'Delivering on its promise:' Milwaukee's mayor touts success of The Hop during recent festivals

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett touted on Tuesday, July 16 what he called the success of The Hop during Summerfest and Bastille Days.

The mayor indicated since the opening of Summerfest (which started June 26) and through the run of Bastille Days (which ended July 14), there were 3,821 riders on the streetcar per day during that 19-day stretch. Mayor Barrett compared that number to the pre-launch projected ridership of 1,850 riders per day. Barrett also mentioned there was a record set on Saturday, July 13 -- when 8,968 riders hopped on board the streetcar. It had not been that busy since the opening weekend of The Hop in November 2018.

"That will tell you how packed The Hop was on Saturday," the mayor said. "These strong numbers we're receiving are further confirmation The Hop is delivering on its promise to create a more connected city."

Barrett reported for the month of June, The Hop supplied rides to 65,239 passengers (averaging 2,175 riders per day). In July, ridership had also been strong, the mayor said, averaging 4,149 riders per day for the first half of the month.

Milwaukee Alderman Bob Bauman

Milwaukee Alderman Bob Bauman, a proponent of the streetcar, said the numbers seen on The Hop were "impressive" -- and the system was basically at capacity.

"If anything, that's an argument for acquiring more cars, because you basically can't put more people on these vehicles," Bauman said.

Mayor Barrett had been pushing for an expansion of the streetcar system prior to the city hosting the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in July 2020. Leaders on the Common Council were at odds over this proposal -- and there was no immediate resolution in sight.

Those opposed to expansion of the streetcar system said the money being allocated for expansion of The Hop should instead be used to help secure the city's infrastructure. Because of this, city leaders have not been able to get funding measures out of committee.

Complete ridership data for The Hop since the system's launch in November 2018 is available online by CLICKING HERE.