Friday, December 8, 2017

FREE Holiday Shuttle Service for Light The Heights!

Support the Seminole Heights community on Sunday!
The holidays are a special time of the year, where magic exists in the hope of the new year, and the compassion and selflessness of the giving season.

The last few months have been quite difficult for the Seminole Heights area. However, with the help of the Tampa Bay community, we can help the Heights come back even stronger!

The Heights Urban Core Chamber is teaming up with local businesses and HART to Light the Heights on December 10th!
 

The event kicks off Sunday, with a motorcycle ride coordinated by Members of Monica Hoffa's family. The ride will roar through Seminole Heights, into Southeast Seminole Heights, to visit the four memorial sites. It will start in Lutz and will regroup at the Tampa Greyhound Track, before rolling down Nebraska Avenue.

Local restaurants, bars, stores, etc. will offer specials throughout the day. Once the sun goes to rest, you can enjoy the lights of Seminole Heights!

HART Holiday Shuttle Route
To show our support for the Seminole Heights community, we will be operating a FREE Holiday-themed Shuttle (with Santa) on Sunday from 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m, with service every 30 minutes. The holiday-themed In-Tower will circulate along a route with 18 stops at participating Seminole Heights' businesses.

Light the Heights is a great opportunity to Shop Local!

With the FREE shuttle in place, event officials highly recommend parking in designated lots and taking the shuttle between businesses throughout the day. Help reduce congestion in the area, and your stress level!

Join us on Sunday, as we come together to Light The Heights!


Thursday, December 7, 2017

HART and Rumba 106.5 Team Up to "Stuff-a-Bus"

Help us Stuff-a-Bus December 11-15!
HART and local radio station Rumba 106.5 are partnering to Stuff-a-Bus for families that have relocated to Hillsborough County from Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.

A holiday-themed In-Towner will be staged for donations at the iHeart Media radio station next week (December 11-15).

Donations will be collected Monday - Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. We are looking for new, unwrapped, clothing, non-perishable foods, small household items, and toys.

This year, we hope to “Stuff” several buses with items that will benefit the people of Puerto Rico, who have been displaced by Hurricane Maria and have resettled in the Tampa Bay area. We are working with the Missions of Miracles Foundation, an organization "dedicated to assisting families and their pets when tragedy, emergency, or natural disaster occur." Missions of Miracles will help distribute the collected donations throughout the county.

There will be a live broadcast from the donation site with Rumba on-air personality Angel Johnny on December 15, from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

'Tis the season! Stop by iHeart Media (4002 W. Gandy Blvd. Tampa, FL, 33611) next week to help us Stuff-a-Bus for new members of our community!


Monday, December 4, 2017

HART Announces Selection of Jeffrey Seward as Interim CEO

Today the HART Board of Directors appointed Jeffrey Seward to serve as Interim Chief Executive Officer, effective December 4, while the Board conducts a national search for a permanent replacement.

The Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve Seward, a 6-year HART employee who currently serves as Chief Financial Officer, to succeed Katharine Eagan who recently announced her departure after nearly eight years of service, to be CEO of the Port Authority of Allegheny County, Pa. Her last day at HART will be January 5.

A graduate of Columbia College, Seward also holds a Master of Public Administration degree from California Lutheran University. Prior to joining HART, he made valuable contributions while working as the Chief Financial Planning Officer for Sarasota County. As Chief Financial Planning Officer, he was responsible for the management and execution of the County's billion dollar annual budget, managing to build reserves to the point where very few services were required to be cut during the height of the recession. He also was instrumental in the financing strategy and planning for a $32 million major league baseball facility, which led to the Baltimore Orioles' making Sarasota its new spring training home.

"Jeff is a highly respected individual with the experience necessary to manage an agency as complex as HART," said HART Board Chair Commissioner Lesley "Les" Miller. "His 31 years of  experience in local government, private-sector and military experience makes him the perfect fit, and his already strong knowledge of HART and plans for the future of the agency will help ensure a smooth transition period for the agency. We are grateful for Jeff's strong commitment to HART."

Seward originally joined HART in 2011 as Chief Financial Officer, where he is responsible for account & financial reporting, budget, cash management, internal audit, procurement, contracts administration, grants & planning, environmental management sustainability and project management.   

Seward has distinguished himself as a dynamic and results-driven CFO who has consistently developed balanced budgets, developed strong financial policies,  ISO 14001:2004 certification for its Environmental Sustainability and Management System (ESMS), established project management, joint procurements with PSTA, negotiated deals with MegaBus and Red Coach. Also, spearheaded the Regional Fare Collection System which will allow riders to travel throughout the greater Tampa Bay area using a single fare processing system.   

Driven by a profound commitment to public service, Seward was named 2014 CFO of the Year in the Tampa Bay Business Journal's government agency category. Seward speaks nationally and internationally on the agency's sustainability and carbon reduction initiatives to reduce the agency's impact on global warming. He was recently a guest speaker at the Annual Climate Change: Impacts and Responses conference at Anglia-Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK.

He and his wife Theresa have four children; Noah 17, Tyler 23, Jordan 24, and Zachary 27.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

All Aboard the Winter Village Express!

Winter Village Express operates Sundays through Dec. 17!
The holiday season is so close, we can almost feel Jack Frost nipping at our nose - 65° at night. Brr!

The Tampa Downtown Partnership is once again holding their Winter Village, featuring an ice rink, a cafe with warm beverages and adult drinks, and a holiday marketplace, featuring 10 boutiques!

The Winter Village is located in Curtis Hixon Park and will take place from November 17 - January 5.

New this this holiday season is the transformation of the TECO Line Streetcar System into the Winter Village Express! Launching November 19, the Winter Village Express will offer a holiday experience aboard a holiday-themed Streetcar. Enjoy treats, music, and fun, while on board!

The Winter Village Express will operate every Sunday through December 17. You can pick up the Winter Village Express at either Whiting Station in Downtown Tampa (Station #11) or Centro Ybor Station (#2) in historic Ybor City.
Winter Village Express Schedule

Winter Village Express Operating Schedule:

Whiting Station in Downtown Tampa:
  • 3:15 p.m.
  • 4:15 p.m.
  • 5:15 p.m.
  • 6:15 p.m.
  • 7:15 p.m.
 Centro Ybor Station:
  • 3:45 p.m.
  • 4:45 p.m.
  • 5:45 p.m.
  • 6:45 p.m.
  • 7:45 p.m.

The cost of the Winter Village Express is $5.00 for a roundtrip ticket. Tickets can be purchased at both stations, Whiting and Centro, by credit card or exact change. All trips are first come, first serve due to limited availability, so come early!

For more information on Winter Village, or the Winter Village Express, visit http://www.wintervillagetampa.com/

Happy Holidays!


Monday, November 13, 2017

HART Operator Receives High Marks from Industry Awards!

Operator Matute won 3rd Place Operator of the Year at FPTA!
Oscar Matute has been awarded 3rd Place Operator of the Year 2017 by the Florida Public Transportation Association (FPTA)!

A recent recipient of the Million Mile award, Operator Matute has been a HART Operator since September 30, 2002. In that time, he has driven over 1 million miles without an accident, and has received no absence occurrences, miss outs or infractions in more than two years!

We are extremely proud of Operator Matute and congratulate him on this well-deserved recognition.

FPTA is an association that represents all 37 Florida transit agencies, all of varying sizes and modes. The award is based upon quality of service, attendance, and overall work record. HART operators are truly among the best of the best!

Great job, Oscar!


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

HART Announces Future Departure of HART CEO Katharine Eagan


HART CEO Katharine Eagan is leaving HART
HART Chief Executive Officer Katharine Eagan will depart the agency after nearly eight years of service, leaving behind a legacy of innovation and a strong foundation for future growth.  

"Katharine Eagan has done an outstanding job running Hillsborough County's transit agency," said HART Board Chair and County Commissioner Lesley "Les" Miller. "We are deeply grateful for her leadership and proud of the many strides we made as an agency during her time as HART CEO. Eagan helped lead a new era for HART which is
cutting edge, fiscally responsible, and customer focused. Efforts that have earned her the respect of many in the Tampa Bay community."

Eagan joined HART as its Chief of Service Development in 2009. During her tenure, from 2010 to 2015, ridership increased over 20% and farebox recovery increased over 25%. 

Since taking the helm as CEO, Eagan has worked with the HART Board of Directors to balance the Authority's budget, improve efficiencies, implement innovative transit solutions, and enhance the overall customer experience. HART has greatly expanded public-private partnerships with entities such as MegaBus, Red Coach, Coast Bike Share, Yellow Cab, and TransDev, and HART is continuing to pursue partnerships that provide travel options beyond traditional buses.
 

In November 2016, HART partnered with Innovation Place and various sponsors to add four Tesla X model vehicles into the HART HyperLINK program. Donations from these sponsors paid for the entire cost of placing these all-electric vehicles into service in the University Area.  
Recently, HART selected Stantec/Coast Autonomous team to provide Autonomous Mobility Services for the Marion Street Transitway. The Autonomous Shuttle coming to the Marion Street Transitway in early 2018 is funded by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and will be the first implementation in the United States of a driverless transit vehicle on open public streets.    

"The agency's future is bright, its leadership is strong and HART is devoted to delivering best-in-class transit services that connect many communities throughout Hillsborough County," said Eagan. "What HART has been able to achieve in the last three and a half years has been a collective effort reflective of the dedication of the entire HART team."

With a long history of accomplishments and accolades, Ms. Eagan was awarded the Florida Diversity Council's 2016 Powerful and Influential Women award and WTS 2016 Woman of the Year by Women in Transportation Seminar. She was a finalist for the Tampa Bay Business Journals' Businesswoman of the Year award in 2014 and 2016 and the winner in 2016 in the Economic Development category.

Eagan will be taking on a transit leadership role at Port Authority of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh, Pa.

The HART Board will select an interim CEO at the December 4th meeting.

HART and the TECO Line Streetcar System Expands WiFi Connections!

FREE WiFi now available on the TECO Line Streetcar!
For roughly a year, HART riders have been able to check emails, stream music or crush candy on their commute thanks to free WiFi on all fixed-route buses. And now, TECO Line Streetcar passengers will be able to leave their mobile data worries behind with FREE high-speed WiFi, while on board!

In addition to on board buses and streetcars, FREE WiFi has also expanded to HART transit and transfer locations:
  • Marion Transit Center (MTC) - 1211 N. Marion St
  • University Area Transit Center (UATC) - 13110 N. 27th St
  • Netp@rk Transfer Center - 5003 N. 56th St.
  • Northwest Transfer Center 9325 W. Waters Ave  

The process is the same as on a HART bus. To connect to HART WiFi, go to Settings > WiFi. Then, turn on WiFi, if it isn't already turned on. Your device will automatically search for available WiFi networks. Next, tap the name, HART-Patrons-OTC WiFi Network to access the free service. Please be courteous to your neighbors, and wear earbuds when watching videos or listening to music.

WiFi is actually a piece of a bigger puzzle at HART. Ultimately, this roll-out of WiFi technology will be the foundation of the upcoming smart card program, where passengers will be able to use their smart phones and dedicated account based cards to travel not only the HART system, but throughout the Tampa Bay region.

In addition to the Streetcar and HART buses, free WiFi will be installed on HARTFlex and HARTPlus vehicles in the near future as well.

Connect to WiFi in 3 easy steps!
It's another way that HART keeps pace with your busy life. Stay productive on-the-go and let us do the driving! The expansion of WiFi is yet another reason for choosing HART, whether someone is going to work, to school or to the store. 

If you have any questions or comments about our WiFi service, please contact Customer Service at (813) 254-HART (4278).
 
Wherever you're heading, HART Takes You There.

* Please note that the WiFi signal is shared with other customers, so at busy times, your connection may be slower than normal.