The February 2003
issue of Rail Transit
Online reported the following news:
The Dane County Board and the Madison City Council have approved a long-range $242-million regional transportation plan that includes light rail, streetcars and an expanded bus network. The program, developed by Transport 2020, a committee made up of city, county and state representatives, includes a 10.9-mi. (17.5 km) commuter rail line between East Towne Mall and Greenway Center in Middleton, a streetcar loop in downtown Madison and more bus service throughout the metropolitan area. A source of capital funding for the program still hasn’t been identified. The next step will be to create an implementation task force and submit a funding application to the federal government for preliminary engineering. The state of Wisconsin has promised to fund half the estimated $2.5 to $3.5 cost.
2006- This June
22 article in the Wisconsin State Journal provides an update
on the ongoing Streetcar Feasibility Study.
2006: The City of Madison Streetcar Committee continues to
pursue its detailed examination of the streetcar proposal. The
City has also developed a web
page with details on the study's progress. The site also
describes the Committee's mission:
Develop a plan for the street car study, conduct the study and issue a report with recommendations to Transport 2020 and the mayor and Council no later than November 1, 2005.
The report shall at a minimum cover:
1. Initial route and possible subsequent extensions to any Madison
neighborhood that can support this mode;
2. A recommendation for the initial routes;
3. The timing and phasing of construction;
4. An estimate of capital and operating costs;
5. Possible financing plans;
6. Management and governance.
2007: Rail Transit On Line provided this report detailing
pulling the plug on the streetcar proposal he had championed:
proposal for a $58-million, four-mile (6.4 km) downtown
streetcar system has been abandoned by its champion, Madison
Mayor Dave Cieslewicz.
Widespread opposition by other elected officials and
civic leaders convinced the mayor to throw in the towel after
nearly five years of effort.
“There is an old saying in politics; when you've dug
yourself into a hole, the first thing you do is drop the
shovel,” said Cieslewicz in an Aug. 13 news release. “So
I have decided I will not continue to pursue the issue of
investments like streetcars should only be undertaken when there
is broad consensus in the community, and that is clearly not the
case with this issue.”
A streetcar study committee will have one more meeting to
wrap up its work and will then disband.”
Cieslewicz had been fighting to have the streetcar
incorporated into a new Regional Transit Authority that will
manage a planned cross-county commuter rail project.
Regional rail was backed by Dane County Executive
Kathleen Falk, who also opposes streetcars, and competition
between her and the mayor over which mode should be built first
delayed both for years.
Finally, last June 27, the two leaders announced a truce
which allowed commuter rail to come first and the streetcar to
be part of a second phase.
With the streetcar now eliminated, it’s believed the
RTA has a better chance of approval on the state and local
of Madison Streetcar Study web page
forum hears about success and style. Wis. Business Journal 6/22/06
Friends of Wisconsin "Landscapes" Modern Transit Issue 2/06
2020; Transportation Alternatives Analysis for the Dane County / Greater Madison
Trolley Inc. web site
This page was
last updated on 10/12/07