By Nyesha Stone
Milwaukee’s newest edition the streetcar – officially known as “The Hop” – has been a conversational topic since it was announced to the public. Many ask why waste money on a streetcar when our roads aren’t even drivable? Or, why not put the money back in the schools? But, no matter how you feel about it, it’s here.
This previous Monday, Mayor Tom Barret along with local journalists, and a few other passengers, rode on The Hop for the first time. The ride began at the pick-up spot at Cathedral Square Platform (Kilbourn Ave. between Jefferson St. and Jackson St.) at 3 p.m. on the dot.
According to the Mayor, the streetcar will be free for its first year of operation, starting November 2.
“It’s about connecting people and connecting places,” Barrett said about one of the purposes of the streetcar. “It’s about economic development.”
But, while all of the reporters were focused on asking the Mayor his thoughts, they seemed to forget about the experience.
Riding on The Hop takes you into a different realm of Milwaukee. The smoothness of the railing feels delightful compared to the pothole-ridden streets of Milwaukee. When you’re on The Hop, you’re able to see Milwaukee in a new way.
As you go from one part of downtown to the next, you began to drift into a calmer mindset, as you let the conductor take you from point A to point B, or back to A if you want to enjoy the entire route, which takes about 45 minutes to complete.
The windows are wide and clear, so everyone can view the city as they hop on board.
Now, with another option of transportation for Milwaukeeans, maybe this could lead to more access to employment, amongst other things.
To find out more about The Hop visit https://thehopmke.com/