness that this train will not be affected by snow and need to slow down.

After a couple weeks, I'm sure half the people riding the train will seriously consider throwing out their car. It'll be just like Portland. The young people won't even know what it's like to have your own car. It'll be a lifestyle change for them -- just taken the train down to the piercing pagoda where the tattoo parlor.

Well, now the dream has been shattered. People will have to face the added responsibility of self-reliance and personal transportation. The train is gone now and we are left with the reality that companies governmental responsibility. Oh, will still be paying for the train, but someone else will be picking up the ongoing subsidies. Perhaps the true supporters can move to the states that will be getting this borrowed money. There they can pick up the added taxes that will be needed to support this train. The bad news is-they will have to drive to Illinois.

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