Monday, October 11, 2010

And the Winner Is...

Members of HART's senior leadership team just returned from the American Public Transportation Association's annual meeting in Texas - and their luggage was a little heavier on the way back to Tampa, because they were bringing home APTA's prestigious Outstanding System of the Year award.

But this national recognition is more than just a new bauble for our trophy case. It's an important award because it reflects our commitment to provide quality service for the thousands of people who ride our buses, vans, trolleys and streetcars every day.

Excellence in Service
When HART's CEO David Armijo arrived in Tampa in 2007, he brought with him a goal that, at the time, seemed out of reach.

To be the best. To serve with excellence. To be named tops in the nation. Nothing less would do.

Little by little, it started to come together. There were signs of change everywhere. Management was restructured. Service was improved. Procedures were streamlined. New ideas were embraced.

And then, something truly amazing happened. In the face of an economic downturn that some financial experts have called "the Great Recession," HART's ridership grew. Even while news from other public transit systems across the country focused on declining ridership, increasing fares and severe cutbacks, HART's new approach to service efficiency and productivity was working.

It was clear that while we were making changes, the people who really matter, our passengers and members of the community, were taking notice. And they were getting onboard in larger numbers than ever.

Setting that lofty goal helped us do much more than win an award. It made HART better, because it made us reach higher and work harder to provide our customers with the best service we can give them. In the process, we put better bus service on the street, made our fleet of vehicles newer and more comfortable, and improved our relationships within the community.

So even though our agency name is on the award, everyone in Hillsborough County - our customers, our neighbors and our friends - are the real winners.

Celebration Friday!
We'd like to invite you to stop by on Friday, October 15, at 10:30 a.m. to help us celebrate the APTA honor. Join us for a short ceremony to take place at HART's Ybor Station administrative offices, 1201 E. 7th Avenue. We couldn't have done it without you, so we want you to come to the party!

For details on the Friday celebration, click here.

To learn more about the APTA Outstanding System of the Year award, click here.

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