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Tampa streetcar opens

The TECO Line Streetcar System opened for service on Saturday 19th October with a grand opening celebration with free rides over the weekend for some 17 000 passengers. This first phase of Tampa's new electric streetcar system is a 2.3 mile section with 11 stops that connect downtown Tampa, Channelside and Ybor City. The cost of USD32m, plus a further USD21m for extra intermodal transportation facilities, is funded through a partnership between the City of Tampa, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Florida Department of Transportation.

The line is managed by a non-profit corporation, Tampa Historic Streetcar Inc., which has selected the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) to operate and maintain it. A fleet of 8 replica Birney Safety Cars, which have air conditioning and wheelchair access and cost USD600 000, will operate the line. An original restored Birney Safety Car is also available for special occasions.

22 October 2002

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