Motorists and pedestrians along W. St. Paul Ave. were treated to a special sight on April 11 as the first vehicle for The Hop, presented by Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, began testing on the road for the first time. Representatives from the city, the streetcar operator and the vehicle manufacturer were all on hand for the beginning of the long and thorough process to prepare the streetcar for passenger use later this fall.
As TV cameras and onlookers watched, The Hop navigated its way up and down a fenced-in portion of track on St. Paul between N. Fourth St. and N. Plankinton Ave. The testing procedures are designed to ensure that all components of the system, from internal controls to the overhead wires providing power to the vehicles, are operating as intended. The vehicle will continue testing along St. Paul in the weeks ahead, before ultimately beginning to test along the entire route through downtown later this summer.
While there’s no fixed schedule for testing, motorists and pedestrians can expect to see The Hop in action often in the coming weeks, and are encouraged to come on down, take some photos, and welcome our newest addition to the city. Whether you plan on checking out The Hop on foot or in your own vehicle, we’d also encourage everyone to review some important safety information.
Stay tuned for more exciting news about The Hop, including the arrival of the second vehicle next month!
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.
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