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Tampa HART Systems Goes to Free Fare in Tourism Boost

| October 9, 2018

TECO Line Streetcar System in Tampa

In an effort to boost tourism and inner city commerce, the TECO Line Streetcar System in Tampa is going fare-free and launching expanded service hours and increased frequency. 

From Ybor City to downtown Tampa, the 2.7-mile, 11-stop Streetcar connects residents and visitors to work, events, restaurants, sporting events, activities, and entertainment.

“Our customers wanted a service that fits the changing regional patterns of development and population trends, and a foundation to grow ridership,” said HART Interim CEO Jeff Seward. “This ‘New Era of Transit’ will move us into a new direction and will also more fully integrate our bus and rail networks into a seamless system to better serve residents, customers, and visitors, not only today, but into the future.”The remarkable change from $2.50 fares to free was made possible by an extraordinary $890,000 per year (for three years) grant HART received for that purpose. The funds to offset the fare revenues were awarded by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to enhance the TECO Line Streetcar System.

The grant will be used to increase streetcar service from every 20 minutes to every 15 minutes from 7 AM – 7 PM on weekdays and provide extended service hours throughout the week. That’s four opportunities per hour to experience the “Free. Fun. Frequent. Totally Tampa!” convenience of the streetcar, which has been serving Tampa Bay residents and visitors for almost 16 years. With the extended hours of operation and more frequent service, the Streetcar can now operate as a true transit option for those seeking to move quickly and, navigate locations along the service area.

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 historic Ybor City. With planned extensions, the Streetcar will also create a vital connection between downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods.

The FDOT grant will help boost ridership and increase the efficiency of the TECO Line Streetcar System, providing more significant opportunity for the Authority to provide a commuter service that meets the growing needs of Tampa’s downtown community. This improvement in urban mobility for all riders provides economic benefits for Ybor City, Channel District and downtown Tampa, especially with high-profile development projects slated to change the resident, tourist and worker landscape.

Category: General Update, News

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