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Study: Midwest high-speed rail would create jobs, help economy

(The following appeared on the Badger-Herald website on April 28, 2011. Paul Aird is 1st Vice Chairman of the BLET's Wisconsin State Legislative Board.)

MADISON, Wisc. — Although Gov. Scott Walker has been an opponent of Wisconsin’s high-speed rail since before his tenure began, Democrats and train and environmental advocates held a conference Thursday to release a report on the Midwest rail project that predicted high job and economic impact in the region.

Rep. Brett Hulsey, D-Madison, said the report, which studied the economic benefits of a train system in the Midwest, should have been released a year ago.

“By creating this Midwest high-speed train system we can create over 103,000 jobs and also add $13.8 billion in economic activity,” Hulsey said.

The study’s numbers show total regional economic impact, not just Wisconsin. But, speaking after Hulsey, legislative representative of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Paul Aired elaborated on the local effect of the high-speed rail project in the state.

Aired said if the project were to go through Wisconsin it would create an estimated 60,000 local jobs. The 10-year project would take 15,000 new jobs to construct the Wisconsin route, 13,000 of which would be created within the first three years.

Full story: The Badger Herald

Friday, April 29, 2011

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