Monday, August 1, 2011

Aug. 1, 2011 HART Board Recap: Say YES to the Bench

The HART Board met today at 9 a.m. for its regular meeting at County Center in downtown Tampa.

One of the most-asked questions HART hears from customers is "Are you going to put up a shelter at my stop?" The answer is a resounding "yes!" Thanks to a contract the HART Board approved today, 41 new shelters will be purchased and installed within the next two years. The cost for these 41 shelters is $360,530; however, the contract is for up to $846,220 over the next two years, so more shelters may be purchased should more funding become available.

HART currently has one shelter for every seven of its bus stops, up from one for every 15 bus stops three years ago. There are about 3,700 bus stops throughout Hillsborough County, and new shelters will be installed at sites that are selected based on public input received throughout the year and ridership trends.

With inclement weather conditions endured by this area, shelters are extremely important to protecting customers from the elements, and makes public transit easier and more convenient to use.

In other matters, the HART Board voted 8-2 to certify the .5000 millage rate in the proposed fiscal year 2012 operating and capital budgets. Before these are finalized and adopted by the HART Board, two public hearings will take place Sept. 12 and Sept. 26. Both hearings will begin at 5:30 p.m. and both will take place at the HART Ybor Office, Florida Conference Room, 1201 E. Seventh Ave.

The HART Board also approved some bus service modifications for November 2011, which affect Routes 30, 39 and 97. Routes 2, 4, 6, 12, 33, 41 -- which were also part of the proposed November 2011 service changes -- will maintain their level of transit service.

The HART Board also voted 7-3 to further discuss the 2012-2021 Transit Development Plan (TDP) at a Special HART Board Meeting on Monday, Aug. 22, 10 a.m. (or immediately following the Finance Committee Meeting) at the HART Ybor Office. The TDP focuses on high-quality and expanded bus service, as well as enhanced transit options, to meet the mobility needs of this community over the next 10 years. The TDP is a document required by the Florida Department of Transportation to be updated annually by each public transit agency throughout the state. A major update is required every five years, and this year's TDP is a major update.