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Milwaukee seeks streetcar operator bids

Work on the first phase will begin in April; the Lakefront branch is expected to open in 2019. (Image courtesy: Milwaukee Streetcar)

The City of Milwaukee, WI, (US), has called for proposals for the operation and maintenance contract of its downtown streetcar line.

The first phase of the route runs 3.4km (2.1 miles) between Burns Common and Milwaukee Intermodal Station. With utility relocation said to be ‘significantly complete’, main construction work is due to begin in April; tracklaying will commence on West St Paul Avenue between Plankinton Avenue and 4th Street. Rail installation will start west of the Milwaukee River on St. Paul, then move to Broadway, and continue along the planned route throughout 2017 and into 2018.

The 1.2km (0.7-mile) Lakefront branch is expected to open in 2019, linking Phase 1 at Milwaukee Street with Downtown Transit Center.

The operations and maintenance contract would cover the period of pre-revenue services from July 2017, with five years of operations and maintenance to begin late 2018, with an option for a further five years. The submission deadline is 4 April, with the announcement of preferred bidder expected on 18 April.

A provisional service pattern will see trams running every 15 minutes between 05.00-0.00 on weekdays, increased to a ten-minute service 07.00-22.00. Weekend services would run 07.00-00.00 (Saturday) and 07.00-22.00 (Sunday).

Four Liberty streetcars supplied by Brookville Equipment Corporation are to run the line, in a contract worth up to USD18.6m that includes options for a further 20 vehicles. A fifth vehicle for the Lakefront line has already been mooted. Designs are due to be finalised in March, with deliveries due to start in December 2017.