'The Hop' Streetcar Opens to the Public Today in Milwaukee
"The first public rides on The Hop were on time and began with a bit of a jolt and a whiff of new car smell Monday," reports James B. Nelson.
Journalists and city officials got a first look at the new streetcar a few days before the city's new streetcar line opened to the public on November 2.
Mayor Tom Barrett was on the ride earlier this week, touting the streetcar as a development and property tax catalyst for the city. "The mayor ticked off numerous commercial developments along the route, including the new 25-story BMO Tower office being built at 790 North Water St. and revamping of the Milwaukee Athletic Club, 758 North Broadway," according to Nelson.
A separate article by Nelson lists the essential facts about the new streetcar system. "On Friday, the $124 million Milwaukee streetcar officially becomes part of the transportation landscape," writes Nelson. "[A] 2.5-mile network of tracks and overhead wires has been laid and five 67-foot cars delivered. The Hop will run on a loop through downtown and the Historic Third Ward between the Milwaukee Intermodal Station, 433 W. St. Paul Ave., and Burns Commons, at East Ogden and North Prospect avenues."
More info in the article includes The Hop's route, its intended ridership, the political context that produced the final product (and a planned extension), and the benchmarks of success, once the system has some miles under its belt.