Streetcar extension for downtown Tampa studied

TECO StreetcarHART is exploring the feasibility of constructing a streetcar extension through the heart of downtown Tampa to the Marion Transit Center. The purpose is to identify the constraints and improvements needed to upgrade the existing system to accommodate modern streetcar or light rail transit vehicles. Consultants from HDR Inc., with assistance from LTK Engineering, are conducting the study.

The study focuses on the physical feasibility and conceptual costs of extending streetcar service from the existing terminus at Franklin and Whiting Streets north along Ashley Drive, Tampa Street/Florida Avenue, Franklin Street, and the Marion Transitway. HDR prepared scenarios, held discussions with key stakeholders, and identified benefits, costs, and physical constraints of each scenario. Although stakeholders discussed the potential for the system to serve destinations beyond the central business district, the study is limited to the feasibility of extending the streetcar line to the Marion Transit Center.

This study also identifies improvements required to upgrade the system to accommodate modern trams or light rail vehicles. This would require improvements to support higher capacity transit vehicles, including the reconstruction of several horizontal curves, reconfiguration of stations, upgrading power sources and overhead power systems, and reconstruction or replacement of the existing maintenance and storage facility.

No funding has been identified for an extension but the study lays the groundwork for designing a project as well as future grant applications. For more information, contact Sandra Morrison at HART.