Contact: Paul Griffo
TAMPA, Fla. – Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff joined U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor and other officials today in celebrating the grand opening of the new extension of the TECO Streetcar Line to Whiting Street.
The $5.3 million project was funded almost entirely by the U.S. Department of Transportation, including $1 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and links downtown Tampa to residential areas, restaurants, hotels and entertainment.
“The Recovery Act is working for the City of Tampa,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “By extending the TECO Streetcar Line, which has already proven to be an engine for growth, we are ensuring the city’s sustained economic vitality.”
The one-third mile extension, which makes the entire line 2.7 miles long, will better connect some of Tampa’s most popular tourist, entertainment and business districts, including Ybor City, the Channel District and Downtown Tampa. The project also added an eleventh station at Whiting Street.
“This project promises to make Tampa a more connected community with greener transit options for its residents and visitors,” said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff, “The extension will make it easier for residents to get around, for tourists to explore the city and for the business community to keep the economic engine of Tampa moving forward.”
Extensive economic development has occurred along the streetcar line run by the Hillsborough Area Regional Transportation (HART) since it opened in 2002, including new hotels in Ybor City and the Convention Center area, large residential condominium projects, and entertainment venues. A major development project being developed adjacent to the new Whiting Street Station is the University of South Florida Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation.