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IN RESPONSE TO THE REASON FOUNDATION’S REPORT

With all the facts and figures published about our local transit system, it is necessary to review “studies” with a critical eye and be certain of the facts. Unfortunately, figures from the Reason Foundation Report recently reported by the media in opposition to the proposed KenoshaRacine-Milwaukee (KRM) commuter rail line are inaccurate and paint a false picture of the benefits a commuter rail system in southeastern Wisconsin will provide. The following facts demonstrate that the Reason Report contains many factual inaccuracies and lacks credibility and understanding of the issues facing our region. MYTH VS. FACT Myth: For each net new (one way) passenger boarding, the cost would be $28, the total cost per
passenger for MCTS is $3.08.

Fact: • These numbers are based upon inaccurate figures and inconsistent measurement tools. • The report compares the total cost for each bus passenger to the cost only for the additional KRM passengers that could be carried above and beyond the capacity of the best alternative bus service that could be designed to provide commuter service along this same route. This would only be a fair assessment if one compared the total cost of all bus passengers to the total cost of all KRM passengers. Had the report used the accurate numbers, the estimated cost per passenger for the KRM would have been reduced by 35 percent. • The report utilizes inflated costs for the KRM that are projected for six years into the future and compares those future costs to the current costs for MCTS. Again, if the equivalent costs had been used, the difference would have reduced the KRM’s cost per passenger by 20 percent. Myth: Much of the capital spending on things such as rail cars will take place in other states or other countries, not from established suppliers operating major facilities in the Southeastern Wisconsin area. Fact: • Super Steel Corporation, headquartered in Milwaukee, has the capabilities to perform the work and produce the rail cars right here in southeastern Wisconsin and has been engaged in discussions with transportation planners about the KRM for years.

Myth: At $250 million, the KRM costs too much. Fact: • The Reason Foundation’s study uses outdated information. The capital costs of building the KRM are estimated at $198 million, broken down in the following way: • Federal New Starts grants: $117.2-126.2 million

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State transit funds: $36.1-40.6 million Local transit funds(shared among three counties): $36.1-40.6 million

Myth: The KRM’s job creation and economic development claims are overblown. Fact: • According to Fred Luber, Chairman of Super Steel, his Milwaukee-based company is fully able to produce the train cars needed for the KRM and have already done so for neighboring transit systems. • Across the country, cities are pointing to astronomical development successes with rail. o In Charlotte, transit officials claim that more than $291 million in new development has been built near stations on a new 10-mile rail line that opened last year. They say an additional $1.6 billion has been announced for the rail corridor. o In Denver, transit officials say 8.4 million square feet of new retail, office and government space has been built along its existing 35-mile rail network. There have been 11,000 residential units built near the rail line. o In Dallas, a 2005 study showed that $3.3 billion in new real estate investment was made or planned near light-rail stations from 1999 to 2005. o A University of North Texas study projected the new development would add up to $78 million annually in new property taxes. The study also showed that homes near rail stations increased in value 39% more than homes not served by light rail. Myth: The KRM’s cost is likely underestimated and ridership overestimated. Fact: • KRM ridership projections were developed in concert with FTA experts, using the same methodologies used for successful commuter rail systems in cities like Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver and Portland. Myth: The KRM will cause trains to Racine and Kenosha to be a priority over buses for Milwaukee County and will cause competition between the feeder buses for the KRM and existing bus lines. Fact: • The revenue generated from the proposed dedicated sales tax in the tri-county region will be used to fund existing transit options as well as additional transit options such as restoring bus routes and the KRM commuter rail. Securing this dedicated source of funding for transit is the best and seemingly only option to ensure the Milwaukee County bus system is properly funded so it can restore cut routes, maintain current routes and afford the necessary new equipment. • Transit in the three counties will be funded according to a local transit planning group in each county that is made up of members appointed by local elected officials. This group will develop a transit service plan and budget that will be submitted to the RTA. The

RTA will then use the transit revenue to prioritize and fund the recommended transit plans, including existing transit needs within and between counties, as well as new elements recommended by the local transit groups. Thus, local officials will assist the RTA determine the priorities of their individual counties and funds will be distributed accordingly. The purpose of an RTA is to coordinate a regional transit system for maximum efficiency, and eliminate any “competition” for passengers.

Myth: The KRM cannot compete with cars. Fact: • The KRM commuter rail trip times are similar to or better than driving during peak travel times. Examples of potential trip times are: trip trip time Station Running Time Time per segment Depart Kenosha Somers Racine Caledonia Oak Creek S. Milwaukee Cudahy-St. Francis Arrive Milwaukee • 0:00 5:14 15:04 22:17 31:25 36:36 42:35 57:25 0 minutesRacine to Chicago 5 minutesRacine to Waukegan (Amtrak 1:31 1:20) :31

10 minutesKenosha to Chicago 1:16 7 minutesCudahy to Kenosha 9 minutesMilw. to Oak Creek 5 minutesMilw. to Racine 6 minutesMilw. to Kenosha 15 minutesMilw. to Chicago :42 :27 :42 :57 (Amtrak 2:13 1:44)

Reliability is an important benefit of commuter rail. Because trains operate on their own right-of-way, they avoid traffic congestion, accidents, construction and weather delays. Train commuting is more reliable than other modes of regional travel. With the reconstruction of I-94 (from the IL state line to Mitchell International Airport) beginning this year and continuing over the next decade, the KRM commuter rail will be a hassle free way to avoid the delays and congestion caused by construction.

Myth: Federal and state deficits are huge, social security and healthcares costs are skyrocketing; this is not the time to add new, permanent and structural taxpayer costs. Fact: • Wisconsin has never secured a cent of the billions of dollars in Federal New Starts grants given away each year on transit projects. While cities like Seattle, Minneapolis and St. Louis are reaping the benefits of this federal program, Wisconsin receives nothing.

The dedicated sales tax for transit is ensuring property tax relief and allowing those outside of the tri-county area to pay into funding the regional transit system, an estimated 30% of revenue from the sales tax will come from people who live outside of the tricounty region.

Myth: The working poor have more opportunities for good jobs if not restricted to the KRM territory and schedule. Job growth is in the suburbs and near I-94. Fact: • There are significantly more jobs in the North-South corridor to Illinois. o Milwaukee-Waukesha Corridor:  Population: 91,700  Labor Force: 48,500  Jobs: 192,800 o Milwaukee-Racine-Kenosha-Chicago Corridor:  Population: 587,000  Labor Force: 326,000  Jobs: 913,100 • A significant percentage of the population within three miles of the proposed KRM stops in Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha will serve the working poor, minorities and those without access to an automobile, specifically: o 58 % of Milwaukee residents within three miles of the proposed station are minorities, and 29% do not have access to an automobile; o 30 % of Racine residents within three miles of the two proposed KRM train stations in Racine County, are minorities, and 11% do not have access to an automobile and; o 20 % of Kenosha County residents within three miles of the two proposed KRM train stations in Kenosha County are minorities, and 8% do not have access to an automobile. • The poorest 20% of Americans spend 42% of their family income on purchasing, maintaining and buying fuel for their automobiles. • Using commuter rail will reduce the cost of commuting by more than 65 %, freeing up family funds for education or the purchase of a home. • The KRM will meet a critical need identified by local businesses – providing a reliable, affordable link between jobs and a large and talented regional workforce, including the 21% of households without cars within a half mile radius of the stations. Specifically, the KRM will: o Connect to nearly one million jobs currently existing within one mile of stations between Milwaukee and Chicago; o Link to new jobs currently projected within the corridor, including a projected 359,000 jobs and 525,000 in population within three miles of Wisconsin stations; o Support and bring about 71,000 new jobs through transit-oriented development; and; o Create 4,000 jobs during construction.

Myth: The Southeastern Wisconsin RTA didn’t sufficiently study Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) options. Fact: • In November of 2006, the RTA publically reviewed an extensive Environmental Impact Study released by the steering committee of the Intergovernmental Partnership of the cities and counties of Kenosha, Racine and Milwaukee (IGP), Wisconsin Department of Transportation (Wis-DOT) and Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC). At that time it was determined that commuter rail is the best option for southeastern Wisconsin. • KRM is selected as the preferred alternative to BRT because it: o Is much faster than bus in connecting the Kenosha, Milwaukee and Racine to each other and with Northeastern Illinois; o Provides the highest level of reliability; o Is expected to attract more than twice the ridership of bus options; o Has a substantially greater impact on highway system traffic and traffic congestion; o Provides a far superior alternative mode of travel during the I-94 reconstruction over the next 20 years; and; o Contributes to a greater reduction in vehicle generated air pollutant emissions and vehicle energy consumption in proportion to its potential to attract greater transit ridership, longer trips by transit and new transit trips. Myth: The KRM is inflexible and permanent. Fact: • The current KRM structure is a starting point, the RTA has made recommendations regarding additional routes and the inclusion of new municipalities. Additionally, the KRM is part of a transit system that will include bus routes that will extend far beyond the reach of the rail line, connecting neighboring areas to the commuter rail.

Myth: The KRM will cause congestion, pollution and frustration. Fact: • Due to the number of cars the KRM will take off the road, we are anticipating less congestion and subsequently less pollution. • The KRM will contribute to a greater reduction in vehicle generated air pollutant emissions and vehicle energy consumption in proportion to its potential to attract greater transit ridership, longer trips by transit and new transit trips. • Public transportation reduces parking needs, energy consumption and auto-related crash costs and delays • It will decrease congestion during the seven-year I- 94 north-south construction project, set to begin in 2009.

Myth: The KRM is an inefficient way to get from Milwaukee or Racine to Chicago Fact: • The KRM is a commuter rail and thus has additional stops for the added convenience of many riders stopping at numerous locations on the line. • Potential one way fares on the Milwaukee-Chicago line range from $1.80 - $8.20. The same ride on the Hiawatha currently costs $22.00.