Jeramey Jannene

Garbage Truck Crashes Into Streetcar

The Hop hops its tracks in collision that sent one person to hospital. How did the crash happen?

By - Mar 27th, 2023 10:13 am
The Hop streetcar vehicle after being struck by private garbage truck. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The Hop streetcar vehicle after being struck by private garbage truck. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

A private garbage truck collided with a streetcar in downtown Milwaukee early Monday morning, substantially damaging the streetcar vehicle and suspending service on The Hop system.

The crash happened at approximately 6:30 a.m. An Eagle Disposal garbage truck was traveling west on E. Wells St. when it collided with the front of a northbound streetcar on N. Milwaukee St.

The streetcar’s operator was transported to an area hospital.

A security camera video provided to Urban Milwaukee by management of the Colby Abbot Building shows the streetcar entering the intersection with a green light. The garbage truck appears from offscreen, striking the streetcar.

A Department of Public Works spokesperson said there were no passengers on board the vehicle during the early morning collision. The system’s ridership has been rebounding since the pandemic’s onset. A total of 1,114 rides per day were recorded in February, nearly double the 2022 total and triple that of 2021.

A DPW official said the department believes there were two people in the privately-owned garbage truck.

Streetcar service was still suspended at 9:45 a.m., but a tow truck from AM Towing had pulled the garbage truck from the scene. The streetcar, which was knocked across the southbound travel and parking lanes, knocked over a traffic light and showed visible damage to the operator cab at the front of the vehicle.

Each of the city’s five streetcars are 67 feet long and weigh 83,000 pounds.

The intersection where the collision occurred is one of several on the route where a location-based system triggers the traffic lights to change to allow the streetcar through without needing to wait at the light. The system does not cause the lights to flip immediately and instead extends green lights or initiates a yellow-to-red progression.

It is the first major collision for the streetcar system, which launched in November 2018. The system suffered its first direct collision with a vehicle in February 2020. That collision did not push the vehicle off the tracks.

UPDATE: Streetcar service resumed early Monday evening after the streetcar was lifted back onto the track by three tow trucks. The vehicle, with a police escort, drove backwards on the track under its own power to the maintenance facility.



More about the Milwaukee Streetcar

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Categories: Transportation, Weekly

5 thoughts on “Garbage Truck Crashes Into Streetcar”

  1. Ryan Cotic says:

    I Guess at least nobody rides it so there were no fatalities

  2. mkeumkenews09 says:

    Ryan, Lots of folks ride it. I ride it all the time. I’ve never seen it without other people on it. So this was fortunate.

    You are a really negative, fearful, nasty person. I struggle to understand that in people.

  3. TransitRider says:

    Ryan, before 7 or 8 am on a weekday, most ridership (bus and streetcar) is TOWARD downtown. This streetcar was traveling AWAY from downtown.

  4. 45 years in the City says:

    Most autos on the road are 3/4 empty (assuming for simplicity a seating capacity of 4).

  5. Michael Barera says:

    I always ride The Hop back from grocery shopping at Metro Market, and in my experience there are almost always 8-12 people on it. And typically 2-4 people boarding at Jackson and Juneau southbound with groceries, just like me. I ride The Hop on a weekly or biweekly basis, much more than I drive, and I much prefer riding the streetcar to driving. I’d encourage anyone who hasn’t tried it yet to give it a chance the next time they’re downtown.

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