TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The TECO streetcar service is only getting more popular, and thanks to a state-funded grant, riders can continue to use it for free.

A $700K grant from the Florida Department of Transportation is going to help cover the streetcar rides for a year.

The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) wasn’t sure if they’d get the funding, but frequent riders like Dennis Post said they were glad they did.

“It is a great vantage point down here because you can take a nice little jot down here and take it to Ybor City,” Post said.

The 2.7-mile streetcar line connects Downtown Tampa with Ybor City and the Channel District.

It continues to hit record ridership with more than a million this year already.

“I’d say it’s really convenient because it’s very congested down here now,” Post said. “There’s a lot of things going on but it [taking the streetcar] is the easiest thing to do.”

Post said he comes to Tampa Bay often for sporting events.

If riders would have had to start paying, we’re told it would have slowed down the streetcar service, especially during sporting events.

“It’s nice you can get off at any stop and see things different things along the way,” Post said.

Click here for more information on the streetcar including its hours of operation.

There are 11 stops across town and drivers come around every 15 minutes.