Streetcar Ridership Still On Track
As weather has improved, so has streetcar ridership, still higher than projected numbers.
The Hop remains on track.
The first phase of the city’s streetcar system is outpacing ridership expectations.
In April, the last month for which complete data is available, the system provided 1,852 rides per day. The city estimated 1,800 daily rides as part of the system’s 2011 environmental impact statement.
Through May 21st, the system has provided 1,927 rides per day in May.
The 2.1-mile system is currently free to ride as a result of three-year federal operating grant and a $10 million, 12-year sponsorship agreement with Potawatomi Hotel & Casino.
Ridership on The Hop is tracked by automated passenger counters (APC) in each vehicle.
The release said falling ridership over that period was expected as a result of cold weather and comparing data with other cities. Ridership over November, December and January, the system’s first three months, was 2,105 rides per day.
In Kansas City, the most successful new system, ridership has far exceeded initial projections with 5,806 rides per day on the free system since its 2016 launch. In Cincinnati, where a new mayor was elected and attempted to shut down the system, ridership has lagged estimates and is in decline. The Cincinnati line is averaging just over 2,000 rides per day.
In Detroit, the Q-Line is seeing ridership growth after seeing a sharp drop when free rides ended.
The City of Milwaukee and private streetcar operator Transdev currently do not have the ability to charge for rides on The Hop and have not issued a request-for-proposals for farebox equipment, signaling that the free rides in Milwaukee could last until the system is extended.
City elected officials currently find themselves at odds over the ability to extend the streetcar to Walker’s Point, Bronzeville and the convention center. A lakefront extension is nearly complete and needs to open by the end of 2020 according to a federal grant, but city officials are waiting for construction on The Couture to start.
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For more project details, including the project timeline, financing, route and possible extensions, see our extensive past coverage.
- Plats and Parcels: Lakefront Streetcar Extension Scheduled for June 2022 Opening - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 6th, 2020
- Transportation: Should Milwaukee Stop The Hop? - Jeramey Jannene - Oct 13th, 2020
- Transportation: The Hop Now Wears a Mask - Jeramey Jannene - Aug 18th, 2020
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Is A Couture Deal Finally Coming? - Jeramey Jannene - May 13th, 2020
- Transportation: SUV Driver Runs Into The Hop - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 28th, 2020
- Transportation: Streetcar Kiosks Could Bring In $500,000 Annually - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 20th, 2020
- Thanks A Million, Hop Riders! - The Hop - Feb 19th, 2020
- Transportation: We Energies Will Sponsor Streetcar - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 10th, 2020
- Transportation: Streetcar Ridership Up in January Versus 2019 - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 7th, 2020
- Transportation: Streetcar Ridership Up in December - Jeramey Jannene - Jan 14th, 2020
Read more about Milwaukee Streetcar here