The Milwaukee Streetcar is building momentum! Construction Update: Westbound St. Paul and 4th Street to open on 10/30. Third Ward work on schedule. Broadway between Clybourn and Kilbourn has been paved and marked. Milwaukee Street south of Wisconsin Ave to begin track work on 10/30. Milwaukee Street between Wisconsin and Mason to open next week, hopefully 10/23. Jackson Street SB lane almost completely finished, NB lane working on the inner curve from Jackson to Ogden. Ogden Ave working on the station platforms at Astor plus the Farwell Ave/Ogden Ave intersection.
For more information, please visit the Milwaukee Streetcar website: http://themilwaukeestreetcar.com/
How much will a ticket cost to ride? For the first 12 months The Hop is operational, FREE. After the first 12 months, the City estimates a 2 hour ride with unlimited transfers will be $1
What will the hours of operation be? Hours of operation are still being finalized. The initial plans are: Monday through Friday 5AM to 12AM, Saturday: 7AM to 12AM, Sunday: 7AM to 10PM
How often will a car be at a stop? During peak hours, every 10 minutes and during off peak hours every 15 minutes.
How will the streetcar operate in snow? Business as usual. Streetcars can operate effectively in snow conditions, but similar to all vehicles (including buses) they require their travel lanes to be plowed and are subject to service limitations in very severe weather and snowstorms.
Why does Milwaukee need a streetcar when there are buses? It’s another option for people to use! Buses provide critical daily transportation service to thousands of people in Milwaukee County to access jobs, education, entertainment, shopping, health care and more. But bus routes can be changed, and this is a disadvantage for economic development compared to fixed-rail transit options, such as streetcars. Streetcars offer permanence, which better guarantees to developers and the marketplace that the system will not move tomorrow. Therefore, cities across the country are seeing robust economic development and investment along fixed-rail transit lines. And, while streetcar systems do require an initial capital investment, operating a streetcar system is often less expensive per trip or passenger mile than traditional buses. This is true for many reasons, including that streetcars have a higher capacity than a bus and can move more people more efficiently with fewer vehicles, and because streetcar vehicles last many decades longer than buses, which are typically replaced every 15 years.
It doesn’t go anywhere….does the mayor think people will actually use it? The initial route connects riders with housing, jobs, attractions, hotels, shopping, dining, other transportation options, parking and more. It serves the Intermodal Station and its 1.4 million annual users; the Third Ward (the fastest-growing neighborhood in Southeast Wisconsin); East Town (with the largest concentration of jobs in the state); and the lower east side (the highest-density residential neighborhood in state). It was developed through a ridership analysis process and also took into account opportunities to tap into economic and property development while enhancing, rather than duplicating, other transportation options. Remember, this is only a starter route. The City has a vision for an expanded streetcar system that serves additional neighborhoods.
Why can’t we use the money to repair our roads or improve the already in use bus system? These federal funds are exclusively for building a fixed-rail system — and buses don’t qualify. As designated by Congress, the funds can only be used for that purpose and cannot be used for operation of the existing bus system or any other transportation initiative such as road maintenance or fixing potholes. Similar to the High Speed Rail money, if the money is not used for the streetcar, it would go to another city for fixed-rail transit. More importantly, the City understands the value of investing in infrastructure to compete in the 21st Century. Cities across the U.S. are progressing by adding multi-modal transportation choices for their residents, visitors and workers. The City recognizes a modern streetcar system is a critical component for enhancing and building a vibrant urban community.
Additionally, federal funds related to this project have already been used to expand MCTS. At the time the federal transit grant for the streetcar was established, a $36.6 million grant was also given to Milwaukee County to purchase new buses.
How will emergency vehicles operate with the poles and wires in place? The Milwaukee Streetcar is designed to accommodate existing buildings, infrastructure and typical uses of the downtown Milwaukee environment. In cases of emergency, the City will have the capability of disabling overhead electricity at localized locations so that emergency workers can get to buildings in the downtown area. In extreme cases, the overhead wires could be removed for access to a particular building.
Are the buses still going to operate when the streetcar is up and running? The streetcar route, service and features are designed to enhance, not replace, bus service. The Milwaukee Streetcar route was developed to coordinate with MCTS bus service. The Phase 1 route should enhance MCTS use by bringing new riders to public transportation and connecting the Intermodal Station to the many MCTS routes that intersect through downtown. Streetcars can attract riders who rarely use transit because the vehicles are quieter, more attractive and more comfortable and, with their fixed route, easy to understand and use. Then, through streetcar use, we expect people will discover the benefits and advantages of public transit, and may increase their use of the bus system as well. Additional transit riders will also be found through anticipated increases in growth and density along the streetcar route.
When is construction going to be finished? Construction for the Milwaukee Streetcar will be completely finished early to mid summer 2018.
When will the streetcar be operational? The Milwaukee Streetcar is projected to begin passenger service in mid-2018. Factors that could influence the final timeline include: modifications in final engineering, vehicle delivery timelines, utility relocations, and Federal Transit Administration approvals.