On track testing of Milwaukee's new streetcar vehicle kicks off this week

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee's new streetcar will undergo months of testing before it goes into service at the end of the year -- and that testing begins this week.

The first of five streetcar vehicles, which arrived on March 26, will take part in on track testing this week.

"So all of the LED signage that you see on the outside, we have to make sure those are programmed correctly," said Darryll Simpson, GM of Transdev.

The on-street testing will take place on the north side of W. St. Paul Ave.

The other four cars will arrive over the next few months.

Testing of The Hop's full line will happen in July, with service to the public expected to begin in November.

Rides will be free for the first year of service as part of a 12-year, $10 million sponsorship deal with Potawatomi Hotel & Casino.