Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Have HART, Share the Road!

As Florida Bike Month comes to an end, we wanted to give awareness for the often overlooked neighbors on the road - pedestrians and cyclists.

2010 was a rough year for pedestrians in the Tampa Bay area.  2011 hasn't started much better.

In 2010, 492 pedestrians were killed statewide with 78 deaths in Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough locally, making Florida no. 1 per capita in the United States for pedestrian deaths.  In 2008, 17.4% of fatal bike accidents reported nationwide, occurred in the state of Florida. Recently, the Top 10 list of most dangerous metro areas for pedestrians included four Florida metro areas.

Interior cards like this one were placed on all HART buses

Operating over 190 buses in Hillsborough County and logging almost 9 million miles a year on Hillsborough County roads, HART has a big interest in pedestrian/cyclist safety.  Last year, Alan Snel, a local cycling advocate, approached HART about educating HART Operators and the general public about Florida state law known as "3 Feet to Pass," which requires motor vehicle operators to give cyclists 3-feet when passing.  Last year in April, HART launched the educational campaign on all HART buses, goHART.org, and social media outlets.  Interior cards like the one shown above were placed inside all HART buses, and buses were also wrapped with similar graphics. 

Walkwise Tampa Bay is another pedestrian/cyclist safety initiative looking to educate the citizens of Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas' Counties.  The educational campaign has partnered with beach towns in Pinellas County and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to promote Pedestrian safety by introducing a new Pedestrian Flag program.

The program uses retro-reflective flags and vests on each end of a crosswalk to gain the attention of oncoming drivers.  Pedestrians carry the flag across the crosswalk.

According to FDOT, a pedestrian is injured every seven hours in Florida, with one killed every five days.  By law, bicycles are considered vehicles and cyclists are given the same rights as car drivers.  So the next time you pass a cyclist or another car on the road, please treat them equally, and give 3 feet!

Click here to view a video on the 8 weeks of training that HART Bus Operators go through before they are allowed to transport passengers.

For more information on Walkwise Tampa Bay, please visit www.walkwisetampabay.com.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

HART has March Madness!

The most exciting time in college basketball is here! March Madness begins today at the St. Pete Times Forum. HART would like to offer a big welcome to all the athletes, students and fans that are in town for Round 1 of the tournament. Tampa has a number of attractions and things to do while in town.

Use HART to get to the following Tampa attractions and avoid the parking hassles:
  • Adventure Island - Route 5
  • Busch Gardens - Routes 5, 18, 39
  • Florida Aquarium - Route 8 and the TECO Line Streetcar
  • Glazer's Children Museum - Routes 7, 10, In-Town Trolley Green Line
  • International Plaza - 15, 30, 59LX
  • Lowry Park Zoo - Routes 41, 45
  • Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) - Route 6
  • St. Pete Times Forum - Route 8, In-Town Trolley Green and Purple Line, TECO Line Streetcar
  • David A. Straz Jr. Center - In-Town Trolley Green Line, TECO Line Streetcar
  • Tampa Convention Center - Route 4, In-Town Trolley Green Line and Purple Line, TECO Line Streetcar
  • Tampa Museum of Art - Routes 7, 10, In-Town Trolley Green Line
  • University of South Florida - Routes 5, 6, 18, 57
  • Westshore Plaza - Routes 5, 30, 45, 89

Flying out? HART also has improved service to Tampa International Airport by providing more frequency, seven days a week. Route 30 runs between downtown and the airport every 15 minutes from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. on weekdays, and every 30 minutes on weekends.

A 3-day Visitor Unlimited HARTride card is your best bet at only $11.00 and va
lid on all HART local buses, In-Town Trolley and the TECO Line Streetcar System.

Things to know about the In-Town Trolley and TECO Line Streetcar System:

  • In-Town Rubber-wheeled Trolley: The Purple Line makes stops at popular locations in downtown Tampa weekdays, 6 - 9 a.m. and 3 - 6 p.m. The Green Line makes stops at popular locations and parking garages in downtown Tampa on Fridays and Saturdays, 6 p.m. - 2 a.m. Both lines operate on a 15-minute frequency and stop at the St. Pete Times Forum.
  • TECO Line Streetcar Line: The streetcar line runs on rails that connects Ybor City, Channelside and Downtown Tampa, which includes a stop at the St. Pete Times Forum. It operates 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. on Thursday, and 11 a.m. - 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Streetcar Operators do not provide change.
It's easy to plan your own trip! Visit www.goHART.org to use the Google Trip Planner feature or call 813-254-HART (4278).

For a map of downtown Tampa's network of public transportation service, including streetcar stops, In-Town Trolley service and HART bus routes, go to: www.gohart.org/routes/trolley/trolley_systemmap.pdf

Have a great time taking in the madness of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament and while you're here, enjoy all that Tampa has to offer!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

HART Supports American Red Cross Month

You'll see signs like this one onboard buses and at
HART transit centers during the month.
When there's an emergency, the familiar Red Cross logo is a welcome sight. It means there will be food, water, clothing and more. It means comfort. It means caring.

The Red Cross means help has arrived.

March is American Red Cross Month, and HART is proud to lend its support to the organization's outstanding work throughout the month.
Emergency Services Part of HART's Mission
Teaming up with the Tampa Bay Chapter of the American Red Cross is a perfect fit for HART. With hurricane season just three months away, we'll all soon be thinking about storm safety, and HART's Emergency Evacuation Service is an important part of Hillsborough County's preparation.

The 10 routes that make up HART's evacuation program are designed to transport people who have no other means of escape from flood zones to county emergency shelters. There is never a charge for this emergency service, which is part of HART's commitment to our community.

Janet McGuire from the American Red Cross and HART's
Rickey Kendall stopped by the Fox 13 studios.
To increase awareness of the American Red Cross during the month of March, HART will display a "HART Supports American Red Cross Month" message at transit centers and onboard buses. The emergency response message will also hit your TV this month, with a series of on-air announcements on Fox 13 featuring HART's Risk & Environmental Safety Director Rickey Kendall and the American Red Cross Tampa Bay Chapter Regional Communications Officer Janet McGuire.

Plus, there will be lots of information available on HART's website, http://www.gohart.org/.

HART salutes the American Red Cross for all it does to make Tampa Bay a safer place for everyone.

For more on the American Red Cross Tampa Bay Chapter, click here.

To learn more about HART's Emergency Evacuation Service, click here.