Drum roll please...
The Top 10 Reasons to Try Transit in 2011
Getting out of the comfort zone of your car may seem daunting and scary, so why not make it a 2011 must-do by adding it to the resolution list? Plus, here are some (good) reasons to try transit in 2011:
1. Save, save, save. A second car in Tampa Bay costs a family on average about $700/month, according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). A HART monthly bus pass is $60. That’s $640 in monthly savings! Use APTA’s transit calculator to find out what it costs to drive a personal vehicle versus trying transit: http://bit.ly/bJFx4U
2. Gas prices expected to reach $3/gallon. Gas prices have climbed in 2010, and expected to reach $3/gallon in 2011, according to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Energy, citing higher crude oil prices combined with higher refiner margins.
3. Go green. This is the generation that’s doing it differently! Many residents have made daily changes as part of their personal going green initiative: energy-efficient light bulbs, reusable grocery bags, and low-flow shower heads. Next stop on going green: Ride HART.
4. Reduce stress. It’s no secret driving in gridlock traffic is stressful. Kick the car habit, and don’t “stress” about how to get home from work. The Emergency Ride Home program makes it easy to rely on transit by ensuring a ride home in case of an emergency or unplanned situation. Learn more at www.tampabayrideshare.org
5. Reach fitness goals. Regular exercise is a common New Year’s resolution. Taking the bus is an easy way to get in the recommended minimum daily 30 minutes of physical activity, according to the 2005 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Why use a treadmill at a smelly gym when you could be going places instead!
6. Everyone else is doing it. HART riders who make up the more than 12 million in yearly bus trips can’t be wrong! They are enjoying more safety, less stress and use technology to help them plan their bus trips, like Google Trip Planner and RouteShout.
7. Bike and ride. Each HART bus accommodates two bikes. By combining buses and bikes, commuters can greatly expand their range of travel.
8. More public transit in more communities. HART has added flexible services in two areas, South County and Brandon, which historically have been underserved by a fixed-route bus system. HARTFlex provides on-demand, door-to-door van transportation within a half-mile of the designated routes in the Sun City area or anywhere in the Brandon zone.
9. Ride and fly. Frequent air travelers can take advantage of Route 30,which provides service from downtown Tampa, Westshore and Tampa International Airport every 15 minutes weekdays, and 30 minutes on weekends. Route 30 runs mainly along Kennedy with many stops along the way. Workers along this route need only park at the office and hop aboard the nearest stop!
10. Again, savings, savings, savings. Congress recently passed legislation to extend a transit benefit through 2011. It gives employers a tax-free option to provide their employees with a $230 benefit to go towards paying for public transit.
Change your life in 2011, start with HART!
NOTE: HART will operate on a Sunday schedule for New Year's DAY, while the TECO Line Streetcar System will operate on a Friday schedule (11 a.m. - 2 a.m.).