Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...


Everything but tech support.

2119, 10 Dec 18

Commuter Rail Coming to Southeast Wisconsin?

Here’s an interesting idea.

A New York capital raising firm is helping a Wisconsin company attempt to raise more than $1.4 billion to support a private commuter rail project in metro Milwaukee along with related real estate development.

The project by Transit Innovations LLC would use existing freight lines to create the commuter system, called E-Way. The company says it would build 21 new stations and use two existing ones along 55 miles of track across Milwaukee and Waukesha counties.


Most of the capital, around 70 percent, would actually be used for real estate developments near the stations. Transit Innovations says developments would include market-rate housing, multifamily, retail, office, training facilities, mixed-use and manufacturing. The group estimates 7,000 units of new multi-family housing would be constructed.

Transit Innovations, which was created in 2017 and is registered to a Brookfield address, is working with New York based Castle Placement LLC to raise the funds. An investor presentation estimates $571 million will come from real estate investors, $300 million from rail investors, $35 million from partners and local private equity and $550 million from a construction loan.

I don’t know if it’s viable, but at least if it fails, it’s not my tax dollars being thrown down the tracks.


2119, 10 December 2018


  1. steveegg

    Do you want to bet on no tax dollars going to this boondoggle?

  2. Kevin Scheunemann

    My money is on it not happening.

  3. MjM

    A sure bet, Steve….

    Funded privately, possibly in conjunction with public funding such as tax credits,Funded privately, possibly in conjunction with public funding such as tax credits, Tax Incremental Financing (TIDS), grants and loans

  4. dad29

    Those ‘tax credit’ tricks are usually used by large insurance companies (think NML, AAL, etc.) who are able to defer taxes using these (rather arcane) credits.

    In all likelihood, the Few Who Prosper here will be the ones who own the land and “developments” alongside the tracks.

  5. steveegg

    So, it’s going to cost us taxpayers $1.4 billion.

    Guess the gas tax is going to have to go up $2/gallon to cover all these costs.

  6. Merlin

    This phenomenally bad, recurring commuter rail idea seems to have a walking dead existence. It just won’t die. Makes about as much sense as bringing back horse and buggy livery services.

  7. Mark Hoefert

    One of the partners – Antonio Riley – former state Assemblyman(D- 1992-2002); WHEDA Executive Director (under Governor Doyle 2003-2010); Housing & Urban Development Midwest Regional Director (2010-2017).

    I am sure he is there due to his ability to raise private sector capital, right?

  8. jjf

    All this talk about “no public monetary support for private projects” applies to sports stadiums, right?  And giant factories?

Pin It on Pinterest