When we last argued about the streetcar’s ridership numbers, The Hop had delivered a total of 494,445 rides in 2023. As always, this made people extremely angry for some reason. “HOW MUCH MONEY DID IT MAKE ON FARES?” bellowed the “School of Hard Knocks” crowd on Facebook. “TALK TO ME WHEN IT’S NOT FREE TO RIDE!” chortled the folks who only come out of the woodwork for streetcar articles. “I DON’T BELIEVE THAT! I SAW IT ONCE AND THERE WAS NO ONE ON IT!” jeered the folks who think The Hop is fudging the numbers or something. Also: boondoggle, Killwaukee, liberal mayors, anti-streetcar copypasta, etc.

Anyway, Milwaukee’s lil’ downtown streetcar system has just reported its January 2024 and February 2024 numbers. Are you ready? Good! In January 2024, The Hop recorded 32,116 rides; in February 2024, 37,602 rides.

For comparison, January 2023 numbers were 32,481; February 2023 numbers were 31,188. (Find complete ridership numbers HERE.)

There. That’s it. Please argue.

Despite ongoing challenges securing funding for route expansions, a long-planned lakefront line (the “L”) opened to limited, Sunday-only service in October 2023. The line approaches the lakefront via a loop around Michigan and Clybourn, and utilizes a new stop in the under-construction Couture building. Full service, reports Urban Milwaukee, is expected in April, “when the lower half of the 44-story The Couture tower is completed and open to its first residents.”


The Hop remains free to ride.

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Let’s argue about the streetcar’s 2023 ridership numbers

Here are some recent streetcar ridership numbers to argue about

47,552 people rode that darn streetcar in August 2023

A lot of people rode that darn streetcar during the big Harley/Bastille weekend

The streetcar’s “Grand Hop-ening”: A minute-by-minute report