Committee Votes for Milwaukee Streetcar Line
MILWAUKEE - A committee of local leaders called the Milwaukee Connector Study Steering Committee has approved funds to start preliminary work on a streetcar line in downtown Milwaukee, despite objections from a Milwaukee County official.
The line would run on city streets, powered by overhead electric wires, resembling light rail vehicles.
The fare would cost $1, while the ride would wind through Downtown Milwaukee.
It would cost nearly $96 million and would connect the downtown area to the lower East Side.
Stops are planned for the Bradley Center, the Frontier Airlines Center, the Amtrak-Greyhound Intermodal Station, the Third Ward and Brady Street.
The line would not stretch to Marquette University, UWM or Miller Park, missing out on thousands of potential student and stadium riders.
"We look at the future funding opportunities to connect us with those destinations, but you have to start somewhere," said Milwaukee Alderman Bob Bauman.
TODAY'S TMJ4 HD's Tom Murray says that representatives from the City of Milwaukee, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce and the Wisconsin Center District voted yes to the project.
"It's really a monumental moment," said Milwaukee Department of Public Works Commissioner Jeff Mantes.
A Milwaukee County official voted no, saying that it would hurt an already struggling transit system.
"We're concerned about the possibility of the city tapping into those sources and taking some of that away from the existing transit system," claimed Brian Dranzik, who works for the county.
"That is an absolutely 100% phone, partisan argument," said Bauman. "They are complimentary systems."
The target date to have the streetcar running is sometime in 2013.