By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jul 25, 2023 at 1:25 PM

As both Bastille Days and the Harley-Davidson Homecoming Festival were underway, The Hop ridership surged, averaging 4,557 riders a day during the weekend of July 13-16.

That includes boarding 6,883 passengers on Saturday, July 15, which was the fourth-highest ridership tally for a single day after July 12-13, 2019, during the last pre-COVID Bastille Days, and Nov. 3, 2018, during the streetcar’s debut weekend.

And that was without the lakefront line yet opening, though testing at the lakefront stop – inside The Couture complex, which is still under construction – is ongoing.

Once that’s open numbers will surely surge with visitors to Milwaukee Art Museum and Discovery World, plus, in summer, all the lakefront festivals.

“The strong ridership numbers from last weekend are further evidence that The Hop is delivering on its promise to contribute to a more vibrant and accessible Downtown community,” Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson said in a statement Tuesday.

“Part of what makes weekends like these so important is that a lot of new riders are introduced to the benefits of convenient and accessible transit, and that will go a long way towards not only turning new riders into repeat riders but also bolstering our broader efforts to support transit and build safer streets.”

Launched on Nov. 2, 2018, The Hop hit the 2 million riders milestone in early spring.

Though its numbers took a hit during the pandemic, the streetcar has seen 27 straight months of year-over-year increases in ridership.

The 50,293 passengers in June accounts for about 70 percent of pre-COVID numbers from June 2019.

That number reflects a similar trend in similarly sized cities nation-wide, according to the American Public Transportation Association.

You can follow ridership numbers for the streetcar online at

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

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 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.