MADISON, Wis. — Thanks to Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch refusing to accept federal funding from President Obama, Wisconsin’s fastest-growing region — Dane County — has been left unconnected by passenger rail to Milwaukee and Chicago. But now, thanks to President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will put Wisconsin’s infrastructure back on track.
Nationwide, this legislation will give Amtrak passenger rail $66 billion in funding, the largest investment since Amtrak was created. Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn hailed the deal as “absolutely transformational” and “more funding than we’ve had in our 50 years of history combined.”
The new federal investments build upon Governor Tony Evers’ work to improve infrastructure across the state. After years of neglect, the governor has already made historic investments in transportation and broadband expansion, repairing over 1,000 miles of road between 2019 and 2020 alone. Gov. Evers has also directed millions to support public transit programs across the state.
In Madison and Milwaukee, the local impact of the infrastructure law is picking up steam with local transportation groups. A recent study by the Federal Railroad Administration identified the cities as critical links for the success of a Midwest line connecting Chicago to the Twin Cities. Madison Transportation Director Tom Lynch has expressed that expanding Amtrak from Milwaukee into Madison operates in the cities’ best interests, and believes the Infrastructure Law provides the funds to make it possible.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will:
- Make the largest investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak.
- Position rail to play a central role in our transportation and economic future, investing $66 billion in additional rail funding to eliminate the Amtrak maintenance backlog and bring world-class rail service to destinations throughout the Midwest and across the country.
- Create safe, efficient, and climate-friendly alternatives for moving people and freight.
Read about how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will benefit Wisconsin here.