Milwaukee Passenger Rail Company
Press Release

Milwaukee Passenger Rail Company shares Coordinated Economic Development Plan

Regional rail alternative suggested to spur development

By - Jan 21st, 2015 10:27 am

Milwaukee (Jan. 21, 2015) – The Milwaukee Passenger Rail Company (MPRC) launched their Coordinated Economic Development Plan today. The plan calls for initial funding to improve existing rail infrastructure in coordination with Union Pacific and Canadian Pacific Rail Companies and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The B-Line, as it will be called, will link neighborhoods across Milwaukee and Waukesha County.

A private, Wisconsin-based company, MPRC plans to work with the mayors of Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, West Allis, Brookfield, Waukesha, New Berlin, county executives from Milwaukee and Waukesha County, the Village President of Elm Grove, the State of Wisconsin and several federal agencies to implement this grand plan.

“MPRC planners were careful to reach all constituencies,” said MPRC CEO Brian Kliesmet. “The B-Line is an innovation that crosses all boundaries and jurisdictions and is a model for economic success.”

By improving 58 miles of existing infrastructure, MPRC will save $500 million in startup costs. The MPRC business plan will generate $1.3 billion in new economic development activity, creating over 10,000 jobs in a 10-year period. The master plan cites over $200 million of market rate apartments at selected station sites, with workforce housing adjacent to rail stations.

The operating plan includes the use of both the former Talgo facility at Century City and a site at the Milwaukee Port Authority. Custom passenger rail cars will be built at Avalon Rail Company located in West Allis.

“Over the last five years MPRC conducted and compiled research to develop a comprehensive master plan,” said MPRC Technical Advisor Dave Henry. “This is an urban transit system for the economic-minded that will benefit Milwaukee and Waukesha County for many years to come.”

“This plan lays out a great vision for Milwaukee for the future,” said Bryan LeMonds, partner with Rogers, LeMonds & Associates. “It goes beyond a simple means of transportation, by linking entertainment, jobs, sporting events, shopping and housing in one well thought out plan.”

“Our company believes the only way to realize success in this plan is with the cooperation of the Governor, County Executives and the Mayors of station communities, said MPRC President Michael Garven.

MPRC is a private Wisconsin company and authored the Coordinated Economic Development Plan that is a model for an innovative private-public partnership. The initial phase for the starter line calls for the construction of 22 stations:

  • Summerfest Grounds
  • Walkers Point Station
  • UWM H2O Station
  • Convention Center Station
  • Marquette/Potawatomi Station
  • Miller Park Station
  • Century City Station
  • Wauwatosa Station
  • Regional Medical Center Station
  • Elm Grove Station
  • Brookfield Station
  • Airport Station
  • Southside Station
  • 35th St Station
  • West Allis Station
  • State Fair Station
  • Zoo Station
  • Mayfair Station
  • Capitol Yards Station
  • New Berlin Station
  • Calhoun Station
  • Waukesha Station

The plan can be found at milwaukeebline.com and on Facebook- Milwaukee Bline.

20 thoughts on “Milwaukee Passenger Rail Company shares Coordinated Economic Development Plan”

  1. Beer Baron says:

    OK, so what are they doing? If it’s totally private, what is there to negotiate? This seems strange.

  2. Beer Baron says:

    And B, why is there “transit advocate” in their story also the registered agent with the State of Wisconsin?

  3. Casey says:

    Looking at the website that they provided this appears to be an attempt at dividing streetcar propponents.
    It’s a great idea so lets build it in addition to the streetcar so the two can complement each other!

  4. Tom D says:

    Is Brian Kliesmet (the “CEO” of this outfit) related to Chris Kliesmet (the guy managing Donovan’s anti-streetcar petition drive)?

  5. Tracy H says:

    So then this is all bogus I assume, to distract from the streetcar?

  6. Dave says:

    “”Over the last five years MPRC conducted and compiled research to develop a comprehensive master plan,” said MPRC Technical Advisor Dave Henry.”

    Oh really? You sure you didn’t just make up a bunch of stuff, put in a quasi professional looking report and release it at the height of the streetcar debate? I say prove it. If now, seems to me that stuff like this should be criminal in nature.

  7. Dave says:

    Gee….for something that’s been in the works for 5 years, a search for “Milwaukee Passenger Rail Company” sure returns a suspicious number of Google results.

  8. Michael J. Garven says:

    All, To provide some insight, MPRC is a private entity with a focus on providing an urban transit system that will reach out to many constituencies throughout Milwaukee/Waukesha counties. The MPRC system is not competing with the streetcar initiative. The goal of the MPRC system is to provide transportation to riders commuting throughout Milwaukee and Waukesha counties whereas the streetcar system is designed to transport riders throughout the downtown Milwaukee area. As a private company we will not require ongoing subsidies to fund the operation. MPRC’s goal is to create over 10,000 jobs while generating over $1 billion of new economic development in a 10 year period. We welcome Milwaukee Mayor Barrett to collaborate with MPRC as we move forward with this innovative and exciting project.

    Michael J.Garven, President, MPRC

  9. Dave says:

    Michael, I’m curious. What qualifications do you have to lead such an ambitious entity?

  10. Casey says:

    @Michael
    Would it be safe to say then that MPRC is in support of the Milwaukee Streetcar Project?

    Can you expound on the seemingly competitive statement that “B-Line suprasses high-speed, light-rail, KRM and MilwaukeeStreetcar in quality”?
    Is this just to win over those who were previously opposed to these projects?

    Again…I love the idea and would support it if it is a sincere plan.

  11. Michael Garven says:

    Casey, the MPRC plan has been a work in progress for the past 5 years. Please refer to the acknowledgements on page 2 as many of the agencies listed have been aware of the plan for at least 2 years.They vetted the plan and provided great insight for us to get to this point. MPRC will utlize energy efficient diesel-electic locomotives.

  12. Robert Jones says:

    “Many” of the agencies = how many and which agencies?

    Been aware of = they got emails from MPRC or something more substantial?

    Vetted = approved or endorsed in any official format by any of these entities? If so which ones?

  13. AG says:

    If this is real, this would be extremely exciting. I think most readers on this website would be extremely happy with this announcement if it weren’t for the timing and connections with groups who oppose the streetcar.

  14. Dave says:

    This is almost surely a red herring only meant to distract supporters of the street car. Pretty sure sharing railroad tracks with the private freight railroads that use them is a non starter. Between crude oil, frac sand and other products, there isn’t much capacity for passenger rail on these tracks. This has been a major problem for Amtrak lately. I was going to contact all agencies Mr. Garven lists on his website to call his bluff but I don’t even think it’s worth my time.

  15. Nicholas says:

    Also interesting to note, the company says the rolling stock would be built by the Avalon Rail Company, which only seems to refurbish and renovate, not build from new. Where will this company get its used rolling stock from?

  16. Rob says:

    Looking over the sources of funding, I’m seeing $90,000,000 coming from the state of Wisconsin. $300,000,000 has just been cut from the UW system budget, how are you going to get $90,000,000 from the state?

    Also, why is Milwaukee on the hook for $55,000,000 dollars? That has Milwaukee paying much more per station in the city than other locations.

    Yeah, Yeah, I know it’s a bs proposal, but if this is real you can answer this.

  17. Dudemeister says:

    I’ve read a fair number of business proposals in my time, and I would put the linked one squarely in the “Nigerian Prince Proposes Bank Account Sharing Plan for Mutual Benefit” category.

    If the Kleismets intend this to be a false flag seized upon by a tax-weary public, they must surely provide a little more than MS Paint graphics and unsubstantiated projections.

    Really kind of a poorly executed idea on AFP’s part.

  18. tom D says:

    Page 57 of the plain on their website is “Operating Expenses”. Somehow they forgot to include salaries or benefits (other than health insurance) for train crew members! The only operating expense they show is diesel fuel.

  19. Potsie says:

    This plan is the funniest thing I’ve read since the “House Confidential” on Sykes.

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