MacIver News Minute – Streetcar Trouble

Oct. 13, 2020

Sean Ryan of the Milwaukee Business Journal is reporting that Mayor Barrett’s streetcar is in trouble.

Ridership is down 60% this year compared to last, no surprise really because of COVID-19 and the decision by local politicians to shutdown the economy.

The temporary federal grant used to get the streetcar up and running is done and the Mayor is planning to use almost $3 million from the city’s parking ticket and meter fund to fill the hole.

Problem is the parking fund is in the red from – you guess it, Covid 19 and the shutdown.

Which just means that it is likely general tax dollars, not a user fee as it should be, will fill the streetcar’s budget hole.

Which begs the question – why should taxpayers on the north and south side of Milwaukee, or any taxpayer for that matter, pay for Tom’s trolley that only moves tourists and a couple of office workers a few blocks around downtown?

Can’t wait to hear the Mayor try to explain his way out of this one…

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