Milwaukee needs direct bus route to new Foxconn plant

March 22, 2018

Although the new Foxconn LCD screen manufacturing plant to be constructed 30 miles south of Milwaukee in Pleasant Prairie is not expected to be operational until at least 2020, Milwaukee County Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr., testified in favor of developing bus service at a meeting of the Milwaukee County Board transportation committee on March 7, 2018. The committee unanimously approved to “receive and place on file” an informational report prepared by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission which examines the potential economic benefits of an intergovernmental proposal to create a regional transit and workforce development proposal to connect Milwaukee, Racine and the new manufacturing facility.

The study concludes that providing public transportation to the manufacturing facility could enable as many as 1,300 Milwaukee residents to find employment once the plant opens. In order to fund the service, Lipscomb invited Racine County and the State of Wisconsin to partner with Milwaukee on the service. The three financed a new terminal hanger for Midwest Airlines in 2003. The sale of that asset brought in about $4.5 million than the project cost and Lipscomb has proposed using those funds to begin the new transportation route.

“It’s not every day that we know that there are thousands of jobs coming just down the street in our region and I think for many of us it’s tempered by the question of ‘Will Milwaukee benefit from those jobs?’ and I’m very interested in making sure that Milwaukee does benefit from those jobs,” he said as reported by WUWM public radio.

Lipscomb also said that a successful agreement on this issue could help provide momentum for a solution to what many view as a long-term problem: many high-paying job locations in southeastern Wisconsin are not in Milwaukee County and coordination of public transportation route across county lines is for the most part nonexistent.

The hearing by the transportation board on March 7, 2018 was for informational purposes only. Lipscomb said the new Milwaukee County Board will be seated in April and formally consider the proposal.

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