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OFFICIALS URGE NEXT STEP FOR COMMUTER RAIL

For more information contact:

Ryan Mulcahy, Assistant to the Mayor, 266-4611
Sharyn Wisniewski, Assistant to the County Executive, 266-4114
Scott McDonell, Dane County Supervisor, 217-6984
Ken Golden, City of Madison Alderman, 238-4370

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2/6/2003

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive
Mayor Susan J.M. Bauman and Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk today issued a joint statement in support of commuter rail, and favoring a closer look at initiating early commuter service that would be consistent with Transport 2020, but beginning earlier than the Transport 2020 proposal. They indicated strong interest in studying more quickly linking Middleton and other communities to downtown Madison by commuter rail with University stops along the already developed route. They said both the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation have agreed to a partnership role in examining the project.

The following is their joint statement:

“We are proposing that Dane County and the City of Madison work closely with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Middleton, and other interested local units of government to develop a plan to bring commuter rail to Madison sooner, rather than later. The County Board and City Council both recently adopted the report and recommendations of Transport 2020, a study that recommends a pilot commuter start-up system between Middleton and East Towne. We would like to see very serious consideration given to the idea of a smaller initial system between Middleton and downtown Madison with University stops along the route. Extensions of commuter rail service to the east would follow. Our preliminary talks with University and State representatives are encouraging. It is well understood that any necessary funding for the project would derive from multiple sources.”

The co-chairs of the City-County Transport 2020 Committee applauded the mayor and county executive for showing strong leadership on transportation issues. Commenting on the matter, Scott McDonell, co-chair and county board supervisor, said, "University Avenue will be overloaded within a few years. This plan will maintain access to the University and the Capitol from the west. The plan also greatly increases the likelihood that we will finish building commuter rail to the east side within the decade and eventually throughout Dane County." Co-chair and Alder Ken Golden added, “I think the opportunity to get some version of rail service on the ground is great! This will really help to inspire folks in the city and region to move forward on the Transport 2020 proposal and vision.”

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