Sunday, December 4th, 2016

Helpful primer for Milwaukee Journal Sentinel headline writers

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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s headline writers seem to have trouble distinguishing between light rail and the proposed high-speed rail.  First it was the story on last night’s meeting in Brookfield (which seems to be cut off right before they get to the content of the meeting.)  Then it was today’s article about Governor Jim Doyle’s DOT throwing a tantrum because Oconomowoc officials dared to ask who was going to pay for the station.

So in the public interest, let me offer this handy-dandy reference for the Journal Sentinel headline writers to use whenever a rail issue comes up.

Light Rail:  Light rail goes very short distances, often taking people where they don’t want to go rather than where they might want to go.  It moves on a fixed system from point-to-point that can only be changed at considerable expense.  It is very expensive and it is designed to make mostly white upper-middle-class liberals feel real good about taking mass transit without having to mix with all those “other” people who ride the bus. If you’re riding a light rail system, make sure you bring good walking shoes. It makes your typical liberal feel like they’re in Disneyland.

High-Speed Rail:  High-speed rail isn’t really high-speed at all, but that’s what it’s called.  For example, the amount of time a trip will take you from Milwaukee to Madison is about the same as it would be by car, except in a car you don’t have those extra stops in between. High-speed rail is designed to take mostly white upper-middle-class liberals longer distances so they can feel real good about taking mass transit without having to mix with those “other” people on the Greyhound bus line.  It’s very expensive and can only move along train tracks, just like in the 1800s.  When you arrive at the final stop, be prepared to call a taxi to get you to where you really want to go.  High-speed rail makes liberals feel like they’re in Europe, which is even better than Disneyland to them.

In both cases, the projected costs and the ridership numbers are out of fantasyland.

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