Jeramey Jannene

Milwaukee Streetcar Passes Common Council, Proceeds to Final Engineering

By - Jul 26th, 2011 10:40 am

The streetcar as it meets Broadway in the Third Ward.

The Milwaukee Common Council voted to approved the Milwaukee Streetcar today, moving it forward to Final Engineering. The Common Council will have to approve operating funding as construction draws to a close. The streetcar is expected to begin operating in late 2014.

The project passed on a 10 to 5 vote with Alderman Jim Bohl, Bob Donovan, Joe Davis, Joe Dudzik, and Michael Murphy voting against.

More about the Milwaukee Streetcar

For more project details, including the project timeline, financing, route and possible extensions, see our extensive past coverage.

Read more about Milwaukee Streetcar here


21 thoughts on “Milwaukee Streetcar Passes Common Council, Proceeds to Final Engineering”

  1. mhacker says:

    Congrats guys – great job. Thank you UrbanMilwaukee for all your work!

  2. Eric says:


    So, where does the file go now? Further engineering and study? And how long is that estimated time frame?

  3. Jack says:

    Congratz! This is huge for downtown!

  4. Dave Reid says:

    @Jack I’d say huge for Milwaukee!

  5. Chris says:

    This is indeed huge for Milwaukee. Great to see it FINALLY becoming reality. And yes, a big thank you to Urban Milwaukee’s efforts.

  6. ddvmke says:

    Nice work guys. Great to finally see Milwaukee trying to realize some of the downtown potential – can’t wait to use it during visits when it’s done. Maybe the next step can be to get rid of that useless 794 spur.

  7. Jeramey Jannene says:

    @Eric – The project (which is currently approximately 30% engineered) will push forward to 60% engineered. Once that is reached one of the amendments added today kicks in, which is for a committee (the exact makeup I’ll post later) to approve it. This will allow the utility costs to be addressed (that will be borne by the utilities) and any route modifications that would be necessary because of the utility costs. From there it’s on to final approval and construction. The full Common Council will need to approve operating funding at some point before operation starts.

    @All – You deserve the credit, not us. It was all of you that repeatedly reached out to the Council to advocate for the project. I am truly humbled by the effort all of you put forth to continually do so.

  8. Scott says:

    Along with the others, I am very pleased to see this project moving forward. It’s good to see some WI communities investing in alternative modes of transportation and I am hopeful that will prove to be a success (in all measures) to the City of Milwaukee.

  9. Megan says:

    Milwaukee just took a monumental step forward!

  10. Ben says:

    I can hardly believe it. I’m so happy.

  11. Doug says:

    I just am failing to get excited over this project. This streetcar has much to prove for it’s cost. The problem with something like this in Milwaukee is that people here have TOO much common sense. We don’t see the point of replacing buses with something else that costs alot and really doesn’t improve much on buses. Not only this but something that will be a nuisance to drivers in a downtown that already bothers people with all it’s one way streets.

    As I posted in another topic here, I really like the idea of this better connecting the train station to downtown. I don’t think I can get too excited about the streetcar until I see better development along the route (attributed to the streetcar), good ridership numbers (I do have more optimism than the talk radio hosts regarding this), and if it expands down Farwell/Prospect or to Miller Park/Potawatomi. A line going down the East Side is more exciting to me because I think it would be popular.

  12. John says:

    One great step for Milwaukee towards resiliency in an uncertain future! Very happy about this!

  13. Pesterson Von Grau says:

    Bravo! Bravo! The real victory, however, will be securing a Tiger 3 grant so this thing can be extended to UWM. If that fails, then I’m afraid the goon squad will win.

    Time to move focus toward getting Kohl’s downtown. This streetcar is a key advantage for them too!

  14. Dave Reid says:

    @Peterson Oh yeah getting the Tiger 3 grant would be huge, though it won’t be enough to get to UWM… Brady St or the 4th street leg though.

  15. Pesterson Von Grau says:

    As much as I hate to stoke the mob, I can’t believe a Tiger 3 isn’t good enough to get to UWM. I’m totally pro streetcar, but the costs never fail to amaze me. Unless this baby gets all the way up to UWM and out to Marquette Im really scared of the ridership not being high enough to placate the mob, much less make this a real success…. your thoughts?

  16. Jeramey Jannene says:

    @Peterson – A “Tiger 3” isn’t a set dollar amount. It’s a grant for a varying amount. It could get there, if the city asked for the funds to get there (and received them), however, I don’t believe the engineering for that portion has been undertaken, lessening the chance of getting the funds. Preliminary engineering work has been done for the extensions as currently envisioned, hence their higher likelihood of winning the grant.

  17. Pesterson Von Grau says:

    Gotcha. Well, i hope those guys get rolling on some kind of preliminary engineering. This thing has to really shine or the drooling hordes will torch it. Then again, maybe I’m getting paranoid from reading too much jsonline.

  18. Dave Reid says:

    @Pesterson My guess is no matter what the system does, to many they will never get it anyhow.

  19. Pesterson Von Grau says:

    Yeah. I like the jsonline comments as a general gauge of the zeitgeist. It definitely skews on some issues, but there’s usually some reason in there. I’ve never seen the crowd lose their minds over something quite this badly. Makes me think there’s still a huge opportunity for better communication about the issue in general. Also, a higher risk!

  20. Pesterson Von Grau says:

    Speaking of jsonline… tyrell needs some help here –

  21. Jeramey Jannene says:

    @Pesterson – My apologies for misspelling your name earlier. Just saw now that I did that. My apologies. Happy friday!

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