The remaining 40% would go to Milwaukee County for upgrading its bus network; the county has been steadfast in its opposition to streetcar or light rail transit, opposition spanning almost two decades.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, himself a former congressional representative, has fought for a downtown streetcar loop, connecting downtown destinations with the Amtrak-Greyhound passenger station, and positioned as a starter system open to expansion later. Barrett argues that rail generates more economic development than buses. Opponents have questioned rail’s cost andflexibility.
Both sides note that any starter system would likely cost more than the funds allotted for the project, and funding from state or local sources has yet to be identified.