TECO Line Streetcar System
TECO Line Streetcar System
A TECO streetcar picking up passengers in Ybor City
|Opened||October 19, 2002|
|Owner||City of Tampa|
|Line length||2.7 mi (4.35 km)|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
The TECO Line Streetcar System is a streetcar line in Tampa, Florida, run by the Hillsborough Area Regional Transportation Authority owned by the City of Tampa and managed by Tampa Historic Streetcar, Inc.. It connects Downtown and Channelside to the historic Ybor City district. There is also an "In-Town" trolley-replica bus system that connects Downtown, Channelside, and Harbour Island. 
The line opened on October 19, 2002. The line is 2.7 mi (4.35 km) long with 11 stations. The track is single with several passing sidings. The track mostly follows a reserved right-of-way at a cost of 13.7 million per mile including eight streetcars. The cars themselves costing $600,000 each. Annual insurance cost is $400,000 liability. (2012) most of that cost is the requirement by CSX Transportation for insurance to cross over their freight tracks at Fifth Avenue and also 13th street.
Tampa's first electric streetcars were introduced in 1892. The streetcar reached its peak of popularity in the 1920s. In 1926, almost 24 million passengers were carried. The first line shut down on August 4, 1946. The first streetcar system used the Birney Safety Car and, probably, other streetcar types.
Streetcars returned to Tampa in 2002, when the initial 2.4 mi (3.86 km) long heritage line was opened. Its operating costs are financed through a "Special tax assessment" (.33 per thousand) on businesses in the streetcar district and a streetcar endowment stemming from settlement money received in 2006 by the city for the demolition of the Harbor Island People Mover.In its first year of operation, the streetcar carried 420,000, 20% more than projected. In 2005, 434,498 passengers used the streetcar. In 2011, Streetcar ridership from October 2011 through May is down 8.3 percent to 265,148 with a total for the year of 358,737 riders. ($5.88 per rider. 2011) A new 0.333 mi (0.54 km) extension opened for revenue service on December 19, 2010 at a cost of $5,500,000 Dollars. It connects Franklin Street and the Fort Brooke parking garage in the down town core to the Convention Center as well as the rest of the TECO Line.
Station list 
- Dick Greco Plaza (connection to In-Town Trolley Purple Line (weekday peak service) to various points in downtown Tampa, Harbour Island, & Channelside; signed as TRANSPORTATION PLAZA on rollsigns)
- The Tampa Tribune
- Cumberland Avenue
- York Street
- Port Authority
- Cadrecha Plaza
- Streetcar Society
- Tampa Bay Federal Credit Union
- Centennial Park
Rolling stock 
The system has eleven operating streetcars: nine modern replica double-truck Birney cars, one restored original Birney car, and one replica open-bench "Breezer". All except the original Birney were built by the Gomaco Trolley Company.
The replica Birney cars have a welded steel body with cosmetic rivets added to make them look older. The cars are wheelchair-accessible, air-conditioned and have automated stop announcements. The seats are made of wood and are reversible for when the car changes direction. The cars are also equipped with on-board ticket dispensers; however, they do not provide change.
The one original Birney was found in Sulphur Springs, a neighborhood in Tampa. When the car was found it was being used as an apartment. After extensive restoration the car is back to its former condition and is used for special events.
- "Streetcar system reaches more of downtown Tampa". Tampa Bay Business Journal. December 17, 2010. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
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