On Monday, Tampa, Fla.-based Hillsborough Area Regional Transportation Authority (HART) celebrated the grand opening of the new 1/3-mile extension of the TECO Line Streetcar System into Downtown Tampa.
Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff joined U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor and other officials in celebrating the opening of the extension.
The $5.3 million project was funded almost entirely by the U.S. Department of Transportation, including $1 million from ARRA, and links downtown Tampa to residential areas, restaurants, hotels and entertainment.
The one-third mile extension, which makes the entire line 2.7 miles long, will better connect some of Tampa’s most popular tourist, entertainment and business districts, including Ybor City, the Channel District and Downtown Tampa. The project also added an eleventh station at Whiting Street.
“This project promises to make Tampa a more connected community with greener transit options for its residents and visitors,” said Rogoff, “The extension will make it easier for residents to get around, for tourists to explore the city and for the business community to keep the economic engine of Tampa moving forward.”
Extensive economic development has occurred along the streetcar line run by (HART) since it opened in 2002, including new hotels in Ybor City and the Convention Center area, large residential condominium projects, and entertainment venues. A major development project being developed adjacent to the new Whiting Street Station is the University of South Florida Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation.