Marquette Wire

Milwaukee streetcar plans do not include Marquette University

The+streetcar%E2%80%99s+2.5-mile+route+will+include+the+downtown+area+and+a+loop+around+the+lakefront%2C+including+major+Milwaukee+events%2C+like+Summerfest%2C+along+Streetcar+stops.+Photo+via+themilwaukeestreetcar.com
The streetcar’s 2.5-mile route will include the downtown area and a loop around the lakefront, including major Milwaukee events, like Summerfest, along Streetcar stops. Photo via themilwaukeestreetcar.com

The streetcar’s 2.5-mile route will include the downtown area and a loop around the lakefront, including major Milwaukee events, like Summerfest, along Streetcar stops. Photo via themilwaukeestreetcar.com

The streetcar’s 2.5-mile route will include the downtown area and a loop around the lakefront, including major Milwaukee events, like Summerfest, along Streetcar stops. Photo via themilwaukeestreetcar.com

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Construction of the Milwaukee Streetcar is expected to begin in April, but Marquette is not included in the initial phase of the project.

The streetcar’s 2.5-mile route will include the downtown area and a loop around the lakefront, including major Milwaukee events, like Summerfest, along Streetcar stops.

Route construction will begin at staggered intervals, starting with St. Paul Avenue, then moving to Broadway, and continue along the planned route.

Additional streets directly affected by the track construction include sections of  Fourth Street, Jackson Street, Ogden Avenue, Milwaukee Street and Kilbourn Avenue.

Marquette is not part of the initial phase of the project. However, “future expansions could include campus,” said Rana Altenburg, vice president of the Marquette Office of Public Affairs.

Altenburg said it is unclear at this time if there will be a streetcar student pass similar to the Milwaukee County Bus System that Marquette students receive during orientation.

“The streetcar will not operate like a traditional bus service when riders pay once they are on board,” Altenburg said. “Rather, riders will pay at a station outside the vehicle near the stop.”

Fare prices are estimated to cost $1 per ride. The streetcar will operate from 5 a.m. to midnight Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.

The Milwaukee Streetcar aims to spur significant economic development in the city. One main goal of the project aims to attract and retain college graduates from Wisconsin and across the nation to help grow Milwaukee’s economy.

Grace Hegemann, a sophomore in the College of Nursing, said she believes the streetcar will have a positive impact.

“I have lived in Milwaukee my whole life and I think that the streetcar is a great addition for businesses and the city as a whole,” Hegemann said.

It is hoped that the streetcar attracts new offices and businesses to the region by providing access to jobs for Milwaukee residents. However, many students who are not originally from Milwaukee believe that they will most likely return back to their hometowns after graduation.

“I would stay in Milwaukee if some of my Marquette friends were,” Elyse Campion a sophomore in the College of Communication, said. “Realistically, I would like to go back home to Chicago.”

The project’s budget is about $128 million with an estimated $3.2 million annual operating and maintenance budget, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Some students believe that the $128 million could be used elsewhere to improve the city.

“I think it’s ridiculous to allocate resources to gentrifying the city,” Carly Ogletree, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, said.

Service for the initial downtown route is expected to begin in fall 2018, and the lakefront line is expected to start operating in 2019.

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