HART Scores State Grant for Streetcar Service
The grant, from FDOT, will give HART a chance to enhance TECO Line Streetcar service for three years.
TAMPA – The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority has been awarded $2.7 million in grant funding from the Florida Department of Transportation to extend TECO Line Streetcar service hours, increase frequency, and provide free rides to customers for the next three years.
“We want to first thank FDOT District Seven Secretary David Gwynn and his team for their continued support of HART. This funding will be a major step forward for HART to be able to continue delivering essential TECO Line Streetcar service for the City of Tampa,” HART Interim CEO Jeff Seward said. “Enhanced streetcar service will better connect downtown Tampa and historic Ybor City, giving residents and tourists another commuter option, as they travel around downtown for business or leisure.”
The $2.7 million grant will be used to increase Streetcar service from every 20 minutes to every 15 minutes and provide extended service hours. Officials said the increased streetcar service will improve mobility and access by affording residents access to additional job opportunities, and provide enhanced connectivity in downtown, the Channel District, and Ybor City.
The enhanced streetcar service will accomplish multiple goals; however, the primary objective is to add another mobility and connectivity option for residents, employees, and visitors in downtown Tampa and the city at large, according to HART. With planned extensions, the Streetcar will also create a vital connection between downtown and neighborhoods and further spread the vibrancy and development that is currently being seen in the downtown area. The Streetcar Extension Study from Downtown Tampa to Tampa Heights, also funded by FDOT, is in project development to pursue federal funding.
“This grant funding gives the TECO Line Streetcar System the opportunity to be a more viable transportation option for residents and tourists in Tampa. As waitlists for downtown parking increase, and Water Street construction gets underway, the TECO Line Streetcar becomes an invaluable travel option for those living and working in downtown and historic Ybor City. This could be a game changer for transportation in downtown Tampa.” said Tampa Historic Streetcar President Michael English.
HART said the FDOT grant is expected to help boost ridership and increase efficiency of the TECO Line Streetcar System, providing a greater opportunity for the Authority to provide a commuter service that meets the growing needs of Tampa’s downtown community.
Photo of a TECO Line streetcar courtesy of the TECO Line Streetcar System.
HART | TECO Line Streetcar | Tampa Streetcar | FDOT | Transportation | Tampabay News
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