Prominent Business and Civic Leaders Urge Support for Milwaukee Streetcar
Open Letter in Support of The Milwaukee Streetcar
Mayor Barrett and Milwaukee Common Council
200 East Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Dear Mayor Barrett and Milwaukee Common Council:
We support the proposed Streetcar because it makes powerful economic sense as part of a larger growth strategy for Milwaukee that is already generating billions in new development and thousands of new jobs for our community.
Milwaukee’s future depends on attracting and retaining the next generation of talent who want to live in diverse, high-density areas supported by modern mass transit. Unfortunately, today, while we are among the 30 cities with the highest density in the United States, we are one of only two without fixed transit.
The Streetcar is a critical component of a strong vision for the future, connecting major downtown buildings, parking structures, educational institutions and future development sites with a modern, comfortable, fixed-route and very reliable transit connection that has proven highly successful in other cities both larger and smaller than Milwaukee.
The capital costs of building the Streetcar system will come from federal grants – which we either use for the Streetcar or lose to another city – and from new development in progress on and near the Streetcar route. Therefore there should be no added cost to the City to build the new Streetcar system.
The operating costs of the new Streetcar will be subsidized by federal grants in the initial years and it is anticipated that it can be largely self-sustaining through a combination of federal funds, fare revenue, advertising, sponsorship and partner operating agreements.
Now is the time for action. We have $5 billion in current and proposed development downtown – an unparalleled opportunity for our community. The Streetcar will help connect these new developments and provide momentum for the next wave of economic development and job creation.
We support more jobs, more business growth, more construction and more benefits for the whole City. The Streetcar is a smart investment that will pay for itself many times over.