The route was identified to serve the greatest numbers of riders along a route that also provides significant opportunities for economic development. It was designed to complement existing bus routes, especially the major bus corridor along Wisconsin Avenue. It connects the Intermodal Station and its 1.4 million annual users; the Third Ward (the fastest-growing neighborhood in City); East Town (with the largest concentration of jobs in the state); and the lower east side (the highest-density residential neighborhood in state). The initial route and extensions would be within a quarter-mile* of the following destinations:
- 100% hotels
- 90% occupied office
- 90% occupied retail
- 77% of parking
- 77% of housing
- 90% of major downtown attractions
- 100% of downtown’s 20 largest employers
*¼ mile (3-4 blocks) is a general guideline used by transit planners nationwide for what people are willing to walk to access transit. This was also confirmed through a user survey conducted along the Milwaukee Streetcar route in the fall of 2010, which indicated people in Milwaukee were willing to walk about 4 blocks for transit or goods and services.
Potential Future Extensions
The City plans to work with the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC), the official metropolitan planning organization and regional planning commission for the seven-county southeastern Wisconsin area, to provide planning services for future streetcar expansion.