Thursday, October 28, 2010

Just the Facts

Get the facts on Hillsborough County's
transit future!
A popular TV cop show from the 1950s and '60s asked for "Just the facts, ma'am."

Borrowing that line of thinking, let's take a look at some of the facts and figures from HART's Rapid Transit Investment Plan. We'll call it the "who, what, when, where and why" of Hillsborough County's transit future.

The Rapid Transit Investment Plan, or RTIP, was developed by HART to benefit people who live, work and play in Hillsborough County. It focuses on providing more transportation choices to more people, allowing them the freedom to get where they're going faster and more efficiently than ever before.

The RTIP includes benefits for lots of different people:
A vastly improved transportation system in Hillsborough County is the RTIP's stated goal. To get there, HART would implement 449 miles of new and enhanced services:
  • Local Bus
    10 new routes - 134 miles of new service in areas not currently served
  • Express Bus
    11 new routes proposed - 225 miles of new service
  • Bus Rapid Transit
    6 new routes proposed - 90 miles of new service
  • Flex and employment circulators
    Serving an approximately 150-square-mile area
  • Paratransit
    Expanded service area coverage in county and increased hours of operation
  • Light Rail Transit
    46 miles and 15 miles of regional connections
For starters, bus service would see increases in frequency and hours of service almost immediately. The dates are all estimates right now, but according to the RTIP, in the first 12 months there will be 22 improvements to local route service, three FLEX services launched, the first bus rapid transit service begun and improvements to paratransit service.

Four new express routes, two new local routes, three improvements to current express service, two more improvements to local service, two more FLEX routes and more paratransit improvements will be implemented in the second year. The start date of light rail service is still to be determined.

Well, just about everywhere in Hillsborough County, from Lutz to Ruskin and from Town 'n' Country to Plant City. The RTIP re-draws the transit map in our community to make it more accessible for almost everyone.

See for yourself. Click here to check out the map before and after the improvements.

Click on one of the links below to find out what your area has in store.
Here's one excellent reason to improve our transportation picture.

Tampa Bay traffic is among the worst in the country.
Last March, Forbes magazine ranked Tampa dead last for commuters among 60 U.S. cities. Plus, a recent study by the Texas Transportation Institute found that the typical commuter spends 47 hours per year in traffic, and that Hillsborough County is tenth worst in the nation for commute-time delay.

Some other benefits:
The last two items are courtesy of the American Public Transportation Association.

So, those are the facts. At least some of them, anyway. If you'd like to peruse even more of the details on HART's Rapid Transit Investment Plan, you can find a lot more information on our website, at

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Comments to this blog are moderated by HART staff. Constructive comments are welcome; any obscene, threatening, or otherwise inappropriate comments will be deleted before posting. Questions about specific service ("is my bus on time?") cannot be answered here, and should be directed to the HARTinfo Line at (813) 254-HART (4278). General questions may be addressed in future posts.