What Goes Around Comes Around

Old streetcar imageIn their heyday, Tampa's streetcars whisked passengers to and from Ybor City, Ballast Point, Hyde Park, Sulphur Springs and points beyond. Operated by uniformed conductors, the Birney cars were a welcome sight, and the familiar clang of the streetcar bell was music to the ears. To ride the streetcar was to feel the pulse of the community.

Tampa's first electric streetcar lines built in 1892 quickly became an essential part of everyday life as workers took the streetcar downtown and to the cigar factories of west Tampa. And families climbed aboard for a picnic or ball game in DeSoto and Macfarlane parks. Reaching the peak of its popularity in the 1920s with almost 24 million passengers in 1926, Tampa's streetcar system rolled to a stop in August 1946 following World War II.

Whiting Station with TECO Line Streetcar parkedToday, electric streetcars are back in Tampa, supporting continued growth in Downtown, Channelside and Ybor City. The first phase of the TECO Line Streetcar System is a 2.4 mile section that connects these three areas, improving transportation capacity, supporting Tampa’s thriving cruise industry and transporting workers to and from their jobs.

The first part of the second phase of the system is a ⅓ mile extension that extends the system north on Franklin Street to Whiting Street and the Fort Brooke parking garage. It connects the more than 35,000 people who work in the downtown area to almost every major downtown parking structure. 

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