Friday, September 21, 2012

Ride HART. Be SMART: Be Prepared to Board!

Many factors are in play when you arrive on time.

Our goal at HART is to provide customers with a safe and efficient ride, but we can’t do that alone. Schedule adherence relies on a number of factors, which include bus operators knowing the routes, and following traffic safety laws, the HART Maintenance Department keeping buses in service, the HART Service Development Department carefully planning bus schedules that allow operators to make trips within their timepoints and probably most importantly, our customers!

HART has seen record ridership growth over the past few years and while this is great, we're challenged with providing as much service as possible within out fleet and funding constraints. Adding a few million in ridership, while operating with the same funding levels of 2006, means buses are stopping at more stops and on some routes, are standing-room only. Good problem to have... right?

Precious seconds tick away the moment you board the bus
How you can help? 

Every time someone boards the bus unprepared, countless seconds tick away and pin HART against the clock. In the video below, HART Bus Operator Jason Eames, talks about how it takes roughly 3 seconds for one person to board the bus, if they're prepared with fare ready. However, the boarding process can take as long as 30-45 seconds for unprepared customers, especially if they can't locate their fare cards!

The importance of being ready to board is explain in depth in the June edition of Next Stop with HART, which you can view below.

"Those precious seconds add up, when you're doing a route that is 15 minutes like the Route 2, those few seconds at every stop... you're adding up to 10-15 minutes to the route sometimes or even more," Eames said.

Being prepared to board not only assists us in getting you (and your fellow bus-mates) to work on time, but it could also lead to more service.

Here's an astonishing number: If HART trimmed 5 minutes from each run on daily routes, we could save $3 million annually! For a little perspective, the average route running a 30-minute weekday frequency with 30/60 minute frequency on weekends costs roughly $1.3 million annually to operate.

So, that $3 million saved annually could lead to reinvestment into existing routes to relieve crowding and improve schedule adherence, or invested in expanding service to growing areas such as Brandon and New Tampa.

All from just shaving some time off of our routes... Addition by subtraction!

Do your part! Next time you Ride HART. Be Smart.

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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.