Monday, October 24, 2016

Route of the Week: The TECO Line Streetcar System

Map of the TECO Line Streetcar System
With a diverse service area roughly the size of Rhode Island, Hillsborough County provides a great mix of urban, suburban and rural destinations for our riders. Think about the destinations that you can see and experience with the HART transportation network!

This week we highlight one of the nation's smallest light rail systems, the TECO Line Streetcar System. That's right, the Streetcar! The system follows all of the same standards and guidelines as all of the rest of the nation's light rail systems.

The TECO Line Streetcar is a 2.7 mile line connecting the employment, dining, and entertainment destinations in Ybor City, the Channel District (including Port of Tampa Bay and Channelside Bay Plaza,) and Downtown Tampa. The TECO Line Streetcar features 11 stations, each equipped with Ticket Vending Machines.

Streetcars actually have deep roots in Tampa's history. Tampa's first electric streetcar lines built in 1892 quickly became an essential part of everyday life as workers took the streetcar downtown and to the cigar factories of west Tampa. And families climbed aboard for a picnic or ball game in DeSoto and Macfarlane parks. Reaching the peak of its popularity in the 1920s with almost 24 million passengers in 1926, Tampa's streetcar system rolled to a stop in August 1946 following World War II.

The Tampa Streetcar was reborn via a grassroots effort and on October 19, 2002, streetcars once again rumbled down the cobblestone streets of Ybor City.

Weekday service extended until midnight for Arena events!
Today, the Streetcar serves a number of entertainment and dining options. Here is just a sampling:
  • The Florida Aquarium
  • Amalie Arena  (Weekday service extended until midnight for Arena events)
  • Tampa Convention Center
  • Centro Ybor
  • The Columbia Restaurant
  • Tampa Bay Brewing Company
  • District Tavern
  • The Tampa Riverwalk
  • Tampa Bay History Center
  • The Bricks Ybor
  • Port Tampa Bay

Visitors will also appreciate the access to hotels along the route:
  • Le Meridien
  • Hilton Tampa
  • Marriott Waterside
  • Embassy Suites by Hilton
  • Aloft Hotel
  • Sheraton Riverwalk
  • Hampton Inn & Suites - Ybor
  • Hilton Garden Inn Tampa

In September 2016, the TECO Line Streetcar System expanded weekday service (as a pilot) to begin operating at 7 a.m. With the launch of this pilot project, the Streetcar became a viable commuting option for those living and working along the line. The Streetcar serves a variety of employment centers in Downtown Tampa and Ybor City including:
  • One Tampa City Center
  • University of South Florida CAMLS
  • SunTrust Corporate Center
  • Ashley Furniture E-Commerce Facility
  • Amalie Arena
  • Tampa City Hall
  • Rivergate Tower
  • Bank of America Plaza
  • Hillsborough Community College - Ybor Campus

20-Ride Pass

Live or work along the streetcar line? Residents and workers can purchase a special 20-ride pass for only $25! That's 50% off the regular fare. Click here for a list of sales outlets.

Looking Ahead

Currently, the City of Tampa is working with the Florida Department of Transportation to study a possible extension and modernization of the streetcar line.

From Amalie Arena, to the Aloft Hotel, HART Takes You There.