Senator Dick Durbin Standing Up For Quality
What does this have to do with urban Milwaukee? The expansion and improvement of Amtrak (greater frequency of runs, faster service, ultimately lower prices) is good for Milwaukee’s most urban neighborhoods.
The downtown location of the Milwaukee Intermodal Station is great for nearby land values and for access by the greatest number of riders. Easy for us that live here to get out, and for travelers from other cities to get in. The money spent to redevelop the station was worth every penny.
So the station is great, but where can we as Milwaukeeans travel to easily through that station? Currently Minneapolis and Chicago are the only easy destinations (and the few small city stops along the way). Transferring to other lines in Chicago is plausible, but service delays and the frequency of runs make it somewhat difficult.
More efficient connections to big cities will only drive more people to Milwaukee’s inner-core of great neighborhoods. Better service is both great for business and great for urban residents.
Long-term hopefully this will lead to the development of a high-speed rail corridor that includes Milwaukee. The Chicago-St. Louis route provides a great opportunity to test and implement technologies because of the lack of freight travel and the relatively flat terrain.
High-gas prices, long security check times at airports, and increasingly more extreme weather conditions will lead more and more people to Amtrak and innovators like Megabus. What can be done to create a better, more efficient service? Improving the Chicago-St. Louis line is a good first step towards building a super-efficient rail network in the fresh coast.