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Friday, February 4, 2011

Does Transit Make a Difference? Just Ask Madeleine!

Gasparilla-goers took nearly 20,000 rides on HART this year.
It's all in a day's work for us!
How did you spend your Gasparilla? Did you you head downtown and circle around for hours looking for a parking spot, before finally giving up and going home?

Or did you do what Madeleine did?

Here's a comment she posted over on HART's Facebook page:

"I drove 3 miles to UATC, caught the 11:30 route 5 to Ybor, hopped on the shuttle and had a spot steps from where I got dropped off, right on the rail at Bayshore and Platt by 12:40. Maybe if HART ran the parade, IT would be on time. Had a blast. Thanks."

Madeleine's was one of the 19,822 trips taken on HART bus, streetcar and trolley service last Saturday for the Gasparilla Pirate Fest and Parade.

That number outpaced last year's total of about 16,000 trips.

Events like Gasparilla, the Super Bowl (2009), and political conventions (coming in 2012) show just how important a vibrant transit system can be in a community. Getting thousands of people where they need to go quickly, efficiently and safely is job #1.

But it isn't just during big events that transit moves a lot of people. At HART, we do that every day.

On an average weekday, HART carries about 45,000 rides, and about 1 million rides every month. In fact, a recent report by the Texas Transportation Institute estimated that without transit, Tampa Bay area residents would spend an additional million hours a year in traffic. We also help people save money on gas, tolls and parking by providing a convenient alternative to driving. Whether you live in Fishhawk Ranch or Town 'n' Country, or somewhere in between, HART has park-n-ride services that can take you to work the easy and hassle-free way.

Plus, HART is adding new ways to move people with the recently introduced HART Flex neighborhood circulator service, and the MetroRapid bus rapid transit system currently under construction.

And more service is now available downtown with the newly expanded TECO Line Streetcar System.

So HART is there for you every day, whether it's your Tuesday commute, Friday lunch hour, or a glorious Saturday Gasparilla.

Can that make a difference in your day? Just ask Madeleine.

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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.