First streetcar to be delivered March 26

2-Story chosen as marketing agency

The first streetcar is expected to arrive March 26. (PHOTO: City of Milwaukee)

The first streetcar vehicle will arrive in Milwaukee and be on the tracks March 26, project manager Patrick Flaherty told a city committee this morning.

The first streetcar is expected to arrive March 26. (PHOTO: City of Milwaukee)

Loaded onto a specially-designed truck, the streetcar will depart manufacturer Brookville Equipment Corp. in Brookville, Pennsylvania on March 22 and make its way carefully to West St. Paul Avenue between North Third and North Fifth streets.

The streetcars are three-piece, articulated cars. Each is 67 feet long and can hold 150 passengers. The city plans to host a viewing for the arrival of the streetcar and a public unveiling of the first vehicle once it has been fully completed. The vehicle will arrive without its bottom skirting and upper pantograph, the portion that hooks up to overhead wires.

While the tracks and overhead wires have been under construction for months and are about 70 percent complete, the arrival of the streetcars themselves are expected to be a turning point in public attention to the project.

“When (people) see the car, it’s going to become reality for real, so we’re very excited about that,” said Ghassan Korban, commissioner of public works and Downtown Streetcar Implementation committee chairman.

The streetcars must undergo 1,000 kilometers of testing, so they will begin running on the tracks in a limited area in April and then systemwide in June. The city is simultaneously ramping up its public information and marketing efforts around the system.

“It’s going to be somewhat of a teasing phase, I would call it, because they can see it but they can’t touch it,” Korban said.

Milwaukee-based marketing agency 2-Story Creative Ltd. was today named the marketing agency for the streetcar. Five other local marketing firms submitted proposals on the RFP, which includes: Developing a bicycle and pedestrian safety campaign; developing a vehicle delivery public information campaign; developing a track access program; developing an automobile safety education program; and creating a system marketing campaign.

“We’re really excited to help bring it to life for the entire city of Milwaukee,” said Ellen Homb, owner and president of 2-Story.

2-Story previously came up with the name, brand and sponsorship package for the system, which will be called “The Hop” and operate with assistance from a $10 million, 12-year naming sponsorship from Potawatomi Hotel & Casino.

Homb said today she would be pursuing additional potential sponsors for the streetcar.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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