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Ridership on Milwaukee's The Hop dives amid pandemic pressure

The Hop
Posted at 9:53 PM, Mar 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-25 22:53:08-04

MILWAUKEE — With most things in the past year, Milwaukee's streetcar system took a beating.

Rides on The Hop dived to an average 516 riders a day after the pandemic hit the region in March of 2020, our partners at the Milwaukee Business Journalreport.

Annually, The Hop carried a total of 261,303 riders last year, down from 760,321 in 2019. The system transported an average of 1,600 riders at the beginning of 2020. By April - as the coronavirus was sweeping across Wisconsin - ridership plummeted to a meager 243, according to BizJournal numbers.

And The Hop still seems to be stuck this year. The streetcar's ridership was down more than 70 percent in January and February.

As the BizJournal's Sean Ryan points out, The Hop doesn't collect fares. So the drop is not directly impacting the system's budget.

Meanwhile, some Miwaulee alders are mulling over the prospect of suspending the streetcar service. Aldermen Scott Spiker and Michael Murphy said at a city budget hearing last October that funds are running out in the city's parking fund, which pays for the free streetcar service.

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