Tampa — $1.2 Million Study Launched
The Tampa Tribune reports that three consulting firms have filed submissions to bid for a $1.2 million contract to study extending and modernizing the 2.7-mile streetcar line that runs from Channelside to Ybor City. This study will proceed even though the Go Hillsborough transportation referendum is pending.
Tampa is exploring the concept of transforming the Tampa Historic Streetcar into a genuine commuter option for city dwellers. City leaders have identified the project as critical to revitalizing downtown Tampa and meeting the needs of millennials who prefer alternatives to driving. The study is largely being funded by a $1 million grant from the Florida Department of Transportation. It will evaluate potential route expansion and make recommend upgrading the system’s heritage streetcars, which many consider to be suitable for tourists but not for daily commuter use.
All three firms – HDR Engineering, AECOM Technical Services and Jacobs Engineering – have been shortlisted for the contract. A firm will be chosen by a city selection committee which will recommend a choice to Mayor Bob Buckhorn. The successful bidder will plan how to route the line through downtown. City officials have talked about the line going as far north as Tampa Heights. Any extension would likely have to cross the CSX line at Polk Street as well as busy intersections.