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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Service changes are coming July 10!

As the weather changes, so does HART service. Or, so it may seem...

It actually kind of does. Three times a year, (usually in March, July and November, or Florida's equivalent to seasons) HART implements service changes to continue to make the system more efficient and effective. Service changes allow for us to constantly tinker with routes, adding additional trips to provide a better connection to other routes, or shaving off layover time to keep the run on schedule.

While we only roll out three service changes a year, HART staff is constantly reviewing Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) data in order to identify potential routes for modification. HART Planners are always looking at ways to make service more efficient. AVL provides the opportunity for our schedulers to review route runs, which show where our Operators may need some help, time-wise. It really is a fascinating process, and if you are interested in learning more about transit planning and how a route goes from plan to pavement, we covered that in a two part blog series. The service change process is a long and exhaustive process, planning for the July 2011 changes began in December/January.

July service changes go live Sunday!

The times they are a changin' ... literally. July service changes are around the corner - July 10. If you have not seen the July 2011 service changes, you can find the changes here. Please take this week to finalize your game plan for next week. If you need any help with trip planning before July 10, call HART Customer Service at (813) 254-4278, after July 10, use the Google Trip Planner on goHART.org. We would like to thank the community for all of your help in the planning process. HART held six community meetings and one public hearing in March to discuss the proposed July changes.

HARTFlex is coming...

One of the biggest changes in the July service changes is the expansion of HARTFlex from Brandon and South County to three new areas: Northdale (Carrollwood), South Tampa and Town 'N Country. If you are not familiar with Flex and how it works, visit www.gohart.org/flex. Basically, it is an on-demand, curbside pickup van service. Flex service, mostly operates along a route like normal bus service, except the van "flexes" a certain distance from the route. The exception is the Brandon Flex, which operates within a zone and without a set route. Patrons can pickup the Brandon Flex at the Westfield Brandon Mall. By replacing local route service with Flex service in those areas, HART is able to maintain service levels and save over $500k annually.

For maps, service hours and other information on HARTFlex, please visit www.gohart.org/flex.

HART Service Changes:
July 10, 2011 service changes
Proposed November 2011 service changes

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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.