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Article By: Dyllan Furness
During a busy year of development for downtown Tampa, the City of Tampa has been conducting a study to determine the feasibility of extending and modernizing the city’s historic streetcar system to provide better public transportation options for people visiting, living, and working in downtown. Called InVision: Tampa Streetcar, the study team presented their design concepts and recommendations for the project at a public meeting on December 12.
The current streetcar system traces a 2.7-mile path from Ybor City to the Channel District. The proposed extension would add a looped route north from the Channel District to Palm Avenue in Tampa Heights.
Among the feasibility study’s goals have been to define strategies; evaluate available vehicle technologies; estimate costs, benefits, and impacts; and coordinate with other planning efforts around the city.
The proposed extension plan would see an additional 1.3-mile loop added to the current streetcar system. Modernizing the system would include extending hours and upgrading vehicles, tracks, and stations.
The study has estimated a cost of up to $102.6 million for the extension and $69.9 million for modernization. The City of Tampa expects to receive funds from the Federal Transit Authority to support the extension effort but not modernization.
The end goal is to facilitate the development of downtown Tampa by providing better transportation options to the neighborhood’s 15,000 residents and roughly 100,000 weekly visitors.