Tampa — Morning Service Begins
The stpeters.blog site reports that the TECO heritage streetcar line that links downtown TAMPA and Ybor City over a 2.7-mile route will begin morning service for commuters headed downtown and to other rail system locations effective Monday, September 26.
This is the start of a six-month trial to assess ridership potential for morning service hours along the streetcar line. The 2.7 mile long opened for service in 2002 with great expectations, but has struggled with low ridership for years.
Reduced hours of service have created the impresson that the line is a convenience for tourists rather than a transit line serving local residents.
“This is a golden opportunity to make the TECO Line Streetcar System service more convenient than ever before,” said Katharine Eagan, HART Chief Executive Officer. “Plus, it will provide a new way for residents and workers in Downtown Tampa, the Channel District, and historic Ybor City to take transit without the hassle of driving. This is just another example of how HART is leading the way in finding new and innovative ways to make transit seamless and easy to use in the Tampa Bay area.”
Streetcars will run on half hour headways from 7:00 am to noon then every 20 minutes until 10 pm. Weekend service will continue to start at 11:00 am.
HART will analyze results of the trial after it ends on March 24, 2017.
At the same time, the city is conducting a feasibility study for the extension and modernization of the streetcar. HDR Engineering is performing the study under a $1.2 million contract.