The Hop celebrates 1 year of service

NOW: The Hop celebrates 1 year of service

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Mayor Barrett praised the first year of the Hop with a celebration at City Hall.

“The Hop proved to be an easy way for our residents and visitors to access Summerfest, Jazz in the Park, downtown farmers markets, and countless other events,” Barrett said.

Since the first day of service, more than 800,000 people hopped on, riding through the east side and Third Ward.

City officials say the free rides, provided by Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, contributed to the strong first year. “Our partnership with the city of Milwaukee and the Hop is an investment in the community.”

Now Everstream, a fiber-optic company, is covering the cost beginning Nov. 2 until the end of the year.

“Right now, because of these partnerships, because of the power of public and private partnerships, we’re able to continue to have these rides for free,” Barrett said.

However, there are calls to figure out service expansion. Plans for the Hop to go to Wisconsin Avenue were halted.

The lakefront line is also on hold because construction of the Couture high-rise has been delayed. “Frustrated,” said Alderman Robert Bauman. “We have the lakefront line two-thirds built. The tracks are in the ground and then they just stop in the middle of the street,” he said.

Alderman Tony Zielinski, who is running for mayor, released a statement. He criticized Mayor Barrett for spending money on the streetcar and not on pensions, police officers, or fixing lead pipes.

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