Before it even came close to beginning service, some said that no one is going to ride The Hop MKE streetcar. Apparently, someone forgot to tell more than 75,000 riders that stepped aboard in November.
Beginning with its launch weekend, Nov. 2-4, there were 76,125 total rides on the streetcar in its first month, including 16,409 that debut weekend.
Excluding that initial burst, the average daily ridership on the streetcar was 2,297 in November. That's considerably above some city estimates that about 1,850 rides a day would be taken.
Sensors mounted above the doors count boarding passengers.
Rides are free the first year, thanks to a sponsorship by Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, and some have suggested that the free rides could be extended until the lakefront segment of the route is completed as part of The Couture development, but there's been no official word about that idea.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.