Stars are aligning for a commuter rail system in Dane County

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

From an article by Steven Elbow in The Capital Times:

After years of roadblocks, the stars are aligning for a commuter rail system in Dane County.

On Aug. 7, a state legislative study committee will begin work on drafting a bill to allow regional transit authorities -- local taxing districts that will manage and fund transit systems.

"The state legislation is really going to be the thing that sets the framework for what we can do here locally," said David Trowbridge, project manager for Transport 2020, an ambitious plan that could change the way Dane County residents get around.

State Senate President Fred Risser, D-Madison, said he expects the committee to come up with a proposal that can be introduced to the Legislature in the spring -- a fast track for any legislation, but even more so on an issue lawmakers in years past have been reluctant to embrace.

The centerpiece of the Transit 2020 plan is a light rail corridor stretching from Middleton to Sun Prairie. The rail line would connect a growing number of workers, students, sports fans and shoppers to state office buildings, cultural events, the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, hospitals and businesses.