Reid Ribble Hosts Transportation Meeting In Green Bay

Fox Valley Public Transportation, Freight Train Traffic Are Among Topics Of Discussion

Above, U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble. Photo: Bread for the World (CC-BY-NC-SA).

Elected officials, trucking company executives and others convened in Green Bay on Tuesday to discuss transportation issues.

State Department of Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb and U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble (R-DePere) were there to hear attendees at the meeting suggest local and statewide priorities.

State Rep. Penny Bernard Schaber (D-Appleton) brought up the need for a Fox Valley Regional Transit Authority. The Fox Valley stands to lose $2 million in federal funding for its bus service by the end of next year, and a bill that would have allowed the area to levy a sales tax was killed in the state Assembly.

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“We shouldn’t be dependent on the state budget or the federal government to do something we can do ourselves at the local level,” said Bernard Schaber. “The other issues are freight rail and also making sure we have roads that are safe and secure.”

The meeting was hosted by Ribble, who is on the U.S. House Transportation Committee. He said passenger rail transportation in Wisconsin is being hampered by frac sand and oil transportation, which are given a priority.

“This is why many members of Congress, both Republican and Democrats, alike have been demanding that the Keystone Pipeline be built, because we can pull all the oil off the rail system and move it in a much safer, efficient and environmentally sound way,” said Ribble. “That would reduce some of the demand that’s being picked up by the frac sand when you add the two together.”

Ribble may be the only Wisconsin representative on the Transportation Committee once fellow Republican Tom Petri retires next year.