Diary

Streetcars in Milwaukee


Beginning more than a century ago, Milwaukee County had a robust, 191 mile streetcar network owned by The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Co. It was one of the largest and most innovative transit systems in the nation. Hundreds of streetcars ran on most major (and some minor) roads in the county, with interurban lines reaching Waukesha, East Troy, Watertown, Burlington, Kenosha and Sheboygan.

Beginning in 1860, the very first streetcars in Milwaukee were horse drawn cars on rails. By 1896, TMER&L was founded, combining the early horse-drawn and streetcar lines into one, large, electrified system. The typical fare was 5 cents, and Milwaukee and its surrounding suburbs enjoyed excellent, mass transit until the late 1950s.

1896 – Men posing in front of an open-air, electric streetcar in front of Car Barn 85.
Photo: MPL
1904 City & Suburban Streetcar Map
1934 Transit Map
Orange: Streetcar Routes
Blue: Trolley Bus
Brown: Regular Bus
Light Green: Independent Bus Lines
Thick Orange Lines: Interurban Service out of county
Photo: UWM

More history here: https://urbanmilwaukee.com/2015/03/31/a-short-history-of-milwaukees-old-streetcar-system/

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