The Hop Records 80,113 Rides in August
Third best month on record, but down from July high.
Milwaukee’s streetcar system recorded 80,113 rides in August, its second-best month of 2019.
The Hop averaged 2,584 rides per day in August, exceeding the pre-construction estimate of 1,800 daily rides.
“It’s summertime. It’s a time when we know people love to be in our community,” said Mayor Tom Barrett in July after the system exceeded 9,000 rides in a single day during the Bastille Days Festival. “We believe these numbers are going to remain strong and get even stronger.” But August ridership was below the 3,343 daily ridership figure recorded in July when the festival was located in the middle of the route. It still outpaced June’s 2,379 daily rides.
The ridership patterns in Milwaukee are mirroring those on other new systems where warm weather and marquee events draw large crowds while ridership dips as the temperature drops. Saturdays continue to be a big draw, with three of the four best ridership days in August coming on a Saturday. However, Sundays accounted for two of the three slowest days on the system.
The busiest day was Saturday, August 31st with 4,227 rides. Every day in the month of August outpaced the 1,800 estimated rides.
The 2.1-mile system is currently free to ride as a result of a three-year federal operating grant and a $10 million, 12-year sponsorship agreement with Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. The city estimated 1,800 daily rides as part of the system’s 2011 environmental impact statement.
Milwaukee officials recently announced their intent to keep the system free through 2020. Officials intend to make up the lost fare revenue, anticipated to represent no more than 20 percent of the system’s $4.3 million operating budget, with additional sponsorship revenue from a kiosk system. The announcement confirmed an earlier Urban Milwaukee report that no farebox equipment had been ordered.
A three-mile expansion plan remains on hold by the Milwaukee Common Council. A previously approved expansion to the lakefront, scheduled to open in 2020, faces uncertainty now that The Couture apartment tower, through which it was supposed to run, has not broken ground.
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For more project details, including the project timeline, financing, route and possible extensions, see our extensive past coverage.
- 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
- Transportation: Ridership Falls for The Hop - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 16th, 2019
- Transportation: The “Holiday Hop” Streetcar Debuts - Jeramey Jannene - Nov 21st, 2019
- No money for police, lead hazard issues or infrastructure, but let’s pump up the streetcar we can’t afford - Ald. Tony Zielinski - Nov 1st, 2019
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