Thursday, October 25, 2012

HART Helps Get Out the Vote for Nov. Elections!

FREE rides on HART on Election Day!

On Tuesday, Nov. 6, Election Day, HART will offer free rides to customers with a valid voter registration card. The card must be presented to the driver when boarding to receive the free ride.

Free rides are provided during regular bus service hours on Election Day. Riders should determine in advance which routes will get them to or near their polling site. To plan an Election Day trip, call HARTinfo at 813-254-4278 or use the Google Trip Planner feature on

This promotion is not valid for use of HARTPlus service or the TECO Line Streetcar System. Click here to view the flier.
Regardless of who you vote for, we just want to make sure that you exercise your right to vote!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Smart Card technology and more discussed at HART Major Projects & Legislative Committee

An overview of capital improvement projects was provided during Monday's HART Board Major Projects and Legislative Committee at the HART Administrative Office in Ybor.

Construction on MetroRapid Park-n-Ride
Construction of MetroRapid North-South stations started on the north end of the corridor. This includes construction of six stations in Telecom Park, three stations in Hidden River, and Stations 42 and 44 at Magnolia Drive and Palm Drive on Fletcher Avenue. In addition, 14 Ticket Vending Machines were received by HART and are ready for installation! TVM's will be placed at large MetroRapid stations.  

HART is gearing up to begin design of a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling station by the end of this year, with construction scheduled to begin Spring 2013. In order to maximize the life of current HART vans and buses, conversion of the HART fleet will take place as older diesel-engine vehicles cycle out: CNG-powered vans and buses will be ordered to replace current diesel-powered vehicles that have reached their useful life. This conversion is scheduled to be completed within the next 6-12 years.

"Smart" fareboxes allow for various forms of payment
Lastly, HART announced that it will kick off a Farebox Replacement Working Group, and request participation by nearby transit agencies on a regional approach to modernize fareboxes and work towards a smart card system. This type of regional approach will assist with securing federal grants to fund this project, and increase user-friendliness by streamlining farebox systems.

"Fare media is connectivity," said Philip Hale, HART Chief Executive Officer, explaining that a streamlined farebox system is one of the best ways to make cross-county connections easy and seamless for customers.

The Farebox Replacement Working Group will evaluate the needs of existing and potential transit customers to first determine the most efficient type of modern farebox or smart card system that could be implemented at HART, if funding were available.  

Many HART fareboxes have been maximized beyond suggested usage, and currently only accept cash or HART farecards. Smart card technology increases customer convenience, speeds up boarding and reduces/eliminates fare collection. Various forms of "tap-and-go" smart card technology have been implemented by transit agencies throughout the country.

For more information about these HART and HART capital projects, visit

Monday, October 8, 2012

Another Record Year for HART!

14.3 million trips were taken on HART buses in FY 2012!
The latest numbers are in to close out HART fiscal year 2012, which ended Sept. 30. Ridership highlights:

  • Fiscal year 2012 bus ridership was up by nearly 600,000 trips or 4.3 percent, compared to last year (2011: 13,730,705; 2012: 14,314,610)
  • Fiscal Year 2012 bus ridership marks an all-time high for HART and breaks the annual record for the third year in a row!
  • Fiscal Year 2012 bus ridership breakdown:
    • Express average ridership up 11.4 percent
    • Saturday average ridership up 4.7
    • Sunday average ridership up 2.2 percent

"Transportation has occupied the attention of this community for the past few years, and although we may not yet have light rail to serve commuters and visitors, record ridership for the third straight year in a row shows that this community has noticed HART's transformation from the bus system of an earlier time," said HART Board Chair Fran Davin. "HART is on pace for even greater transformation next year, as we move forward with significant transit system improvements, including upgraded facilities, MetroRapid North-South, and a compressed natural gas fueling station." 

HART Highlights in fiscal year 2012: 
  • Secured $6.3 million in federal grants to build a compressed natural gas fueling station and purchase buses powered by CNG. Design-build of the fueling station is scheduled to begin early 2013.
  • 54 shelters installed, 319 stops improved (i.e. landing pads, sidewalks, etc.) throughout Hillsborough County, including Cities of Tampa and Temple Terrace
  • 2012 Summer Blast Pass ridership increased by 48 percent! This year, 66,215 trips were taken as part of this program, compared to last year's ridership of 44,732.
  • New, smaller HARTPlus vans were added to the fleet, providing cost-savings and flexibility to operations. These vehicles are less expensive to purchase and operate, and can be assigned to paratransit trips with fewer passengers. 
 For more information about HART, visit