The Tampa Historic Streetcar System is a 2.7-mile long streetcar transportation network that provides a unique connection from downtown Tampa and the Channelside District to the Ybor City historic district. In the past, the system had been used mainly by tourists, but the City of Tampa is exploring a future for the streetcar as a true transportation option that better serves the mobility needs of residents, workers, visitors, and students in downtown Tampa, Ybor City, Channel District, and surrounding urban neighborhoods. The City has been conducting a public transportation feasibility study and project development activities to expand and modernize the Tampa Streetcar system in partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART). The Invision Tampa Streetcar project is supported with funding from the City of Tampa, HART and FDOT, with potential for federal funding through the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) Small Starts Capital Improvement Grant program. Project activities include intensive public engagement and close coordination with other local and regional transit initiatives.
The City completed the first phase of the InVision: Tampa Streetcar in Spring 2018 and in June 2018 received approval from FTA to enter the Project Development phase to select a preferred alternative and refine improvement plans and strategies.
The preferred alternative for the project consists of the following project elements:
- Replacement of the existing replica streetcar vehicles with modern streetcar vehicles;
- Construction of a 1.3-mile fixed guideway with overhead power within existing rights-of-way from the western terminus of the existing system through the core of Downtown Tampa to Tampa Heights;
- Construction of stops along the extension guideway;
- Modifications to the existing 2.7-mile alignment guideway, power system, and stops to support modern streetcar operations; and,
- Modifications to the existing vehicle maintenance and storage facility to accommodate the new vehicles.
The City will be wrapping up the Project Development and Environmental phase of the project in late Spring 2020 and in coordination with HART, will submit a project ratings request to the FTA in August 2020.