Thursday, July 28, 2011

Public Hearing for Route 97 Proposed Elimination, Scheduled for July 28

HART is holding a public hearing today, July 28, from 4 - 6 p.m., at the County Center, 26th Floor Conference Room, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, 33602. The purpose of the hearing is to give residents and/or groups the opportunity to present their views and comments regarding the proposed elimination of Route 97 - Green Line In-Town Trolley (weekend/evening service).

HART solicited public input about the proposed November service changes, including the elimination of Route 96 - Purple Line In-Town Trolley (weekday service), from June 21 – July 14. As a result of feedback received, the proposal has been modified to maintain Route 96, and instead eliminate Route 97. Final recommendations regarding November service changes will be on the agenda of the HART Board's regular meeting on Monday, August 1.

Today is the last day for public comments on the proposal. Comments may be sent electronically by visiting or in writing to: HART Service Development, Attention: Route 97 Proposal, 1201 E. Seventh Ave., Tampa, FL 33605.

Meeting facilities are ADA compliant. For additional accommodations or for more information, contact HART at 813-254-4278 (TDD: 813-626-9158) or visit

Friday, July 22, 2011

Still Driven to Serve

Recently, the HART Board Finance, Governance, and Administration Committee voted to advance the 2012-2021 HART Transit Development Plan (TDP). The full HART Board will vote on adopting the plan at the August 1 meeting. We have given an overview of the TDP and the process before. Basically, it's a ten year plan to make transit options more attractive over the next ten years. Agencies are required by FDOT to submit a TDP for funding grants.

In our 2012-2021 TDP, we provided to FDOT an outlook of the agency, looking at our guiding principles for transit projects and our projected funding. Following the defeat of the referendum in November, we lost a major potential funding source for the Rapid Transit Investment Plan, which included light rail. The plan we submit annually, must be realistic and without a funding source for those projects (whether it is Bus Rapid Transit, light rail, heavily expanded bus service etc.), it simply isn't realistic at this point.

Our current vision (which was drafted through two different phases of community feedback) is a bus-oriented plan. The plan includes:
  • More service on existing local and express routes
  • New local and express service
  • Additional/expanded Flex service
  • Additional paratransit
  • MetroRapid expansion
  • Transit signal prioritization
  • More supporting capital facilities (bus replacements, park and rides, shelter improvements)
These are seen as necessary improvements in order to make transit more appealing over the next ten years. Buses are not "sexy," but they are necessary, and that is the direction HART is currently going towards. We are getting back to basics, with a meat and potatoes plan.

Now, here is the thing. The TDP is submitted annually, with a major update every five years (which we just submitted). Should a new potential funding source become available again in the near future, the plan can be altered to include rapid transit options (BRT, light rail, etc.).

Fear not, Hillsborough County resident, HART hasn't given up on rapid transit options. Our mission hasn't changed. We are continuing to plan for ways to meet Hillsborough County's current and future needs, by finding ways to efficiently and effectively move people around the county. The tools may have changed for now, but the job remains the same.

Monday, July 11, 2011

What's your ideal family reunion?

Just in time for outdoor adventures with the family, HART and Radio Disney AM 1380, part of the No.1 radio network for kids, tweens and families, are celebrating National Family Reunion Month throughout July!

What does the best family reunion EVER look like to you?

Maybe a backyard barbeque filling the air with the chatter of relatives and the smell of burgers? Or, tea cup rides and roller coasters with a family trip to a theme park?

Have another idea in mind? Show us! HART and Radio Disney AM 1380 want children, ages 16 and under, to draw us the best family reunion ever!

The lucky grand prize winner of the "Draw the Best Family Reunion Ever!" contest, will receive a special visit from the Radio Disney Road Crew for a block party held right on their block! The contest ends July 25, with a winner chosen on July 26.

For "Draw the Best Family Reunion Ever" contest rules and entry slip, please visit

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 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 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

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