Wisconsin Chapter meetings are held on the first Friday of every month (except May, July & August), at 7:30 p.m., at the North Shore Congregational Church, 7330 N. Santa Monica Boulevard in Fox Point, Wisconsin. Click here for a Bing map and directions.
Friday, November 1, 2019 - Milwaukee's Modern Streetcar System: The Hop at One Year, presented by Milwaukee Alderman Robert Bauman, Transdev's Terry Mulcahy, and a representative from Brookville Equipment Corporation.
After years of planning and the diligent efforts of many City leaders, The Hop initiated service on November 2nd, 2018. The Hop is free during its first year of operations, being presented by Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. The Hop is a new, modern fixed-transit network that exhibits Milwaukee as a world-class city. The 2.1-mile double track M Line begins at Milwaukee’s Intermodal Station and travels though the City to Burns Commons, also traveling through the scenic Cathedral Square Park which hosts many civic-oriented events throughout the year. Among the primary benefits of a fixed-rail transit system are the numerous potential economic development opportunities it provides and supports. The system will help attract and retain investment, business and talent; create jobs; and improve the quality of life. The main function of the Hop is to create connections. It’s about helping Milwaukeeans connect with their homes, jobs, entertainment destinations and each other. Those little connections, layered upon each other, bring people together and create a more vibrant community. The HOP serves 18 stations on the M-Line and operates over 900 trips in 127 hours weekly.
Alderman Bauman has been in elected office since 2004 serving downtown Milwaukee and the Near West side. He currently serves as the Chair of both the Public Transportation, Utilities, and Waterways Review Board and the Public Works Committee and also as Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Streetcar Implementation. Alderman Bauman previously founded and operated a business rebuilding and remanufacturing railroad passenger cars and transit equipment. He has been a lifelong advocate for improved and expanded public transportation and improved land use planning in Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin. In the past, Alderman Bauman served as Chair of the Southeast Wisconsin New Transportation Alliance; served on the Technical Advisory Committee of the East-West Corridor Study and on the Advisory Committee of the Downtown Transit Connector Study; and served as a Commissioner on the Milwaukee Transportation Commission.
Terry Mulcahy began his career with the Burlington Northern Railroad in Iowa. Intercity rail transit career began with the start-up of San Diego Trolley, then to St. Louis, Missouri for the start-up of MetroLink. From there to Tacoma WA for the start-up of Tacoma Link Streetcar and then to Seattle, WA for the start-up and extensions of the Central Link Light Rail project. Terry began with Transdev Rail Services to assist with the streetcar programs they were operating. His duty as the General Manager is to ensure the safe and efficient daily operation of the system. As a new system with a relatively new staff, teaching and training of rail transit procedures is a critical aspect in the day-to-day operations. Other duties include coordination and compliance with Federal, State, and Local regulatory agencies. Additional responsibilities involve service planning for special events and adverse weather situations. Importantly, Terry is also involved with the continued planning of future streetcar line extensions.
Join a discussion with Alderman Bauman and Terry Mulcahy, and a representative of Brookville Equipment Corp., to learn the political history behind the Hop you see today, how it was and will continue to be funded, a behind-the-scenes look at its operation and comparison to other cities, and what controversies remain today for the implementation of the delayed expansion plans in Milwaukee.
More About the Hop:
The fleet is made up of 5 Brookville Liberty Streetcars manufactured in Pennsylvania. Brookville also has streetcars operating in Dallas, Oklahoma City, and Detroit. The Hop’s streetcars are 67-feet long and 8’8” wide (double the length and capacity of an MCTS bus), three-piece, articulated cars with a capacity of 150 passengers, seated and standing. There are 32 seats per streetcar, 14 on each end of the vehicle plus 4 flip-down seats in the center and two doors per side for fast boarding. The Hop features a low-floor design compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and roll-on/roll-off access for wheelchairs, strollers, and bikes. The Hop streetcars are double-ended, meaning they can be operated from either end. The streetcars' sub-floors were manufactured and donated by local firm Milwaukee Composites, Inc., a producer of lightweight floor for the international transit industry.
Milwaukee’s modern streetcars aren’t “trolleys” — they are unlike like the noisy, bumpy vehicles of the last century. Today’s modern streetcar vehicles are sleek, smooth, quiet, efficient, and comfortable. The Hop is electric powered and draws electricity from an overhead contact system (OCS) with a wire, supporting poles and substations along the route. The Hop is designed to use a single contact wire, which is much different from the thick and expansive span wire systems used for older streetcar systems. The Hop vehicles operate in shared traffic on city streets with stops every 3 to 4 blocks at speeds of approximately 25 to 30 mph. Ridership of the Hop has exceeded expectations.