The Tampa Historic Streetcar, Inc. board meeting held today is available online. Enjoy the embed folks!
I just finished watching it and if there's one message I feel obliged to underscore on behalf of the board, it's that the streetcar is free on Saturdays. That's the new order of the day, the real deal, the new way.
Tampa Historic Streetcar, Inc. Board Meeting - 01-17-18
You can traverse to your heart's content back and forth between the downtown edge and Ybor City. I dated aggressively in Tampa and found that nothing compliments a special night out like that ride on that night. Go for it!
This all being said, as you will see from the video, this free Saturday thing applies to any Saturday -- except Gaspirilla Saturday. Of course the intent was to have every Saturday free but due to an apparent error of consideration, the fact that Gaspirilla, a top revenue generation night for the system, falls on a Saturday, the board was to somewhat embarrassed level forced to make Gaispirlla Saturday the exception.
Jeffrey Seward, Interim CEO, attributed the mis-calc to Gasparilla somehow falling off the radar when plotting out the spread of Saturday nights that the system would take a fare hit. He and the rest of the board politely didn't look too happy about having to make the adjustment, and appear to try and contort their way around doing so every which way, before finally concluding that they had no choice.
So, the streetcar is free to ride every Saturday except Gasparrila Saturday which is on the 27th.
Trying to get a fix on where the Tecoline Streetcar System expansion/modernization is these days I watched the last Tecoline Streetcar Board Meeting held last November 15 which included a presentation by the study group. Here's a YouTube embed starting with that presentation that will bring the curious up to speed in one shot.
Steven Schucraft of HDR provides latest update on Streetcar Expansion/Modernization Study (11/15/17).
I was surprised to learn that the "lean" here, or, at least the study focus, is to completely replace the existing heritage cars. As I've said as recently as my last post, I think that would be a shame -- and perplexing as a layman.
It's hard to imagine what infrastructure constraints there might be on keeping the status quo going concurrent to modernization (which I know and push as critical to the acceptance and sheer asthetics of the system as a serious commuting tool), but as I have not been paying too much attention over the last year, the reasons might be well presented in any of the online material related to this project somewhere, just waiting for my review. At the moment, to my eyes, the same track and catenary systems seem interchangeable.
It seems pretty clear that two alignments have been established as the likely routes, and both look like they create an ultimate closed loop for the entire system which is nice.
Both likely expansion routes which are overlayed above, make the system a nice loop overall.
Having been re-oriented through this presentation now it should be easier for me to keep up with the evolution moving forward into 2018.
Back when I lived in Tampa, I had conversations with the then Tecoline Streetcar superindendant about setting up a webcam somewhere along the line but the idea never gained real traction.
Watch high definition streetcars slip to and fro all day long!
Those who may be spirited to do it today however, take note that this one was set up (or is at least managed by) a company called TerraFox Networks. They are apparently the same people behind the oddly comforting Jackson Wyoming webcam, so streaming idle urban scenes is apparently their thing.
I can only imagine they'd love to hear from a Tampa official associated with the streetcar in order to get the ball rolling.
The Sunlink is 3.9 miles long according to its website's FAQ, a bit longer than Tampa's which checks in at 2.7. The system is also hosting modern streetcars compared to Tampa's nostalgic cars, though, the latter is on a contemplative trajectory to convert over either fully or partially at some point.
Just watching the Sunlink cars sailing by in this live cam stream should excite any transit enthusiast for that very prospect, though, in saying such things, I am always wary about diminishing the work and value of the nostalgia cars which in my opinion should run concurrent to modern cars.