The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel finally put The Hop, Milwaukee’s streetcar to nowhere, to the test. They had five reporters take five different means of getting around downtown Milwaukee and The Hop finished last.
“Would I recommend the streetcar to get somewhere in a hurry? Evidently not,” said reporter Jordyn Noennig. “But it was, in my opinion, the cheapest and most comfortable way to get from Burns Commons to the Public Market.”
The other four options were riding a rented bike, Uber, taking the bus and walking. Yes, walking was faster than taking the streetcar.
In second place was renting a bicycle. Ironically, the streetcar has bicycle racks because being bicycle-friendly is more important than making sense. Bicycle riders have also injured themselves on the streetcar’s tracks, opening the city up to a few lawsuits.
Uber finished first. However, it never occurred to the Journal Sentinel to have the streetcar compete against taking your own vehicle. Given that’s how most people would actually have to get to the streetcar, that might have been an interesting comparison.
The Journal Sentinel reports that Uber was the most expensive option. Expensive for whom, is the question. Given the cost to taxpayers to build The Hop, the future costs to operate The Hop, and the future expansion of The Hop fixed-rail lines, the Milwaukee streetcar wins the cost-per-mile contest hands down.