Rail

Wisconsin RTA proposes car rental fee hike to fund rail project

Posted on April 6, 2007 by METRO Staff

In late January, the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Transit Authority (SWRTA) recommended that a proposed commuter rail line be funded by an increase in the rental car fee in Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties. The fee would increase to $15 from its current $2.

The proposed Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee (KRM) commuter rail line would be a 33-mile extension of the current commuter rail system (Chicago-based Metra), which terminates in Kenosha, Wis. The extension, connecting Kenosha to downtown Milwaukee, is expected to draw an estimated 1.43 million annual riders and will feature seven stations, including one at Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport. Estimated costs for the project include $200 million in capital costs and $900,000 in annual operating costs.

An SWRTA consulting group was tasked with researching potential funding for the project. “We did find that other cities throughout the country have been using rental car fees to fund things like stadiums, public infrastructure projects and other transportation projects as well,” said SWRTA spokesperson Lori Richards. “Through our study of different potential funding sources for the commuter rail project, the consensus was built around the rental car fee, so the RTA made that recommendation based on the support of the mayors and county executives in the three-county area.”

If the fee increase goes through, the amount of the car rental tax could be as much as the base car rental fee itself, says Dan Ewald of Mayfair Rent-a-Car in Waukesha, Wis. Ewald is a board member of the Wisconsin Car Rental Alliance (WICRA), an organization that is fighting the fee.

Auto renters in southeastern Wisconsin pay a 5% sales tax, a half-percent county tax, a tenth of a percent for the local baseball stadium, a 5% state rental fee to fund the tourism budget and another 3% to fund the local convention center.

The American Car Rental Association (ACRA) has gotten involved by informing members in the affected areas about the latest news regarding the proposed increase, says ACRA Executive Director Sean Busking.

Ewald and Busking both say mass transit projects are healthy for the economy of a region. “But funding it through layering on another tax to an industry that is already supporting all these other things, we feel, is not correct,” Ewald says. “We don’t feel it’s an appropriate funding method.”

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Canadian infrastructure bank possible financing option for U.S.-Canada high-speed line

The Trudeau government’s soon-to-be-launched, $35-billion infrastructure bank will seek to use public funds as leverage to attract billions more in private investment for major infrastructure projects, such as bridges, transit systems, and rail lines.

Joint venture selected to operate new Hartford commuter rail

TransitAmerica Services and Alternate Concepts has been selected as the service provider that will operate and manage service on the CTrail Hartford Line — the passenger rail service currently under construction.

Keolis, MBTA to improve commuter rail ticket checking

Estimates suggest that up to $24 million in uncollected fare could be recovered through a ticket-checking modernization initiative and other tactics.

Metra to install suicide prevention signs

The signs will be developed and finalized as part of a Mental Health Awareness Symposium to be hosted by Metra in September to coincide with National Suicide Awareness Month.

Accident, no shows plague commute for LIRR, NJ Transit passengers

Some NJ TRANSIT trains have been canceled this week because engineers are choosing not to work under the terms of their contract amid the summer-long repair work at Penn Station.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close