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Milwaukee - October 2011

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Milwaukee — Streetcar Denied KRM Money

Rail Transit Online, October 2011

The Federal Transit Administration has denied a request from the city of Milwaukee to hand over $6 million originally awarded to the KenoshaRacine-Milwaukee commuter rail project for a modem streetcar.

The Wisconsin legislature earlier this year killed KRM by voting to abolish the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority, which was the agency planning the 33-mi. (53.1 km) route and would have managed its construction. The FTA ruled that neither Milwaukee nor Kenosha is eligible for the $6 million because they hadn't applied for it through the New Starts program. Milwaukee is developing a 2.1 -mi. (3.37 km), $64.6-million downtown starter line and has begun final engineering. However, still unresolved is a dispute over who should pay for utility relocation, the city or the utilities. The scheme could be torpedoed if the city is held liable because the cost would exceed a council imposed spending limit.

Meanwhile Kenosha wants to extend its existing heritage streetcar route and has been awarded a $4.2 million federal grant for the $5.25 million project. But the city has placed it on hold because of severe cuts in state aid to transit.


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