Tampa — More on Potential Expansion
Tampa officials want to expand the TECO heritage streetcar line which now runs, mainly as a tourist-oriented service, from downtown to Ybor City and the Florida Department of Transportation [FDOT] has offered $1 million to help plan the rail transit expansion, Tampa Bay Times reported Wednesday. "The study will consider extending the streetcar's route potentially north to Tampa Heights. ... The engineering firm HDR has estimated the costs of expanding the streetcar at $30 million to $60 million. That estimate does not include $2.5 million for needed capital maintenance or another $60 million that would be needed to modernize the streetcar." The new line might use modern streetcars instead of the Gomaco Trolley of Iowa-built replica double truck Birneys that ply the rails to Ybor City.
The city also is liekly to request FDOT's help solving two issues with CSX Railroad. First, the city wants to negotiate for the streetcar to cross CSX tracks at Polk Street. Second, the city wants to be relieved of the $400,000 insurance premium the streetcar line pays annually for a $100 million liability policy CSX requires for the streetcar to cross CSX's tracks in Ybor City.