TAMPA, Fla. -- Electric trolley cars, absent from Tampa since 1946,
will return in October, playing a role in transporting visitors and
workers between the Channelside area, downtown and Ybor City.
For those unfamiliar with the area, Channelside is the site of
dining, entertainment, an aquarium, and the cruise port; downtown
has hotels, museums and the convention center, and Ybor City has
historic sites related to cigar-making as well as ethnic
When the TECO Line Streetcar System inaugurates service Oct. 19,
it also will mark the start of a two-day grand opening celebration
along the system's 2.3-mile route.
The electric streetcars going into service are replicas of the
original Birney Safety Cars used by Tampa's first electric
streetcar line in 1892. The eight streetcars reportedly are the
first air-conditioned models ever built. They can go up to 30 miles
per hour and carry 88 riders each. All are
An 11-stop ride from downtown Tampa to Ybor City on the TECO
Line Streetcar System will take 22 minutes. Streetcars will run
daily with extended hours on the weekend.
Tampa Historic Streetcar Inc., a non-profit corporation will
manage the streetcar system and the Hillsborough Area Regional
Transit Authority will operate and maintain it.
Construction of the first phase of Tampa's new streetcar system
cost about $32 million and was funded through a partnership between
the city, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Florida
Department of Transportation.
Intermodal transportation facilities are also being built on
both ends of the line. Southern Transportation Plaza ($14.5
million) is under construction across from the Tampa Waterside
Marriott. The other site, Ybor Station ($7.3 million), will house a
maintenance facility and a streetcar museum.
The restoration of trolley service represents a cooperative
effort by Tampa Mayor Dick Greco and an 18-year campaign by the
Tampa & Ybor City Street Railway Society.
Pending are the fare structure and group rates. For more
information, call the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority,