line opens new station
TED JACKOVICS | The Tampa Tribune / Published: January 31, 2011 / Updated:
01/31/2011 02:41 pm
Officials today celebrated the grand opening of the $5.3 million extension
of the TECO Streetcar Line from Channelside to a business district station
on Whiting Street with a call for further expansion of transit.
one-third mile extension that opened in late December extends the streetcar
line to 2.7 miles from its eastern terminus in Ybor City and provides
a closer link to downtown activity.
officials expect once downtown employees and visitors become better aware
of the extension, it will generate more ridership to Channelside and Ybor
City restaurant and entertainment venues and enhance the city's competitive
position to draw conferences and conventions.
can't stop here," U.S. Rep Kathy Castor, D-Tampa said, calling for
an extension of the streetcar line to the David A. Straz Jr. Center for
the Performing Arts, the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, the Childrens'
Museum and to the proposed high-speed rail station.
Mayor Pam Iorio agreed the streetcar extension into the business district
is an important downtown element and called for renewed efforts to build
a light rail line and modernize the bus system to enhance Tampa's transit
it began operation in 2002, the streetcar has been a focal point of local
rail transit critics who say its ridership revenue does not sufficiently
cover operating expenses.
2011 budget for the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority, which
operates the streetcar, projected that 430,000 passengers this year would
generate $623,550 in fare revenue compared with $2.1 million in expenses.
Revenues also come from a downtown assessment district and an endowment.
Rogoff, the administrator of the Federal Transit Administration, pointed
to $1.2 billion in economic development along the original 2.4 mile streetcar
line, along with visitor-related jobs at nearby hotels as a rationale
for the streetcar.
aren't the fastest transportation option, but do an exemplary job in revitalizing
downtowns and creating jobs, he said.