A few years ago, Cheramye White went from guiding basketball players at schools in north Florida to guiding visitors between downtown and Ybor City as a motorman -- or is it motorperson? -- on the TECO Historic Streetcar. With her aviator sunglasses and her black leather driving gloves, she cuts quite a figure at the controls of her streetcar. But you can still call her Coach.
WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
WHO'S YOUR HERO AND WHY?
My parents are my heroes because they still are living the life of Christians daily. They help everyone and are very kind to all persons. I tryt o follow their example every day.
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN OR A HOBBY?
Travel, Basketball, attend sporting events
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
I love meeting different people that use the streetcar for transportation or tourists that use it to see Ybor City, Channelside and downtown.
HOW WOULD YOUR LIFE BE DIFFERENT WITHOUT TOURISM?
Very different. The majority of the people that ride the streetcar -- they're not from the Tampa Bay area and are in town for events. The ridership would be greatly affected if we didn’t have visitors from out of town.
WHAT'S SOMETHING PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's very physical. Before we go out for the public to ride we have to throw switches to prepare the streetcar to go the correct direction. Once we get to the end of the line the motorman has to manually change the direction of the streetcar and change the trolley pole that sends electricity from the overhead wires.
WHAT'S THE FUNNIEST THING THAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU ON THE JOB?
“Momma, is our driver a girl?”
WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND YOUR VISITORS DO FOR FUN WHEN THEY COME TO TAMPA BAY?
Ride the streetcar, for sure!