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.

Free WiFi Now Available on the TECO Line Streetcar System!

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!

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.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Statement from HART CEO Katharine Eagan on Seminole Heights Murders

The recent senseless acts of violence in Seminole Heights are something that no family or neighborhood should have to endure. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families of Anthony Naiboa, Monica Caridad Hoffa and Benjamin Edward Mitchell.

Please call 1-800-873-8477 if you have any info on this individual
HART is actively participating with the Tampa Police Department to provide any information that can assist in this investigation. Additionally, we've rerouted Route 9 via 22nd Street from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Hillsborough Avenue from the hours of 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. The change will remain in effect while the investigation continues.

We will continue to partner with law enforcement throughout the investigation and communicate safety information to our customers, both online and in print. We ask that anyone with information that can aid in the identification and capture of the suspect or suspects, please contact Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay at 1-800-873-8477 or www.crimestopperstb.com.
  
- Katharine Eagan

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

HART HyperLINK is Changing!

HART HyperLINK is changing on October 8th!
Changes are coming to HART HyperLINK on October 8th!

Quick refresher. HART HyperLINK started as a pilot program with TransDev, an international transportation operator, in November 2016. Heralded as the nation's 1st "transit-operated rideshare" service, HyperLINK extends the footprint of HART and provides a valuable "First Mile, Last Mile" connection to riders within HyperLINK zones.

HART HyperLINK blurs the line between rideshare and transit, in that customers dial up a ride on the HyperLINK app (via GPS) much like Uber and Lyft. HyperLINK riders also have the added bonus of being able to book a ride by calling 813-298-0455.Another bonus is that HyperLINK is also ADA-accessible, unlike Uber and Lyft.

Currently, HyperLINK connects you to the HART network via designated stops (University Area Transit Center, Westfield Brandon Transfer Center, etc.) for a flat $3.00 fee within the zone. On October 8th, HyperLINK will also add the option of direct trips (see below).

Being a pilot program, we have continuously reviewed rider feedback and are now ready to implement a few changes to the service.

Temple Terrace will now be served by HyperLINK!
The following changes are coming to HyperLINK on October 8th:
  • Carrollwood will no longer be served by HyperLINK, due to low usage.
  • Temple Terrace will now be served by HART HyperLINK. Designated stops include: University Area Transit Center, Temple Terrace City Hall, and others.
  • The HyperLINK fare is changing for all zones. Riders taking HART HyperLINK to designated stops will now only pay $1.00 each way. Those taking HyperLINK to/from ANY point (not connecting to transit) within the zone, will only pay $3.00.

The Brandon and University area HyperLINK zones will not change. However, fares for both zones will reflect the new pricing of $1.00 each way to a designated HART stop; $3.00 each way to ANY point (not a designated stop) within the zone.

The future of transportation just got even better! Download the HART HyperLINK app today!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Mission MAX Bus Stop Bagging: What it Means

Orange bags will inform patrons of service changes to their stop
The HART system will drastically change in less than two weeks!

HART staff Mission MAX training is almost complete, operators have selected their runs, maps and other signage has been finalized, and now bus stop removal and replacement is taking place!

Have you seen an orange bag over your bus stop sign?

This means service will be changing at that location.

Routes serving the stop may be changing, such as that in the photo. Or, HART service may be in the process of being removed from that stop altogether.

All stops with route changes/replacements will have the orange bags removed in the early morning hours of October 8th. Deleted stops will have orange bags on them until the stop is completely removed.

We want to give a quick shout out to our Route Maintenance team! With the majority of the 3500 stops in the HART system affected, they are working tirelessly to make sure our riders are notified well in advance of the launch of Mission MAX on October 8th.

We recently went LIVE on Facebook with a couple members of the Maintenance team to talk more about the bus stops changes.

While the launch of Mission MAX is fast approaching, HART is here to make sure you are prepared with trip planning, finding your stop, and more! Find us on Facebook and Twitter, or contact HART Customer Service at 813-254-4278.

We will also be hosting a Facebook Live Q&A with HART CEO Katharine Eagan on next Monday, October 2nd, at noon.

Visit www.goHART.org/MissionMAX for more information on Mission MAX, including maps, schedules, etc.