City Hall will hold the first of three public meetings on the future of the TECO Line Streetcar tonight with an eye on expanding and improving the service.
The streetcar should be used more than it is, Mayor Bob Buckhorn said in announcing the forum, so, “We are taking a hard look at its future.
“A potential extension of the system through downtown could open up connections to new neighborhoods, jobs and entertainment,” said Buckhorn, who, ironically, argued the trolley would be a poor use of taxpayer dollars and cast the lone vote against it when he was on the City Council in the 1990s.
But since then, much has changed, not the least being the $3 billion redevelopment project near Amalie Arena being planned by Strategic Property Partners, a joint effort of Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment capital fund.
SPP has worked with the city on potential changes to the streetcar in the hope of seeing an expanded trolley line move workers, sports fans and residents around downtown.
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