Joe Davis, Sr.
Press Release

Local transit union opposes Milwaukee streetcar plans

Alderman Davis, a leader in the opposition to the streetcar proposal, welcomed the letter from the transit union.

By - Jan 27th, 2015 04:33 pm

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998, representing more than 1,700 Milwaukee County Transit workers, is now among the growing list of organizations and businesses that oppose the mayor’s proposed streetcar, Alderman Joe Davis, Sr. said Tuesday.

“It may seem odd for our union to oppose a streetcar which will undoubtedly create many jobs for our members,” reads a letter (attached) that ATU Local 998 mailed to Alderman Davis. “However, based on our recent experience with streetcar projects throughout the U.S., we believe that your resources would be more wisely spent on the expansion of your bus network.”

Alderman Davis, a leader in the opposition to the streetcar proposal, welcomed the letter from the transit union. “ATU Local 998 readily admits that their members would have jobs driving the streetcar,” Alderman Davis said. “But they see the bigger picture—that this project is a diversion of resources away from the areas of greatest need that will saddle Milwaukee with an unnecessary intrusion for years to come.”

The ATU letter continues, “Despite the serious need for the expansion of Milwaukee Transit, a groundbreaking new study by the Brookings Institution found that less than half of all jobs in the region are reachable via transit within 90 minutes. Onethird of working-age residents do not even live near a transit stop. A streetcar is not going to help these people.”

“This is about advocating to start solving serious problems in this city by addressing Milwaukee’s negative economic, social and crime statistics,” Alderman Davis said. “True transit riders deserve better.”

Press Release and ATU Letter

 

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4 thoughts on “Local transit union opposes Milwaukee streetcar plans”

  1. Rich says:

    “This is about advocating to start solving serious problems in this city by addressing Milwaukee’s negative economic, social and crime statistics,” Alderman Davis said. “True transit riders deserve better.”

    Ok, Joe, let’s pretend the fallacy exists: Here’s $60mil. What are you going to do with it to “help the poor”? What are you going to do with it to “bring down crime”? What are you going to do with it to “improve social characteristics”?

    If you’re tempted to answer with “Hire more cops”, “Fund faith-based charities”, and “run more buses to the suburbs”, then you’ve got nothing, so move along.

  2. PMD says:

    Didn’t Davis support the streetcar in 2011? What changed? If true transit riders deserve better, has he spent the last decade or so loudly advocating for expanding bus service?

  3. Kyle says:

    I think my favorite line of this press release is: “Alderman Davis, a leader in the opposition to the streetcar proposal, welcomed the letter from the transit union.”

    It might not strike you as great at first, until you realize that it’s supposedly written by Alderman Davis himself. But if what he’s really doing is positioning for a run for mayor, it’s useful to get several Milwaukee news sites to publish the phrase “… Davis, a leader…” I’ll have to remember to watch for his ads to quote that next year…

  4. Bruce Thompson says:

    The letter from Hanley is more interesting than the press release. Note that he is their international president operating out of Washington DC. Apparently he is of the belief that:
    1. The money for the streetcar could be spent on expanding bus service.
    2. That only poor people without other options do or should ride public transit (he sneers at the “choice riders” who would ride the street car).
    He also states the streetcar would lead to an increase in his membership but that does not seem to phase him.
    So far as I can tell, his beef is that the management of some streetcar systems is contracted out to management firms.

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