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Transportation

Tampa Receives $67.3 Million From FDOT To Expand Streetcar Project

Rendering of Tampa Street Car
Courtesy: City of Tampa
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Tampa released renderings of planned improvements to its downtown streetcar system.

The funding would go toward providing more modernized vehicles and expanding the streetcar service to areas including USF and Tampa International Airport.

The city of Tampa has received $67.3 million toward the expansion of its downtown streetcar project.

In a news release Tuesday, city officials announced the funding through the Florida Department of Transportation for Tampa’s "Streetcar Extension and Modernization Project."

Rendering of Tampa street car
Courtesy: City of Tampa

The funds would allow the city to purchase more modern vehicles, as well as extend the TECO Line Streetcar System well beyond downtown in the years to come.

In the release, FDOT Secretary David Gwynn said this is “the largest transit funding award the state has ever given to the Tampa Bay region.”

According to the release, the funds would go toward the purchase of faster, more modern vehicles that are designed for easier boarding.

It would also allow for the service to eventually be extended beyond the downtown area.

The streetcar currently runs along a 2.7-mile route from downtown Tampa and the Channelside district to Ybor City. But future plans call for the streetcar system to include routes to the University of South Florida, East Tampa neighborhoods, Tampa International Airport, and the Westshore District.

But Gwynn said the city continues seeking additional funds for the project.

Tampa will find out if it qualifies for a $100 million federal grant early next year, while also awaiting for a ruling on additional state funding.

Hillsborough voters approved a one-cent sales tax, championed by the group All for Transportation, in 2018. But the tax is pending a ruling from the Florida Supreme Court after opponents argued the charter amendment that voters approved takes power away from county commissioners.

“Today is a great step in Transforming Tampa’s Tomorrow,” Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said in the release. “We are all still hopeful that we will get a positive ruling from the Florida Supreme Court on the All for Transportation funding, and that will bring additional funding into our area so that we can provide more transportation solutions and enable our roads to be safer to travel.”

Rendering of Tampa street car
Courtesy: City of Tampa

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