Car rentals are the most convenient form of transportation for visitors, with local companies offering better prices but national chains offering more convenience vis-a-vis return policies and times.
The main freeways in Tampa are Interstate 275, Interstate 4, the Veterans Expressway (toll FL 589), and the Leroy Selmon Crosstown Expressway (toll FL 618). Some of the main east-west roads through town are Kennedy Boulevard (SR 60), Gandy Boulevard (SR 694), Hillsborough Avenue (US 92) and Fowler Avenue (SR 582), while some of the north-south roads are Dale Mabry Highway (US 92) and Florida/Nebraska Avenue (US 41). Traffic is especially bad during the rush hours: from about 7:30 to 9:30 AM and 3:30 PM to 7:30 PM. During these times, try especially to avoid I-275, especially between I-4 and SR 60 (by the airport) as this section runs by downtown and is currently being rebuilt.
Luxury limousines, sedans, and party buses are available for rent with Tampa Limousine VIP.
, provides extensive bus service throughout Hillsborough County. There are three types of routes offered: "local", "Commuter Express", and Trollies (see below). Local routes are ones which have many stops in a small region. Commuter Express lines are long-distance lines namely providing service from suburbs into Tampa. Only local to local & commuter express to local transfers are allowed.
, offers service in Pinellas County (the county west of Tampa Bay, home to Clearwater and St. Petersburg) similar to what HART offers in Hillsborough.
Tampa also has the TECO Line Streetcar that runs from Whiting and Franklin Streets downtown to Centennial Park in Ybor City with 9 stops along the way (11 total stops). The line is useful for tourists and convention goers. The line runs by many local shops, restaurants, and attractions including the convention center/ Embassy Suites, the Tampa Bay Times Forum, Channelside, the
, and through Ybor City. There are 3 types of streetcars in operation: 9 "Birney Safety" replicas (picture, right), one "Breezer" open-air replica (picture, left), and one original "Birney" car (#163, not pictured) which operated in Tampa from 1923-1946 and went through 10,000 man-hours of restoration. Even if you're not using it for transportation, the streetcars are a fun way to see some of the city's historic and cultural sights.
Tampa also has a rubber-wheel trolley system serving the Central Business District. Unlike the streetcars, which are electric and run on a fixed track, the trollies are simply small, diesel buses styled to look like a streetcar. The In-Town Trolley runs north-south from I-275, through downtown to the northern end of Harbor Island. It has service every 10 minutes at 17 stops, Monday through Friday from 6-9 AM and 3-6 PM.