Streetcar service, fares unchanged
TAMPA - Streetcar service in 2014 would remain the same as in 2013 under a preliminary $1.98 million budget the Tampa Historic Streetcar Inc. board reviewed Wednesday. The proposed budget would keep three streetcars running on a 20-minute frequency on Sundays from noon to 8 p.m.; on Mondays through Thursdays from noon to 10 p.m., with extended hours for Tampa Bay Lightning home games; and on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. The streetcar would operate on a 30-minute frequency on Fridays and Saturdays from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. The basic one-way cash fare would remain $2.50.The budget reflects an $80,409 increase from this year’s budget, relying in part on money drawn from the streetcar’s endowment fund balance that is projected to run out by fiscal 2018. The budget process and discussion will continue at the June streetcar board meeting. The board is scheduled to adopt the budget in July, and the Tampa City Council will consider the budget in August. The fiscal 2014 budget takes effect Oct. 1. The streetcar board also learned that the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization is considering a $100,000 study of options to extend the streetcar line in downtown Tampa. That study could show whether additions to the streetcar route that primarily serves visitors traveling between Channelside and Ybor City would fare better — and could improve its cost and revenue position — with a longer line.