The Streetcar not desired

Jan. 28, 2015

Portland’s streetcar numbers inflated, so what can we expect in Milwaukee?

Statement from Alderman Bob Donovan

The city of Portland’s streetcar project – hailed by many of Milwaukee’s staunchest streetcar proponents as the streetcar “gold standard” – is not exactly what it is purported to be, according to news reports.

In fact, it turns out that a Portland audit found that administrators for the renowned streetcar system publicly overstated fiscal 2014 estimated ridership by 19 percent or 1.1 million estimated rides.

In addition, administrators for the Portland streetcar also falsely claimed that nearly every vehicle arrived on time, and auditors also found problems with frequency of service, vehicles and other issues.

So here we have the supposed premier streetcar system in the U.S. not accurately reporting ridership, not arriving on time, and not meeting other important goals. Those who are skeptical about the system in Portland are apparently seeing their worst fears come to fruition.

I can only imagine the shenanigans and mess we’ll have on our hands in Milwaukee if our proposed, wasteful streetcar system goes forward.