Will fuel costs be $5 or $6 per gallon in the near future? Are they likely to decline? These questions and the dramatic impact that they can have on shipping costs to and from local businesses make it hard to plan for the future. Nine northern Wisconsin counties, including Oneida County, have joined together to form the Northwoods Rail Transit Commission. The commission believes rail service is crucial to maintaining and supporting future economic growth in the region. In order to quantify rail business demand, the commission has been working with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) to develop a rail market study to gather current and potential rail use data from this region’s business community. The data from this survey will be shared with rail operators in the region in order to pursue options for more reliable, cost effective and secure rail service for all businesses in northern Wisconsin.
The Railroad User and Potential Railroad User surveys will be mailed to businesses in November. These surveys will collect commodity, shipping mode, location and destination data as well as suggestions and comments. Survey responses will be collected by mail or online, and respondents will be given several weeks to return the survey.
There is no better time than now to have a voice as to whether rail is a viable shipping option for our region in the future. The Oneida County Board and the Oneida County Economic Development Corporation encourage businesses who receive this survey to respond and return it to the WisDOT. Any business that fails to receive a survey and would like to participate should call (715) 369-9110 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.