15:46 PM

Tampa International Airport unveils its new people mover system

(March 24, 2016) Tampa International Airport on Thursday unveiled the design for its new people mover that will rapidly take passengers between the Main Terminal, Economy Garage and a new state-of-the-art rental car center. 

The train will feature a unique design inspired by the beauty of the Tampa Bay region, with each of the 12 cars adorned with an image of one of the many birds that inhabit the Tampa Bay region. The interior of the cars will include educational information about the birds.

Still needed: A name. That’s where we need your help.

Today, Airport officials launched a two-week campaign to choose a name for Tampa International Airport’s new train.

The options: Gulf Glider, SkyConnect, JetStream and Florida Flyer.

To vote, go to the Airport’s Name the Train Polling Page.

Those who pick the winner get the ultimate prize: bragging rights.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Inc., which is providing the automated train system, calls the exterior design one of the most unique in the world.

“The selected design concept is unlike any we have seen before,” said Darin Friedmann, Vice President and General Manager of Mitsubishi’s Transportation Systems Division.  “We often see designs that feature lines and abstract shapes, but we have never featured graphic images incorporating the surrounding natural environment in this way. It highlights every aspect of the vehicle, from the exterior to the interior, bringing a 360-degree design aesthetic that fully integrates and captures the uniqueness of the Tampa Bay region.  It is a fun and exciting way to emphasize the local identity of the airport while enhancing the overall customer experience and leaving a positive and lasting impression with guests.”

The bird theme is particularly fitting for TPA. Florida is home to more than 500 species that are either year-round residents, stay for the winter or use the state as a migratory rest stop – with many found in Tampa Bay.

The featured birds were chosen with help from the Tampa Audubon Society and include the Bald Eagle, the Black Skimmer, the Great Egret, the Roseate Spoonbill, the White Ibis and the White Pelican.

“We are thrilled some of Tampa Bay’s native birds will be represented in such a prominent location at Tampa International Airport,” said Doug DeNeve, a spokesman for the Tampa Audubon Society. “These birds will help highlight the region’s natural beauty and will help raise awareness about our wildlife for millions of passengers a year.”