More than six years ago a partnership was developed that allowed our Downtown neighborhood to create the seasonal Downtown Trolley Loop. Milwaukee Downtown, Business Improvement District (BID) #21 engineered this current agreement with Milwaukee County Transit. But, it has expired.
So, now it's hope of Milwaukee Downtown to renew its contract to continue providing trolley service at least until a permanent and long over due transportation solution is identified. And, they need your help, ideas and money.
Said Milwaukee Downtown in an e-mail:
"Although there are currently several downtown transportation alternatives on the table for discussion the process could take some time before we see any implementation of a new system. In the interim we feel it is critical to maintain at least some level of unique public transit that appeals to the downtown community and to our visitors. The Downtown Trolley Loop has accomplished this goal in the past and in 2006 ridership of the trolley increased by 52 percent."
The cost of operating the Downtown Trolley Loop is $150,000 annually. To date, Milwaukee Downtown and partners have raised $95,000 securing nearly 65 percent of the funds needed to enter into a new contract with Milwaukee County Transit.
The e-mail continued:
"If you are a trolley supporter and recognize the importance of this service please consider a one, two or three year commitment to help fund this initiative. Whether it is $500 or $5,000 annually help us bring the trolleys back this year! Time is of the essence. We are nearly certain that the trolleys will be sold and gone and if we are not able to renew this agreement by April 16. We have flexibility and will be able to amend and possibly shorten the route this year to enhance ridership further."
If you care out quality of life in our Downtown, it's time to save the trolleys.
Full disclosure: I live Downtown, ride the trolleys, know Beth Nicols and OMC and Milwaukee Downtown are collaborative promotional partners. Now, please help us save the trolleys!
A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.
He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.
Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.
He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.
He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.