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Tampa - March 2000
   

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Tampa – Hurry Up

Rail Transit Online, March 2000

City officials want at least a portion of the 2.3-mile Ybor City heritage streetcar line ready to carry passengers in time for the Jan. 28, 2001 Super Bowl.  But before that can happen a contractor must be found who can complete track laying and electrification by year’s end, an operating company has to be hired and an assessment district established to help pay operating costs.  “It's a possibility,” city development administrator Fernando Noriega told the St. Petersburg Times.  “We'd love to see a portion of it working by then.  It would be real good exposure (to visitors).”  Tampa Historic Streetcar, Inc. has already issued a Request for Expressions of Interest from firms interested in operating the line.  The $24-million project, which will link the Tampa Convention Center with the historic district of Ybor City, was to be completed by spring of this year.  But the route had to be reconfigured in several places after new developments, such as a hotel and an entertainment center, were announced.  “The trolley was conceived of to promote these kinds of projects,” city transportation manager Elton Smith told the Times.  “But before we're even open, they're here.”  In addition, the planned use of an existing building at the city yard for a maintenance base was scrapped after the mayor decided to sell the site.  Now, a new carbarn must be constructed to match other historic buildings.  Meanwhile, the first of eight replica heritage trolleys is scheduled to arrive this month from Gomaco.  It’s now hoped to complete the entire project by the end of 2001. 

 

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