Monday, May 23, 2011

What Goes into Your Route: From Plan to Pavement - Part 2

Continuing our two-part look at what goes into getting your route from plan to pavement... we look at the final three months of preparation leading up to the service change effective date.

Missed part one of the series? Click here.

"Run cutting" and "rostering" begins during the last three months before the service changes go into effect. Basically, we have our schedules finalized, but now the final pieces to the puzzle need to be put together. At this point, HART schedulers are now tasked with a bevy of responsibilities. They have to turn the schedules into paychecks. All roughly 360 Bus Operators, 45 Van Operators, and 9 Streetcar Conductors, have a "run," or schedule that they stick to until the next service change. Our schedulers have to work out details in the schedules for all 415 or so operators, such as making sure that each operator receives two consecutive days off.

Finally, if a HART Operator is starting a run on an unfamiliar vehicle, they receive full training prior to the service change effective date. A month before the changes, new schedules are posted at transit centers and on buses. Installation of new stops also begins around this time. The day that service changes take effect, old schedules and maps are removed from the website and operators begin service.

The whole process from plan to pavement is around seven to eight months and involves A LOT of planning, listening, compiling, reviewing, more reviewing, promoting, etc.

We're not much for Pin the Tail...

We know our patrons may sometimes feel that we just put on a blindfold and play "Pin the Tail on the Donkey," but as you can see it is a much more involved process that requires a lot of thought and consideration. Our professionally trained staff understands how important a role HART service plays in the community as we strive to move the residents of Hillsborough County. Staff is truly amazing and innovative at their jobs and helps HART continue to provide adequate service within the walls of the budget.

HART always welcomes comments regarding routes and modifications. As shown above, comments are a big part of the process. If you would like to provide constructive comments for HART staff to review, please click here.


  1. What are your plans in extending the hours on your 22 X in the Brandon/Valrico area. Part of smart transit planning is to get people to commute to work.On this route you have Walmart,Home Depot,Lowes,Publix,Sweetbay,YouFit Etc... along with other smaller businesses. I currently work in transit in Polk County but was raised in NY and have a good outlook on transit. What research if any has been done in this area ? To me it seems like alot of transit planning gets delayed for different reasons.I know money plays a huge role in planning out these routes but this is a calculated risk with future rewards as ridership rises gradually.

  2. JC,

    HART Commuter Express riders pay a premium for an extremely limited stop service. The 22X route has just 3 stops (3 park-and-ride lots) on its way to Downtown Tampa.

    Our Express riders work in Downtown (usually) and want the quickest commute possible. Adding stops to this Express may even force us to reclassify the 22X as a "Limited express" service.

    As far as local route service (frequent stops), we are always monitoring the County landscape for major people concentrations to connect to (Grocery stores, employment hubs, malls, etc.).

    Thanks for reading!


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.