The first streetcar vehicle for The Hop, presented by Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, arrived in Milwaukee on March 26 following its 600-mile journey from manufacturer Brookville Equipment Corp. in Brookville, Penn., by flatbed truck.
The vehicle’s arrival marked the first opportunity for the public to get a glimpse of the vehicle, including the new The Hop branding and color scheme. Today’s delivery was the first of a five-vehicle order, with the remaining cars slated to arrive over the next few months.
“The arrival of The Hop’s first vehicle in Milwaukee is a major and highly visible step forward in the development of our new streetcar system,” Mayor Tom Barrett said. “By the end of this year, Milwaukeeans will be able to ride the streetcar to so many places — and with free rides for the first year, thanks to Potawatomi Hotel & Casino’s generous support.”
Ald. Robert Bauman, who represents much of the Downtown area, said, “Sixty years ago to the month, streetcar operations ended in Milwaukee, closing out 68 years of electrified street railway service that once operated over 191 miles of Milwaukee streets. The last line, the #10 Wells Street line, ceased operations in the early morning hours of Sunday, March 2, 1958. Portions of the original #10 Line (Ogden and Jackson St.) will again see streetcar service as part of Milwaukee’s modern streetcar system’s initial starter line.”
Media and elected officials joined a crowd of excited Milwaukeeans on W. St. Paul Ave. today to welcome The Hop home. The first streetcar will spend the next few weeks inside the new Operations & Maintenance Facility located on N. Fourth St. as workers put the finishing touches on the vehicle. On-street testing for the streetcar will begin in mid-April on a section of track along W. St. Paul Ave., with testing along the full initial route to begin this summer.
The Hop will officially open to the public in the fall, with free rides for the first year of operation thanks to Potawatomi Hotel & Casino’s generous 12-year, $10 million sponsorship deal.