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


  1. I'd love to see a system that utilized the iPhone's Passbook app, like the Starbucks app. It's amazing how many riders use iPhones, and it would definitely speed up boarding.

    Also, it'd be nice to be able to have real-time arrival information such as can be found at Very handy.

  2. Thanks for the comments! Real-time is coming! We're also very interested in mobile ticketing. Mobile ticketing is definitely something we're looking at as we look to upgrade our fareboxes.

  3. I personally like the current fare boxes and find the design shown above, which is nearly identical to the PSTA design, to be horrible.

  4. I personally like the current fare boxes and find the design shown above, which is nearly identical to the PSTA design, to be horrible.


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