Monday, September 05, 2011

Walker trying to finish the job on Milwaukee County transit?

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported today on the desperate state of the Milwaukee County Transit system. We've seen this kind of report nearly every year over the last 5-8 years. Each year the problems have become progressively worse. However there is no mystery as to what brought us to this situation. Milwaukee County's transit wounds were largely self inflicted by the political opportunist that now resides in the governor's mansion.

Nearly every year that Scott Walker was Milwaukee County Executive he cut transit routes and increased fares. Over the years endless studies have shown that this failed policy both reduces ridership and long term revenue. But we didn't need to read studies because we saw it happening in real time on Walker's watch. While transit numbers were growing all over the country and in other parts of the state, they were shrinking at a record pace in Milwaukee County.

The only thing that kept the Milwaukee County Transit system from completely collapsing during the final years of the Walker administration was the federal stimulus money. The very same stimulus that Walker once pretended to reject. Classic Walker: attack the federal stimulus to benefit yourself politically while at the same time taking the money and postponing your total transit disaster.

If you had any doubts about Scott Walker's actual transit indifference while he was Milwaukee County Executive, those doubts should surely be resolved by now. We saw his pattern, we saw the results and now we see his $6.8 million cut in state aid. The survival of Milwaukee County transit no longer helps further Walker's political ambitions so apparently he is resolved to help finish the job that he started years ago.

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