Friday, May 11, 2012

Ride the (Heat)Wave with the TECO Line Streetcar this Saturday!

Tropical Heatwave this Saturday!
A Heatwave is expected to hit Ybor this Saturday - seventy-three bands across fourteen stages. Yeah, that's a Tropical Heatwave.

For over 30 years, WMNF 88.5 FM has provided the annual musical buffet of local and semi-local acts along with vendors selling food, drinks and other wares. The stages are as diverse as the performers with the Cuban Club in west Ybor; the Ritz in south central Ybor; and Centennial Park in east Ybor (among other venues) all housing acts throughout the day.

With so many venues spread throughout Ybor, your best bet is the TECO Line Streetcar. Four streetcar stations are located within 1 block of all 14 venues, so save your feet for dancing and hop on! The TECO Line Streetcar runs every 20 minutes and operates until 2 a.m. on Sunday.

Click for a map of Tropical Heatwave venues
Click the image to the right for a map of Ybor showing the Tropical Heatwave venues in relation to the TECO Line Streetcar. Visit the TECO Line Streetcar website for fare, map and schedule information.

Breakdown of streetcar stations serving Heatwave venues:

Centennial Park Station (Station #1)
Tampa Bay Federal Credit Union Station (Station #2)
Streetcar Society Station (Station #3)
Cadrecha Plaza (Station #4)
For more information on WMNF 88.5 FM's Tropical Heatwave, click here. Save your legs and some time with the TECO Line Streetcar! Enjoy the shows!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Things to Do in Tampa this Weekend: 5/4-5/6

Oh what a weekend...

You will absolutely LOVE this weekend if you're a music fan. Just perusing the event calendars yielded more than 5 decent sized music bills featuring a variety of genres at venues from Channelside, to Ybor and downtown. We'll begin with perhaps the biggest FREE music event taking place this weekend.


FREE music at Curtis Hixon Park! Photo: Tampa Bay Times
Rock the Park
Curtis Hixon Park - Whiting Station (Station #11 of the streetcar line)

Rock the Park is a monthly music series featuring some of Tampa's best bands. This concert normally taking place on the first Thursday of the month, has been bumped to Friday to take advantage of a big bill featuring 4 of *tbt's "Top 10 Tampa Bay area musicians".
  • Sleepy Vikings
  • The Groves
  • Crash Mitchell 5
  • Drake and Sofia
*Note the concert has moved this month from the lawn portion of Curtis Hixon to the Kiley Gardens area of Curtis Hixon.

And here's the reason it moved...

Burger Showdown
Curtis Hixon - Whiting Station (Station #11 of the streetcar line)

Rock the Park will be sharing Curtis Hixon with a good ol' fashioned Burger Showdown! The area's top restaurants will face off for bragging  rights for the title of Best Burger in the Bay.  Mayor Buckhorn is the honorary chair of the event featuring unlimited burger samples, dessert and non-alcoholic beverages.

Participating restaurants include Ashley Street Grille, Danny's All-American Diner, BGR The Burger Joint, Burger 21, Champions Bar & Grill, Chili's, Datz, Green Iguana Bar and Grill, Lee Roy Selmon's, Square 1 Burgers and Bar, Stacked Burgers and the Tampa Convention Center/Aramark. Proceeds benefit the Friends of the Tampa Riverwalk.

The cost for the event is $45 in advance, $55 at the gate and $95 for VIP, which includes a cocktail reception.

Celebrate the day at the Bricks of Ybor!
Star Wars Day at the Bricks: May the 4th Party 
The Bricks of Ybor - Streetcar Society Station (Station #3 of the streetcar line)

The Bricks is blowing out May 4th with a Star Wars-themed party ("May the 4th be with you") with specials, prizes for best costume and music. 21+ to enter. Party responsibly!

A few blasts from the past are in town at a number of venues in downtown this weekend...

New Edition
Tampa Bay Times Forum - Streetcar HSBC Station (Station #9 of the streetcar line)

New Edition with all six members are heading out on tour for their 30th anniversary. Wow! How old does that make you feel? A night with New Edition at the Tampa Bay Times Forum starts at $52.50.

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
The Ritz Ybor - Streetcar Society Station (Station #3 of the streetcar line)

Another band that will show your age a bit, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are at The Ritz in Ybor Friday. The band is often credited as a progenitor of the ska-punk genre and are best known for their hit single "The Impression that I get," which reached #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks in 1997 and has appeared in a number of movies.

Show starts at 8pm Friday with tickets costing $23.


"Surf's up" at the Straz Center Saturday night.
The Beach Boys
David A. Straz Jr. Center

The Kings of Surfer Rock are back! Touring together for the first time in two decades, the Beach Boys celebrate the band's 50th anniversary with a tour stopping at the Carol Morsani Hall at David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts.

Hear all their greatest hits! The show begins at 8pm on Saturday and tickets start at $49.50.

The War on I-4: Tampa Bay Storm vs. the Orlando Predators
Tampa Bay Times Forum - HSBC Station (Station #9 of the streetcar line)

The War on I-4 is back! Watch the Tampa Bay Storm take on the Orlando Predators at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The game kicks off Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $12.

Need help getting around? You can download a map of the HART/TECO Line Streetcar downtown network of service here.
Ticket to Dine

Don't forget you can score some savings with your Florida Aquarium admission receipt or Tampa Bay Times Forum ticket stub. Simply show the streetcar motormen your admission receipt or ticket stub for HALF off a round-trip fare on the TECO Line Streetcar! There are a couple events at the Forum in the list above - so get to saving!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bikes on Buses during National Bike Month!

Being National Bike Month, we're taking a look at the relationship between personal (bikes) and public transportation.

Once seen as a child's toy, bikes have become a serious tool for individuals looking to speed up their commute.

Bikes on Buses saves time, money and the environment!
Committed to getting our riders to their destination as quickly and efficiently as possible, HART has added racks to all buses, rubber-wheeled trolleys and most recently HARTFlex vans. Folding bikes - in proper carrying bags - were allowed on board beginning in November 2011.

Bike riders might not view a 30 mile round trip bike ride to downtown as an attractive commute. However,  pair a quick 1-2 mile bike ride with a HART route to pick up the majority of the miles and you have some serious peddle power.

Cycling HART riders find that bikes not only speed up their commutes, but also provide them more exercise, ground coverage, and route options.

For example, you might live within walking distance of a route 34 stop, but possible transfers don't work well with your schedule. Instead, you choose to bike to the route 1 stop where you can catch a straight shot to Marion Transit Center and save 10 minutes. Couple those time savings with the low-cost of a HART 1-day pass ($3.75) or 31-day pass ($60, $1.95 a day) and you've saved time, money and the environment!

Don't take our word for it though. Over 20,000 boardings were part of the Bikes on Buses program last month.

We see bikes as a supplement to our service as we celebrate a nearly 20-year relationship with the bicycle!

Click here to learn more about the HART Bikes on Buses program including how to secure your bike on the bus bike rack.  We also have a Bikes on Buses how-to video on our YouTube page here.

Ride on!

Just call us the Nickelback of commuting... better yet, don't.

Falling under the alternative commutes umbrella, bicycling and public transportation, we hope to one day become as "alternative" as Nickelback.

Not sure how you can be "alternative" when you've sold over 50 million records worldwide? Exactly our point.

However, that's for another day, another post.