Lets take a stroll through the year that was, and look ahead to what is coming from HART.
The year began with the Alternatives Analysis study already underway and the TECO line Streetcar extension chugging its way to Whiting Street. We'll Tarantino it and tell you how the movie ends.
The Alternatives Analysis study began to select a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) for proposed rapid transit corridors. The study will conclude in early 2011, with the selection of an LPA.
The streetcar extension is also close to completion and will be operational with soft opening on Dec. 19. Soon riders will be able to go from Centennial Park in Ybor all the way to the skyscrapers of downtown. Going to a movie at the Tampa Theater with dinner beforehand? Streetcar has you covered. Park in Ybor, get dinner at Channelside, get off at the Fort Brooke Garage, and take a short walk to the theater! The extension will connect an additional 35,000 people that work in the downtown core.
March and April were innovative for HART.
HART partnered with Deeplocal Inc. in March to launch RouteShout, a tool to give riders the ability to use smartphones, Androids, Iphones or their mobile browser to receive HART scheduled bus time arrivals on the go. The streak of nine consecutive months with over a million in ridership also began in March.
In April, HART Flex service launched in Brandon and South County. Flex service is an on-demand, door-to-door van-based call ahead pickup service. Patrons can schedule appointments for pickup from 3 hours to a week in advance. Patrons can even request subscription service if they book the same trip, in the same zone, more than three times a week! The service has been a hit in South County and the Brandon area and there are plans to expand the service to other neighborhoods of Hillsborough County in the near future.
The summer months saw a rise in outreaches as HART spent more time out in the community listening and educating than in years past, with more than 366 community outreach meetings and events. Comparatively, in FY 09' 133 outreaches were held.
October was all treats and no tricks for HART, as the organization was honored with two awards. The first was the 2010 Most Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award among mid-sized agencies carrying 4-20 million passenger trips a year, awarded by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). The award recognized the organization's achievements in ridership growth, financial management, environmental sustainability, workforce development and community relations.
The Tampa Latin Chamber of Commerce also presented HART with the 2010 Hispanic Large Business of the Year Award to recognize the organization's efforts to encourage and promote diversity.
Along with a slight chill at times, October also brought record ridership to HART. Over 12 million trips gave HART the highest bus ridership in its 30-year history! The following month, HART would see its busiest day, E-V-E-R! On November 3, over 50,000 riders boarded HART buses.
In November, HART once again partnered with the University of South Florida's Athletic Department during one of its football games to host a food and toy drive to benefit children and their families during the holiday season. HART also provided transportation to the game for youth (many of them, their very first Bulls game) from the Javamo's Art for Autism foundation. The kids are amazing!
Streetcar whistle blows carried in the wind on November 13th, when HART held the annual TECO Line Streetcar Fest with 25¢ cent rides, live music, demonstrations, contests and special offers. HART saw over 7,000 rides on the TECO Line Streetcar during the event. Turns out we discovered a couple of stars from HART staff during the event. See if you can tell which one is not like the other one in the video below!
2010 is coming to a close, and HART is looking ahead to the future.
The HART Board approved the expansion of the Business Diversity Program to include a Small Business Enterprise Program for the upcoming year and potentially a Women/Minority Business Enterprise in fiscal year 2012. This program expansion will contribute to the local economy by providing more opportunities for the little guy to participate in all of HART's procurements, whether they are federally or locally funded.
2010 was a great year for HART, but with all the new initiatives and MetroRapid service on the horizon in 2012... we are just getting started.
Some miscellaneous tidbits that happened throughout the year:
- HART launched A Community with HART a monthly community newsletter available in print from HART customer service offices or library, and electronically.
- Slight route adjustments in June and November saved HART $660,000.
- HART saved $1.2 million over the next year, by joining with neighboring agencies to secure fuel prices in advance.
- HART secured $14.2 mil. in grant funding
- HART replaced 29 of 232 buses in 2010, with the latest EPA-certified, low-emission engines.
- 160 new shelters with solar lighting were installed in 2010, compared to 104 in 2009.
- 82 new operators were trained in 2010, successfully completing an eight-week training program.
We would like to thank everyone for their continued support of HART and promise to continue to do more with less, while serving Hillsborough County. At HART, Driven to Serve You isn't a tagline, it's business as usual.