The Florida Department of Transportation announced this morning that the TECO Tampa Streetcar will be FREE for the next three years! 

A $2.67 million grant from the state to Hillsborough Area Regional Transit will keep the train fee-free, while an FDOT-funded study also tries to extend the length of the 2.7 mile route up into Tampa Heights from its current endpoint at Whiting Station near Hattricks. Once the study is done, funding sources will be sought to extend the line. 

The Tampa Streetcar can take you from Channelside to Ybor or from Downtown to Harbor Island, depending on where you need to be. There are 11 different stations on the route, with Northbound is towards Ybor City and Southbound heading into Downtown. Though the fares weren’t outrageous before at $2.50 per ride, many living in the core of the city will be thrilled on Tuesday morning that a new transit option is available gratis.

The announcement also said the Streetcar will arrive at each station every 15 minutes instead of the current every 20 minutes, and that hours will be expanded. Current hours for the streetcar are Monday - Thursday from noon to 10 p.m., Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 a.m., Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. (2:00 a.m. Southbound), and Sunday from noon to 8:00 p.m.

If you’re looking for more on transportation in Tampa Bay, visit 813area! Your local free guide to everything in Tampa!

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons