Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Improving Transit – One Bite at a Time

What do elephants have to do with transit? Nothing, really,
but we've always loved this photo!
Remember this one?

Q: How do you eat an elephant?
A: One bite at a time!*

Sure, it's a silly old saying, but it's also full of wisdom. In other words, when you have a big goal, you have to break it down into manageable pieces so you can achieve it. It's also a great way to illustrate how HART would put its transit expansion plans in place.

The First Bite
In just over a month, Hillsborough County voters will decide whether to invest an extra 1% sales tax in transportation projects, including transit and road improvements. The transit share of that funding would be 75%, which HART would use to expand service throughout the county.

In a county of 1,100 square miles, that's a big job. The great thing about HART's plan to get it done is that it breaks the elephant down into smaller pieces. The first bite would be providing more bus service in more places and during more hours by March 2011, essentially using the resources we have available today.

How is that possible? Simple. By taking advantage of the “off-peak” opportunity.

Here’s what that means. Transit service is planned around what we call "peak" and "off-peak" service hours. Just like traffic on the roads is busier during the morning and afternoon rush, so is bus service. More people need to ride the bus during those "peak" or rush hour times, basically on weekdays between about 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., and again between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. That's what we mean when we say "peak," and all of our buses and drivers are maxed out at those times.

But what happens to those buses during "off-peak" hours, on nights and weekends? That's where we have an opportunity to give you new service you can see and experience right away.

Let's say today is Wednesday, November 3, and the voters have just decided to approve the new investment in transit. One of the first orders of business for HART would be to get on the horn and order new buses that would fulfill our plan for increased service throughout the county. But realistically, it takes about a year from procurement to delivery to receive new buses. A wait that long is not what the people would have voted for, and it's not in line with HART's commitment to provide the best transit service we can to our community.

So, instead of waiting to take delivery of the new vehicles before implementing new service, we can take advantage of our opportunity during the off-peak hours and put those buses on the road. In just four months, we can hire and train new drivers, reallocate some resources, and implement service that we already know people will use. We’ll also make the most efficient and effective use of our fleet in getting new services out the door.

In fact, over the last few years one of the best investments we've made has been boosting service on nights and weekends whenever possible. With our limited resources it has sometimes meant making difficult choices, but we made a commitment to provide service at the times and in the places where it's needed most. The community has responded, with those added night and weekend service times producing some of the highest growth rates in the system.

The "first-bite" strategy would let HART be good stewards of the new funding source, putting it in action right away for the good of our community. It’s also focused on buses, which is still - and will continue to be - the very foundation of HART.

One Bite After Another
After adding to off-peak service with the first bite, we would begin the next bites, phasing in new service around the county with new local and express routes and HART Flex neighborhood service. This is the medium-range portion of the plan that starts with existing vehicles and really takes off with fleet expansion. From there, new rapid services like Bus Rapid Transit and light rail would come next, as laid out in HART's Rapid Transit Investment Plan.

All of these small bites add up to one big improvement in Hillsborough County's transit system in the months and years to come. To see exactly how HART would transition from where we are today to where we hope to go, with all the bites along the way, check out the Transition Plan on our website here.

*No elephants were harmed in the production of this blog post.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Weekend Plans!

The TECO Line Streetcar System takes you to the
entrance of the Ybor City Saturday Market.
Gettin' Fresh at the Ybor Market
So, it's Saturday, and if your family is anything like mine, you're probably asking yourselves "what are we going to do today?"

Here's something new - how about hopping over to the Ybor City Saturday Market!

Now that fall has officially...well, fallen (not quite the same as "spring has sprung," is it?), the fresh market is back to its regular hours of 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. That means two extra hours of shopping for the choicest produce, tastiest breads, coolest jewelry, and funkiest funky fun novelties around.

The Ybor City Fresh Market is located in Centennial Park, just east of Centro Ybor, at the corner of 8th Avenue and 19th Street.

Plus, it's conveniently served by the TECO Line Streetcar System. You can park at one of four public garages along the line and ride the rails right to the park entrance. Make a day of it and take the streetcar to Channelside or the Florida Aquarium, too!

Click here for details like maps, schedules and fare information for the TECO Line Streetcar System.

And get the scoop on the Ybor City Saturday Market here.

AA Hearing Today; Budget Hearing and Board Meeting Monday
The HART Board of Directors will meet Monday, Sept. 27, at 5:30 p.m. in the 18th floor Planning Commission boardroom of the County Center.

Please note, this venue is a change from the previously announced location.

A regular Board of Directors meeting will immediately follow the HART Budget Public Hearing on Monday, with information regarding the HART Alternatives Analysis study, the HART Transition Plan to implement the Rapid Transit Investment Program (RTIP) and the Capital Improvement Program (CIP). In addition, an agenda item will be presented regarding expanding the HART Business Diversity Program to include a Small Business Enterprise Program in Fiscal Year 2011 and potentially a Woman/Minority Business Enterprise Program in Fiscal Year 2012.

For more information and agendas regarding any upcoming Board meeting, visit www.goHART.org and click on "Public Meetings."

In addition, you can still lend your comments at one of two public meetings on the Alternatives Analysis. One takes place today between 9 a.m. and noon, and the other is scheduled for Thursday. For details, download the flyer here.

Service During Bucs/Steelers Game Sept. 26
Remember, your (2-0!) Tampa Bay Buccaneers are back in town tomorrow, so bus travel around Raymond James Stadium will be affected by traffic management measures. Click here for detour information from HART's website, and call (813) 254-HART for details on stops that may not be accessible during the game.

Have a great weekend, and Go Bucs!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Transit Means Business

Does transit reflect the future of Bay area business?
(Demo bus in downtown Tampa courtesy of North American
Bus Industries)
Across the Bay area, it isn't just individuals who are getting onboard when it comes to transit. Many businesses and organizations that represent them have decided that supporting transit makes a difference in their bottom lines, and in our community.

With that in mind, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce is hosting an event called "A Business Perspective on Transit" on Friday, October 8 at 7:30 a.m. at the Tampa History Center.

The event is billed as a panel discussion highlighting the benefits of improved transit, specifically as it relates to downtown redevelopment, potential benefits to eastern Hillsborough County and prospects for transit-oriented development (business and residential development that occurs along transit lines and around station stops).

Chamber members and non-members alike are invited. Download the flyer for more details and fees to attend.

More Transit, More Jobs
The Transportation Equity Network recently released a report titled "More Transit = More Jobs." The report contains the results of a study conducted by the Public Policy Research Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, which found that spending on transit generates more jobs than spending on highways.

"If our 20 metropolitan areas shifted 50 percent of their highway funds to transit," the authors state, "they would generate 1,123,674 new transit jobs over a five-year period — for a net gain of 180,150 jobs over five years — without a single dollar of new spending."

The Tampa Bay area wasn't included as one of the metropolitan areas evaluated for the study.

Read the full report here.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Web Wednesday - Ride Without Worries

This reporter found his calm on the bus
If you've long suspected that your daily drive is adding undue stress to your life, along comes this video from "the Beeb," Britain's BBC television network, to prove it.

A reporter straps himself up to some biofeedback gizmos and compares his stress level while driving a car to work versus riding the bus. At the end of the experiment, a very impressive neuropsychologist tells him (to paraphrase), "yep, you were one stressed-out puppy in the car."

So let's say you're thinking about lowering your stress by kicking the car to the curb (so to speak) and trying this bus thing, but you have some real concerns. After all, what happens if you need to leave work early to care for a sick child or stay late to work on a last-minute project? Stuff happens, right? Can you really give up the car?

Well, we have a solution. It's called Emergency Ride Home, and it will erase those "what if" fears that may be keeping you from trying transit.

Sign Up and Say "Ahhhh...."
HART is a partner with TBARTA Commuter Services (formerly Bay Area Commuter Services) in offering the Emergency Ride Home program to anyone who uses alternatives to driving solo for their daily commute.

Each year, you'll take a few minutes to sign up for the ERH program, then carpool, vanpool, bicycle, ride the bus or walk to work at least two days a week. That's it. When those inevitable situations arise, you're eligible for a free taxi ride home (up to $100) eight times per year.

And since it's Web Wednesday, of course you'll find more information on our website, here, and even more detail here. To register for the program with TBARTA Commuter Services, click here.

So get riding already! Can't you just feel your stress levels going down...down...down.......

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Building Relationships, Leveraging Revenue Highlight HART Committee Meeting

The HART Board's Finance, Governance and Administration Committee (say that five times fast) met Monday at the HART offices in beautiful Ybor City. Committee members got the latest on HART's partnership with the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority, learned how we're leveraging impact fees for local projects, and got an update on the agency's efforts to build new relationships with diverse small-business owners.

Expressway Director Updates Board
HART and the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority recently partnered on a federal grant to study the feasibility of installing bus toll lanes (BTL) on our local expressways. Joe Waggoner, THEA's executive director, gave a presentation on this concept at Monday's meeting.

Mr. Waggoner noted that transportation agencies and businesses like HART and THEA are tasked with providing solutions for growing travel demand, while traditional funding sources are flat or decreasing in actual buying power. The bus toll lanes proposal is a new concept that would create price-managed lanes that include transit as an equity partner, combining operational and economic ideas from transit systems and toll highways.

"The bus toll lane is about customer choices," Mr. Waggoner said.

Non-transit customers could choose to use the lanes for a higher cost and a faster trip, while the transit customer would get maximum benefit - lower costs and a faster trip - encouraging more transit use.

Impact Fees Benefit Transit Users
When a major new construction project is proposed in Hillsborough County, part of the review process often includes an assessment of how the new development will impact transportation in the immediate area. That review can result in the addition of impact fees, which help to offset the costs of upgrading transportation service, including transit, surrounding the project.

At Monday's meeting, HART's engineering team outlined the latest projects funded by county impact fees, and offered a preview of projects to come.

Projects accomplished between May 1, 2009 and April 30, 2010 include:
• Three Shelters – 22nd Street between Fletcher Avenue and Bearss Avenue, as part of a Hillsborough County road widening project
• Two Sidewalk and Accessibility Fund for Transit Infrastructure (SAFTI) projects – 15th Street north of Fowler Avenue and Himes Avenue, north of Hillsborough Avenue
• US 301 – Gibsonton Road to Balm Riverview Road - FDOT project; three shelter pads; shelters funded by impact fees

In 2011, HART engineers are planning the following projects:
• US 301 FDOT project – 8 bus bays (road cutouts for buses to pull out of traffic) and shelters
• New Freedom projects - New landing pads for improved accessibility for people with disabilities
• Transit Infrastructure - Accessibility upgrades

The engineering staff reported that impact fees are an important supplement to state and federal funding, leading to the completion of needed transit infrastructure improvements. State and federal monies for transit capital projects from the HART Transit Development Update Plan for 2010-2019 total $2.7 million, with impact fees projected at $.4 million, or 15% of transit capital projects for the same period.

Promoting Diversity
One function of the Finance, Governance and Administration Committee is to oversee HART's business partnerships. An important element of our business is nurturing relationships with DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) firms. HART has a proactive program for reaching out to women- and minority-owned businesses that qualify for DBE status, and updates to the program reported Monday will make it even stronger. The new plan would be expanded to include the Small Business Enterprise Program and the Minority and Women Businesses Program, opening the door for more local firms to do business with HART.

For more on the Minority and Women Business Program, click here.

To learn about resources for all small businesses, visit the Small Business Administration website here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Fun Side of Transit

Happy Friday! Today we'll kick off your weekend with some fun transit facts, videos and other interesting tidbits.

What would the world look like without transit?
Transit Gets Animated
This video submitted to the Florida Public Transportation Association (FPTA) is an animated look at how gray and ugly the world would be without transit.

It's all part of FPTA's "Tell Your Story" campaign, so be sure to check out all the other great videos posted on their website, www.floridatransit.org.

Metro Rap
A Washington, D.C. Metro rider gets all creative with the rhyme in this ode to the local rail transit system. From the state of the escalators to the general hygiene of his fellow passengers, it seems no subject is off limits.

What the well-dressed transit rider is wearing.
Wear Your Transit Pride
Wanna show off your support for public transit? The American Public Transportation Association has a fun collection of buttons (like the "My other car is the bus" button on the left) you can order from their website, www.publictransportation.org. Just send an e-mail to the address provided and they'll hook you up.

10 Reasons to Significantly Expand Public Transit
This list is meant to persuade folks in Michigan to support a proposed transit investment, but all of the great benefits of transit they point out are certainly relevant here in the Tampa Bay area, too.

This one in Dubai is air conditioned!
And Finally...The World's Weirdest Bus Stops
From London to Dubai, this page pulls together some of the quirky places around the world where people can wait for a bus. You may notice that giant fruit seems to be a recurring theme...

So we had some fun, we learned some stuff, and we wrapped up the week with a smile. Have a great weekend, and safe travels!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

HART in Metro Magazine's Top 100 Fleets

Vehicles from HART's bus and van fleet
Each year, Metro Magazine, which covers the mass transportation industry, publishes its list of the top 100 public transit agencies in the U.S. and Canada by fleet size.

HART came in at number 92, with a reported total of 190 vehicles, including buses, demand-response vans, and rubber-wheel trolleys. This list did not include the agency's fleet of electric streetcars.

By comparison, MTA in New York City is the largest system in the survey with 4,439 total vehicles. Los Angeles Metro comes in second with 2,723.

The largest fleet in the state of Florida belongs to Miami-Dade Transit, which is ranked #24 with 833 vehicles. Other Florida properties on Metro's list include Broward County Transit at #53 with 373 vehicles, LYNX in Orlando at #69 with 267 vehicles, and Jacksonville Transit at #95 with 174 vehicles.

An important take-away from this ranking is the fact that HART serves a county of more than 1,100 square miles, while only reaching #92 on Metro's fleet-size list. Add to that our recent recognition as the American Public Transportation Association's Outstanding System of the Year, and it demonstrates HART's commitment to offer the best service we can with the resources we have available.

Read the complete Metro Magazine article here.

Reminder - Cashless Tolls Start Tomorrow
For all you Selmon (Crosstown) Expressway customers, remember that tomorrow evening (Sept. 17) is the launch of the new cashless toll system. To get a look at how it works and what it means for you, click here for a personal tour from the Buccaneers' Hall of Famer who lends his name to the expressway, Lee Roy Selmon.

Of course, if you're one of HART's Commuter Express customers from the Brandon area, your expressway ride is already covered!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Phoenix - Learning by Example

Light Rail in Downtown Phoenix
(Photo courtesy Valley Metro)
As the Tampa Bay area continues to grow and innovate, what can we learn from other communities that have tackled similar issues to the ones we face today?

That's the purpose of the Tampa Chamber of Commerce's 10th annual Benchmarking Visit to Phoenix, AZ, next Monday through Wednesday, September 20 - 22. HART is a proud partner in the Chamber's visit, and will be along for the ride during this educational experience.

HART CEO to Lead Panel
Transportation is critical to the building of any major city, and Phoenix has a new, modern transit system to prove it. The city's Valley Metro light rail service has been a success, steadily beating ridership projections since its opening in December 2008.

During the three-day visit, HART CEO David Armijo is set to moderate two sessions dedicated to transit. The Tampa Chamber attendees will also take tours of the Valley Metro rail system.

In addition to transportation info, the Tampa team will delve into other business issues, like public affairs and policy questions, relationships between business and government, and economic development.

For more details on the Tampa Chamber Benchmarking Visit, check out the page on the Chamber's website here.

UPDATE: Check out this video on the Phoenix Metro system courtesy of Streetfilms:


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Budget, AA Study Focus of Monday Board Meeting

September is budget hearing time for HART, as we seek input and approval for the next year's funding. Last night, the HART Board of Directors sat down for the first of two meetings on the agency's 2011 budget.

The 2011 Amended Proposed Operating Budget is $62 million, which encompasses operating costs for buses, paratransit service for people with disabilities, HART Flex service, and the TECO Line Streetcar System.

Next year's budget reflects a decrease of $3.5 million in ad valorem (local property tax revenue). Despite the shortfall, HART is working to maintain service by seeking out operating efficiencies and leveraging state and federal funding.

To view the complete 2011 proposed budget, click here.

The second and final public hearing on HART's 2011 budget is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Monday, September 27 at HART's administrative offices, 1201 E. 7th Avenue in Ybor City.

Alternatives Analysis
The AA update brought board members and the public up to speed on the study's latest findings. HART is working with important potential partners like CSX Transportation and the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority on possible routes and destinations for a future light rail system. In fact, HART's AA team reported last night that the Aviation Authority is looking at a couple of options for a light rail operations facility at the airport, possibly expediting a potential airport connection.

You can read news coverage of the update at Mitch Perry's Creative Loafing blog, and in today's article by the Tampa Tribune's Ted Jackovics at TBO.com.

Driver of the Month
HART's drivers are some of the best in the business, and the Board of Directors took time Monday to recognize this month's honoree, Mr. Pedro Irizarry. Pedro joined the HART team as a bus driver in April 2007, and in that time has shown outstanding professionalism and dedication to HART and our community. Congratulations Pedro!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Working Weekends? So Are We!

It's Saturday - and for a lot of people that means it's just another day at the office (or store, or construction site, or restaurant...).

If you're one of the many professionals who keep our community in business on Saturdays and Sundays, HART is here for you with weekend service on several of our busiest routes.

Routes with Saturday Service
Click on the links below for maps and schedules of routes that operate on Saturdays:

Route 1 - Florida Avenue 
Route 2 - Nebraska Avenue
Route 5 - 40th Street
Route 6 - 56th Street
Route 7 - West Tampa/Citrus Park
Route 8 - Progress Village/Brandon
Route 9 - 15th Street
Route 12 - 22nd Street
Route 15 - Columbus Drive
Route 16 - Waters Avenue
Route 18 - 30th Street
Route 19 - Westshore/Manhattan
Route 30 - Town 'N Country
Route 32 - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard
Route 33 - Dale Mabry Highway/Fletcher Avenue
Route 34 - Hillsborough Avenue
Route 36 - Dale Mabry/Himes Avenue
Route 37 - Grand Regency Plaza
Route 39 - Busch Boulevard
Route 45 - Rome Avenue

Sunday Route Schedules
The above routes also operate on Sundays, with the exception of Routes 16 and 37. For the complete Sunday schedule, click here.

Wherever you're going this weekend, HART is going your way!

Ride in Style to Festival del Sabor
Tampa's Hispanic Heritage Month officially kicks off today with Festival del Sabor, a fun event that will make your taste buds say "muy delicioso!"

If you're headed over to Ybor City's Centennial Park to enjoy the festival, be sure to hop aboard the TECO Line Streetcar System to get there. You can park in any of four garages along the streetcar route, and we'll take you right to the entrance of the event. Once you're there, enjoy great food, music, and a kids' area.

Festival del Sabor takes place today from noon until 7:30pm. Call (813) 259-8475 for more information or click here.

Service During Bucs/Browns Game Sept. 12
Remember, tomorrow is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' home opener, so bus travel around Raymond James Stadium will be affected by traffic management measures. Click here for detour information from HART's website, and call (813) 254-HART for details on stops that may not be accessible during the game.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Take HART to TIA - Free Tour This Saturday!

Gotta fly? HART offers easy, frequent bus service between Tampa International Airport and downtown Tampa. And this weekend, we'll give you a free ride to find out how it works!

HART's Route 30 provides service to the airport seven days a week, with service every 15 minutes on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. This Saturday's free tour will help you see first-hand how easy it is to take transit to TIA. The tour will start at HART's Marion Transit Center in downtown Tampa, where you'll meet your guide and be on your way.

Once you arrive, you're invited to browse the shops and restaurants in and around the airport with special offers at TGI Friday's, Ron Jon Surf Shop, International Plaza and more.

Plus, we'll hook you up with a free farecard for your next bus trip. (Seriously, tons of free stuff going on here!)

Once you see just how easy and convenient it can be to take HART to the airport, you may never travel the old way again.

But you'd better hurry! You need to book your tour 24 hours in advance, so tomorrow morning is it! For more information or to make your reservation, call (813) 449-4713 or send an e-mail to CampbellM@goHART.org.

For more information on HART's airport service aboard Route 30, click here.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Web Wednesday - We Want to Hear From You!

Meet with HART at our next open house event
Have you had a chance to talk to HART about the proposed transit improvement plan? There's still time to give us your input as we wind down the Alternatives Analysis study. And you know that means there's info on our website!

AA Community Open Houses
HART has scheduled a series of seven new open house events and two formal public hearings to gain input from the community on the AA. Drop by and get a look at the plans, ask questions and provide us with your comments on the plans.

The next open house is tomorrow (September 9) in East Tampa, followed by events in downtown Tampa, Seminole Heights, the University area and Westshore.

Click here for locations and details from HART's website. For more on the Alternatives Analysis, you can visit the project website, http://www.gohartaa.org/.
Web Wednesday Bonus - Report Shows Transit Creates Jobs
Today we've got a special Web Wednesday bonus link for you! Check out this story from Metro Magazine on a report that shows how an investment in transit adds up to more jobs than putting dollars into highway projects.
One more way transit helps make our community better.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day!

August 2010 HART operator graduating class
We hope you're enjoying your Labor Day festivities! And if you do have somewhere to go today, rest assured that many members of the HART team are on the job to help you get to your destination.

We're proud of the all hard work our employees do to keep Hillsborough connected every day, rain or shine. Without them, we're literally going nowhere!

And we'd also like to salute all of the hard-working men and women in the Tampa Bay area who keep us moving in all facets of our daily lives. After all, Labor Day isn't just about cookouts and football - it's also about saying congratulations on a job well done.

Have a great day, and safe travels from all of us at HART!

Friday, September 3, 2010

More People Getting Onboard

HART's Route 2 is the busiest in the system
HART's ridership numbers for August are in, and thanks to you, the success story continues.

Last month, passengers took a total of 1,083,103 rides on HART buses, vanpools and paratransit vehicles. With a growth rate of 11.2% over August of 2009, people really are getting onboard.

Local service led the way with an increase of nearly 12% in rides from this time last year. Route 2 (Nebraska Avenue), the busiest single route in the system, carried more than 101,000 rides alone.

Paratransit service, which is specially designed for people with disabilities, is up more than 23% over August 2009.

Another interesting category of ridership you may not hear much about is bicycle boardings. The numbers for the past month show more people riding their bikes to the bus stop, with these boardings going up 8% since last August. Remember, every HART bus has a bike rack that can hold two bikes - so you can always use pedal power for part of your ride.

When you average it all out, that means about 42,000 rides on HART services every weekday.

The monthly totals put our year-to-date ridership at almost 11.3 million, compared to about 10.7 million at the same point in 2009. With just under a month to go in our fiscal year (it ends September 30), HART is looking to pass the 12-million mark for 2010.

So join the movement and hop aboard! Who knows - maybe you'll be the one who puts us over the top!

Labor Day Service Reminder
We reported this on Monday, but it bears repeating. HART will operate on a Saturday service schedule for the Labor Day holiday on Monday, September 7. Enjoy your holiday weekend, and if you get a chance, be sure to check back here for a special Labor Day message.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Web Wednesday - Moving You to Safety

These signs designate HART's
Emergency Evacuation Service
As we turn the calendar to September, the Atlantic hurricane season is nearing its most volatile period. According to this graph produced by the National Hurricane Center, the season peaks on September 10. And with two hurricanes threatening the East Coast of the US, it's an important reminder that we keep our guard up.

HART can help with some resources you can access right on our website.

Part of your hurricane plan should include knowing whether or not you're in an evacuation zone. Hillsborough County's updated evacuation zones and shelters map gives you a detailed look at the entire county, with shaded areas designating evacuation zones and the locations of shelters, including those for people with special needs or pets. We've linked to the county's map here.

If you're in an evacuation zone and have no other means of getting out, HART operates ten emergency evacuation routes that can take you to safety before a storm hits. The routes serve four designated Hillsborough County shelters. Click here to view a map (PDF) of HART's emergency evacuation routes.

HART and the Hillsborough County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) urge you to make your plans now, and to consider the evacuation bus routes only as a last resort.

Bus Service During Emergency Conditions
If a major storm threatens our area, you should plan for the possibility of service interruptions. To minimize inconvenience to our customers, we will announce the need to interrupt service as early in the day as possible, and will work to restore service just as soon as it is safe to do so.

For more detailed information on HART's hurricane evacuation service and service plans in case of emergency, please click here.

To learn more about hurricane preparation, such as how to put together your hurricane survival kit, where to get sandbags, and how to prepare your pets, visit the Hillsborough County hurricane information website by clicking here.