Introduction

The development of The Milwaukee Streetcar is moving forward following city approval in February 2015. Final design of the Phase 1 route is nearing completion and, with the October 2015 announcement of a $14.2 million federal TIGER grant, further Lakefront Line planning is also underway. The Request for Proposals (RFP) for streetcar vehicles was issued and selection of a vehicle vendor, U.S.-based Brookville Equipment Corp., is complete. Preliminary utility relocation work was completed in fall 2015 and continues in 2016. In April 2016, the RFP was published for building the system's main line, operations and maintenance facility, and contract negotiations with the selected firm are underway. Mainline construction is expected to start as early as this fall. The Milwaukee Streetcar’s Phase 1 route is slated to begin serving area residents, workers and visitors in 2018 with the Lakefront Line extension launching service in 2019.  Additionally, the City is pursuing an approximately 1-mile route extension on Fourth Street.  The extension would be funded through two existing and one new Common Council-approved Tax Incremental Districts, which would act as a local match for a $20 million federal TIGER grant that the city has applied for.  The TIGER awards are expected to be announced this fall.

Latest News

View general project e-newsletters here.

See media coverage here.

July 6, 2016 – The City of Milwaukee Common Council today voted to approve a local funding package for the streetcar’s proposed Fourth Street Extension. The $20 million, funded through two existing and one new Tax Incremental Districts, will act as a local match for a pending $20 million federal TIGER grant request with awards expected to be announced this fall.

June 2016 -- The City of Milwaukee remains committed to expanding the starter streetcar route into adjacent neighborhoods and is pursuing a federal TIGER grant and local match for an initial extension on Fourth Street.

April 18, 2016 -- The City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to procure a Construction Manager – General Contractor to provide preconstruction and construction services for the Milwaukee Streetcar Project Phase 1 and the Lakefront Line extension. Find it here.

March 2016 -- Streetcar-related bid opportunities are expected to be announced next month. As this is a City of Milwaukee construction project, you can access up-to-date construction opportunities on the City's Department of Public Works (DPW) website. The DPW Home Page is found here. On the home page, go to the "Quick Links" section (lower right) and select "Official Bid Notices." Streetcar-related bid opportunities will be listed once they are published. The exact RFP publication date for mainline track and the Operations and Maintenance Facility construction has not been finalized. You may also want to sign up for the City's e-notify service to receive notices of bid opportunities.

January 2016 -- To help support and promote development along and near the streetcar corridor in downtown and surrounding neighborhoods, Milwaukee Downtown (Business Improvement District #21) has published a "MKE Streetcar Development and Investment Guide."  (Read More.)

November 2015 -- Milwaukee has approved an agreement with a U.S. streetcar manufacturer to build its vehicles. (Read More.)

October 2015 -- On October 26, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Senator Tammy Baldwin and Congresswoman Gwen Moore announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the City of Milwaukee a $14.2 million grant to enable construction of The Milwaukee Streetcar's Lakefront Line. (Read More.)

September 2015 -- Vendors, suppliers and contractors are invited to learn more about The Milwaukee Streetcar's bidding requirements, DBE certification and special opportunities at a seminar on Thursday, September 17, 2015 from 3:00 p.m. to 5 p.m. The program will take place from 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. followed by a Q&A session from 4:15 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at Prism Technical, Lower Level Community Room, 2745 North Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Milwaukee. For more information and to register click here.

August 2015 -- The City of Milwaukee has executed an agreement with We Energies for the company to complete a detailed review of impacted facilities and final design of proposed solutions and relocations. The utility is expected to present its findings to the City in late fall. The We Energies design agreement will be used as a template for agreements with other private utilities impacted along the route.

August 2015 -- The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration has approved the city's proposed adjustment to the initial streetcar route. The route will now run east and west between Broadway and Jackson on Kilbourn Avenue instead of Wells Street. The City continues to work cooperatively with East Town stakeholders on the change. The route will also be relocated from Van Buren Street, entirely to Jackson Street. The adjustment is expected to provide millions of dollars in cost savings related to underground utility relocations. View detailed route maps here.

May 15, 2015 -- A report measuring downtown Milwaukee's entertainment and hospitality offerings was released today. The report touts the streetcar as helping to address downtown's connectivity. Read more.

June 2015 -- After careful analysis, the City of Milwaukee will move forward with plans to adjust the initial streetcar route.  The route will now run east and west between Broadway and Jackson on Kilbourn Avenue instead of Wells Street and the City continues to work cooperatively with East Town stakeholders on the change.  The route will also be relocated from Van Buren Street, entirely to Jackson Street. The adjustment is expected to provide millions of dollars in cost savings related to underground utility relocations and will require approvals from the Federal Transit Administration. View updated route map.

May 15, 2015 -- A report measuring downtown Milwaukee's entertainment and hospitality offerings was released today. The report touts the streetcar as helping to address downtown's connectivity. Read more.

April 6, 2015 -- Milwaukee's streetcar project has taken another significant step forward. The Department of Public Works has issued the Request for Proposals for qualified contractors to supply four new modern streetcars. The RFP puts into place a competitive process that will get the best possible cars and the best value. The RFP and related documents may be viewed here.

March 26, 2105 -- City officials and the project consultant team today reported to the Common Council's Joint Committee on Downtown Streetcar Implementation. Among the updates: final design is well underway; the first construction contracts, related to utility relocations, could be let this summer; and a local hiring and training program is being developed. The committee is expected to meet monthly. Read more in this Milwaukee Business Journal coverage.

February 23, 2015 -- BizTimesMedia takes a look at the impact The Milwaukee Streetcar could have on the downtown real estate market. The story follows the streetcar's initial route and discusses opportunities related to commercial and residential development, retail, tourism and more. Read more.

February 10, 2015 -- Today, the City of Milwaukee Common Council gave final approval to the city’s plan to move the streetcar forward and Mayor Tom Barrett signed the legislation.  Voting in favor of the streetcar were Aldermen Ashanti Hamilton, Nik Kovac, Bob Bauman, Milele Coggs, Willie Wade, Jose Perez, Terry Witkowski, Russell Stamper and Common Council President Michael Murphy.  Read more.

January 2015 --  The City of Milwaukee Common Council, on a vote of 10-5, approved plans to move the streetcar project forward. Following the vote, employing a rarely used parliamentary move, several aldermen delayed final approval until the February 10 Council meeting. Read more about the Council's action here.

January 2015 --  U.S. Congresswoman Gwen S. Moore submitted an opinion piece to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel saying "Expanding our city's public transportation options shouldn't be a controversial issue. When it comes to large metropolitan cities such as Milwaukee, public transit is widely recognized as a critical component in driving economic development and spurring economic growth." Read the complete letter here.

 


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The City of Milwaukee's official streetcar project website.