The Hop, you may have heard, is doing pretty well. An average of 2,297 people rode the thing in November, the same month the 2.1-mile streetcar system launched with a “Grand Hop-ening.” Now, The Hop has released some ridership numbers for December, and they’re not too shabby. While the total number of rides stayed steady—76,125 in November; 76,044 in December—the average daily ridership rose from 2,297 in November to 2,453 in December. Ridership on Mondays and Tuesdays saw a nice bump, too.

“Our ridership numbers show that the city is embracing this new asset, and that people are riding for a wide variety of reasons,” Mayor Tom Barrett says in a press release. “We’ve seen some fantastic crowds on weekends as the streetcar attracts business and activity downtown, and we’re also seeing an uptick during the week as more and more riders utilize the system to connect with their jobs, residences and other destinations. The early returns on The Hop have been very encouraging, and we look forward to seeing continued ridership in the year ahead.”

BUT NOT SO FAST. Because the streetcar remains a strangely contentious issue, some folks will still figure out how to complain about it. So, here are the trenchant Facebook comments you’re sure to encounter in the next few hours:

• “Yeah, but check back when the novelty wears off.”
• “Yeah, but check back when it isn’t free.”
• “Yeah, but check back when it’s nice outside.”
• “Yeah, but check back when it’s really cold outside.”
• [that meme of Barrett saying “A trolley will fix this”]

Here’s the full press release, preceded by some choice “literature” that was being handed out at the grand opening.

MILWAUKEE – Ridership of The Hop, presented by Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, continued to grow during December, as over 76,000 riders hopped on board during the streetcar’s first full month of operations. The 76,044 total rides during the month represents an average daily ridership of 2,453, up from the 2,297 daily average in November. The December growth was fueled in part by increases in early week ridership, with average Monday ridership jumping from 1,357 in November to 1,789 in December, and average Tuesday ridership increasing from 1,622 to 1,952 month over month (excluding holidays).

“Our ridership numbers show that the city is embracing this new asset, and that people are riding for a wide variety of reasons,” Mayor Tom Barrett said. “We’ve seen some fantastic crowds on weekends as the streetcar attracts business and activity downtown, and we’re also seeing an uptick during the week as more and more riders utilize the system to connect with their jobs, residences and other destinations. The early returns on The Hop have been very encouraging, and we look forward to seeing continued ridership in the year ahead.”

Below is a breakdown of The Hop’s ridership in 2018:

December:
76,044 – Total Rides
2,453 – Average Daily Rides

November:
76,125 – Total Rides
2,297 – Average Daily Rides (Nov. 5-30 only; excludes the 16,409 opening weekend riders)

2018 Totals:
152,169 – Total Rides
2,382 – Average Daily Rides (Excludes opening weekend)
4,882 – Highest single-day total (Saturday, Dec. 15)

To learn more about The Hop, including schedules of operations and tips for safely sharing our city’s roadways, visit www.thehopmke.com. To receive real-time information regarding streetcar service including alerts regarding service interruptions or changes in the operating schedule, please follow @HopAlerts on Twitter.

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