Saturday, December 28, 2013

Kick off the New Year with the TECO Line Streetcar!

Firework display scheduled at Midnight
The Tampa skyline will light up Tuesday night in celebration of the New Year with thousands watching from Channelside and the Riverwalk.

The fireworks can be seen from a number of locations along the river, but the party will be at Channelside. The 11th Annual "Light Up Tampa Bay" begins at 6 p.m. with hours of DJs spinning in the courtyard.

The TECO Line Streetcar System is your best bet to avoid the expected traffic and parking nightmare. Park in Ybor and take the streetcar to Channelside (Hop off at the Tampa Tribune Station) or the Riverwalk (HSBC Station or Dick Greco Plaza). The streetcar will operate until 1 a.m. (Channelside fireworks display scheduled to begin at Midnight). Click here for a map of the Downtown network of services, including streetcar and HART local service.

Should you plan on driving to the festivities...

American Automobile Association (AAA) offers a complimentary "Tipsy Tow" service for those that might have had too much holiday "cheer" this year. The service is available to everyone, meaning you don't have to be a AAA member. Call 1-800-AAA-HELP (you might want to save this number in your phone now) and a tow truck will come out and tow you and your car home safely - for FREE.  AAA has received over 28,000 "Tipsy Tow" service calls since inception in 1998. Click here for more information on the program.

Whether you're enjoying your New Year's Eve with us or not, please be SAFE! 

New Year's Eve Service:

HART is operating on a Tuesday schedule for New Year's Eve. HART Customer Service Centers at University Area Transit Center and Marion Transit Center will be open from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. All other HART offices will be closed.

HART Customer Service will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and can be reached at (813) 254-4278.

New Year's Day Service:

HART is operating on a normal Sunday schedule for New Year's Day. HART Customer Service Centers at University Area Transit Center, HART on Franklin and Marion Transit Center will be closed. All other HART offices will be closed.

HART Customer Service will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached at (813) 254-4278.

Click here for a rundown on what services will be in operation. 

The HART Administrative Office in Ybor will also be closed on Wednesday in observance of the New Year.

Safe travels in 2014!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Outback Bowl 2014: Welcome to Tampa, LSU and Iowa fans!

Decorations will soon start coming down and holiday broadcasts are now returning to regularly scheduled programming. The holiday season is almost over. Keyword being, almost, because we're not done yet!

New Year's Eve is coming up and we've got a big time college football bonanza to bring in the New Year!

Welcome to Tampa for the Outback Bowl!

HART and the TECO Line Streetcar System would like to welcome all the LSU and University of Iowa coaches, players and fans to Tampa for the 2014 Outback Bowl!

We understand the difficulties in attempting to navigate the local public transportation scene without an idea on what to see and do and how to get there. So, we created this guide that breaks down some of Tampa's best attractions and how to get there with HART and the TECO Line Streetcar!

Use HART to get to the following Tampa attractions and avoid the parking hassles:
  • Busch Gardens - Routes 5, 18, 39
  • Lowry Park Zoo - Routes 41, 45
  • Florida Aquarium - Route 8, the TECO Line Streetcar
  • Channelside Bay Plaza (Dining, retail, Splitsville) - Route 8, the TECO Line Streetcar
  • Ybor City Historic District (Centro Ybor) - Routes 8, 5, 12, the TECO Line Streetcar
  • International Plaza (Shopping) - 15, 30, 59LX
  • Lowry Park Zoo - Routes 41, 45
  • Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) - Route 6
  • Tampa Bay Times Forum - Route 8, In-Town Trolley, TECO Line Streetcar
  • David A. Straz Jr. Center - In-Town Trolley, TECO Line Streetcar
  • Tampa Convention Center - Route 4, 19, In-Town Trolley, TECO Line Streetcar
  • Tampa Museum of Art - Routes 7, 10, 14, In-Town Trolley
  • Tampa Theatre - Route 4, 8, 19, 30, In-Town Trolley
  • Glazer's Children Museum - Routes 7, 10, 14, In-Town Trolley
  • University of South Florida - Routes 5, 6, 18
  • Westshore Plaza (Shopping) - Routes 15, 30, 45
  • Raymond James Stadium (Home of the Outback Bowl) - Routes 7, 32, 36, 45

Only $2.00 for a one-way ride!
Flying out? Route 30 runs between downtown and Tampa International Airport every 30 minutes on weekdays and weekends. Service begins at 4:40 a.m. through midnight during the week and 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the weekends.

A 3-day Visitor Unlimited HARTride card is your best bet at only $11.75 and valid on all HART local buses, In-Town Trolley and the TECO Line Streetcar System.

Things to know about the In-Town Trolley and TECO Line Streetcar System:
  • In-Town Trolley: The In-Town Trolley is a rubber-wheeled vehicle, that makes stops at popular locations in downtown Tampa weekdays, 6 - 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 - 6 p.m.  The line operate on a 15-minute frequency and costs only 25¢!

  • TECO Line Streetcar System: The streetcar line runs on rails that connects Ybor City, Channelside and Downtown Tampa. It operates 12 p.m. - 10 p.m. Monday - Thursday, 11 a.m. - 1:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and Noon - 8 p.m. on Sunday. Streetcar Operators do not provide change.

It's easy to plan your own trip! Visit to use the Google Trip Planner feature or call 813-254-HART (4278).

Click here for a map of downtown Tampa's network of public transportation service, including streetcar stops, In-Town Trolley service and HART bus routes.

New Year's Eve Service

Spending the New Year in Tampa? The TECO Line Streetcar System will operate until 20 minutes after the Fireworks Display in Channelside, which is scheduled to start at 12:00 Midnight.

Have a great time watching the Tigers (for the first time in Tampa in over 25 years) take on the Hawkeyes in the New Year's Day showdown and enjoy all that Tampa has to offer!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Packing HART buses for the holidays!

HART has spent the last few years packing on the ridership. However, with the holidays upon us, we're trying to pack the buses... with TOYS!

Local on-air personalities, Ratboy and StayPuff from 93.3 FLZ have teamed up with HART for the annual Stuff-a-Bus toy drive!

A HART bus is parked at the Westfield Brandon Shopping Center parking lot across from the Sears Auto Center located at 459 Brandon Town Center, Brandon, FL, 33511, until Saturday at 7 p.m.

93.3 FLZ has been broadcasting live each night from the HART buses, as RatBoy and StayPuff live on-site the entire week. Other 93.3 FLZ personalities have been dropping by throughout the week to share some of the bus duties.

The gifts do not have to cost an arm and a leg to be worthy of donation. Anything is appreciated, as long as the gift is in new and unwrapped condition! The toys will benefit the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program to help Tampa Bay area families in need this holiday season!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Downtown on Ice is back!

Get out of the heat and into the rink this winter! Experience the best of both worlds at Tampa's Downtown on Ice at Curtis Hixon Park. Enjoy 90 minutes of ice skating for only $10! No age limit on the ice and skate rentals are included in the price.

The rink opened on November 21 and will remain open until January 5. Open daily, the rink closes at 9 or 10 p.m., depending on the day of the week.

Overtime: Make it a night in Ybor with a streetcar ride for only $5 all day or the Family Pass, valid for 2 adults and up to 3 children or 1 adult and up to 4 children for only $12.50!

Click here for more information on Downtown on Ice.
Happy Holidays!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Google Trip Planner now uses HART Real-time Data!

HART continues to set the transit agency bar higher as a trendsetting innovator by being the first in Florida to make real-time trip updates available on Google Maps starting October 10.   
Google Maps allows riders to quickly and accurately plan transit trips from one location to another. That makes public transportation more user-friendly for new riders and gives seasoned, experienced riders a tool to help them get to their destinations in new, more efficient ways. Trip updates represent any changes in the timetables for predicted arrivals for stops along the route.
  • HART is the first transit agency in Florida to publish real-time trip updates via Google Maps, which is available on desktop and mobile devices in more than 40 different languages and in a format compatible with screen readers for the visually impaired. Trip updates can also provide for more complex scenarios where trips are canceled, added to the schedule, or even re-routed.
  • Instead of sorting through timetables, riders simply enter the date and their desired time of arrival or departure. The trip planner automatically maps available routes and displays the travel time and number of transfers for each option, so riders can pick their preferred route. 
  • Google Maps also includes transfers between different transit agencies in overlapping service areas for those who have made their schedule information available to Google. Detailed information on how to get to or from a transit station on foot is shown for transit results along with affording users the option to view aerial imagery, street level images via Street View, and additional local information such as business reviews. 
HART continues to demonstrate building awareness of public transit in Florida through our efforts of exposing greater transit information to get riders to where they need to go.

HART's newest innovation comes hot on the heels of its high-tech OneBusAway Tampa smart phone app, which provides instant access to real-time bus arrival information to answer the question "Where is my bus?"
Google Maps, on the other hand, is a highly efficient trip planning solution that solves the challenge of "What is the quickest way to get where I want to go using the public transit system?" The two applications work hand-in-hand to save riders valuable time and make their travel easier and more enjoyable.
Google Trip Planner now shows real-time data from HART!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Almost 15 Million Trips taken in FY2013!

HART has had a banner year in FY2013 - and has met or exceeded all ridership expectations! MetroRapid North-South has caught the public's attention and many people in the County are realizing that riding the bus is a great way to get around town.

That's apparent in the most recent ridership reports, which show total ridership at HART exceeded 14.6 million passengers during the fiscal year that ended September 30, a year-over-year increase of approximately three percent.  This total represents the fourth straight year of setting another record for the authority. We've hit record ridership 9 of the past 10 years.     
Almost 15 million trips were taken in FY2013!
Ridership highlights: 
  • FY2013 bus ridership was up by nearly 422,000 trips or three percent, compared to last year (FY2012: 14,218,868; FY2013: 14,640,375). 
  • Combined mode ridership exceeded 15 million for the first time and was up 2.8 percent compared to FY2012.
  • FY2013 bus ridership marks an all-time high for HART and breaks the annual record for the fourth year in a row!
  • FY2013 bus ridership breakdown:
    • Weekday average ridership up 7.3 percent
    • Saturday average ridership up 4.2 percent 
    • Sunday average ridership up 7.7 percent

"These ridership numbers bring into focus how important public transit is to residents," said HART Board Chair Fran Davin. "We will continue to make the public transportation options the best they can possibly be and to provide our riders with an experience that will make them continue to think of HART as their primary mode of transportation."

HART Highlights in FY2013: 
  • On June 10, HART launched the highly anticipated MetroRapid North-South bus service. MetroRapid N-S is the first public transit system of its kind in the State of Florida. 
  • 60 shelters on MetroRapid N-S along with 14 bus bays, one intermodal platform and ADA upgrades at 59 locations including sidewalks, 6 pedestrian crossings in Telecom Park with rapid flashing pedestrian warnings and one regional park and ride (Hidden River).   
  • 40 shelters, 200 ADA landing pads, 10,200 linear feet of sidewalk constructed in the City of Tampa, and four bus bays were built and/or installed by HART
  • HART launched the innovative OneBusAway Tampa app, which provides a suite of tools to deliver real-time bus tracking information to HART riders on the go.
  • HART was selected to participate in the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) 2013 Environmental Management Systems (EMS) Training and Technical Assistance program  
  • New, smaller HARTPlus vans were added to the fleet, providing cost-savings and flexibility to operations.  
  • A new, technologically advanced, seamless fare collection system was planned thanks to a regional collaborative partnership first initiated by HART.    
For more information about HART, visit

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Board Recap: HART Board Approves FY2014 Budget

The HART Board unanimously voted to adopt the fiscal year 2014 budget and a millage rate of .5000. The vote followed the final budget public hearing, held Monday night at the HART Administrative Office in Ybor City.

All action items on the agenda were approved, including the fiscal year 2014 budget, the levying of ad valorem taxes, and a millage rate of .5000 for 2014. The 2014 budget includes an operating budget of $63,668,388 and a capital budget of $22.7 million.

FY2014-2023 TDP

HART's 10-year FY2014-FY2023 Transit Development Plan (TDP) was also approved. HART is required to submit a TDP to the Florida Department of Transportation to be eligible for State Block Grant funding, of which HART hopes to receive more than $4 million within the next fiscal year.

FY2014 budget goals were established based on the reality of available resources, providing a stable foundation for the next five years.   
Primary Goals: 
  • Maintain current service levels - support continued increases in ridership.
  • Provide enhancements to selected current services
  • Review the ability to provide Saturday, expanded weekday, midnight, and Sunday service to several key routes
  • Enhance routes when enhancement does not require additional buses

Thanks to a continued internal cost-cutting effort, HART staff managed to trim expenses and save $1.2 million to be reinvested into HART services.
  • Focus on internal support Level of Service scenarios
  • Perform an aggressive expenditure review
  • Reinvestment of savings, to add $1.2 million of enhancements to current non-peak hour service (enhancements to 8 routes)

Despite increased needs and only slight increases in revenue, HART's FY2014 proposed budget accomplishes several significant value-adding goals.    
  • Maintain current bus and paratransit service levels
  • Add more than 16,000 hours of service enhancements to 8 routes
  • Teamster bargaining step increases, ATU increases, and non-bargaining cost of living wage adjustments of four percent
In another vote, the HART Board of Directors reversed a previous decision and reaffirmed HART's ongoing commitment to the values of diversity and inclusivity by permitting advertising by the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL).

Friday, September 13, 2013

HART Ridership up 3.8% in August 2013!

Bus ridership for August 2013 was 1,268,962, or a 3.8 percent increase compared to the August 2012. 
August 19 saw the greatest daily ridership throughout the month with 53,452 riders picking HART!
On average, each weekday HART is delivering more than 49,000 passenger trips on its growing network of buses, setting records in average daily ridership on HART fixed route service. 

"This growth reflects the value of public transportation in the communities we serve," said HART Chief Executive Officer Philip Hale. "We are constantly looking for ways to better serve our customers and the boost in ridership is evidence that we are headed in the right direction."
Fast facts: 
MetroRapid saw 48,000 rides in August!
  • MetroRapid ridership in August was 48,000
  • MetroRapid has increased 24.2 percent from June to August   
  • Year-to-date (October 2012 - August 2013), bus ridership is up 3.0 percent; an increase of 391,028 trips, compared to the same period last year      
  • Monthly bus ridership has been on the rise for the last 8 consecutive months   
In addition, this year nearly 57,493 trips were taken as part of Summer Blast Pass. The purpose of the program is to familiarize youth to consider transit as alternative transportation, and it allows them to travel safely and independently throughout Hillsborough County.

Some bus routes have demonstrated double-digit ridership growth over the past year,* showing that public transit use is up across all areas of Hillsborough County:
  • Route 39 (Town 'N Country/Citrus Park to netp@rk Transfer Center via Busch Boulevard): 16.4 percent increase    
  • Route 37 (Brandon to Netpark via Grand Regency Plaza): 13.8 percent increase
  • Route 16 (Waters Avenue, between Northeast Tampa and Town 'N Country): 9.7 percent increase
  • Route 9 (Downtown to University Area Transit Center via 15th street): 7.8 percent increase  
  • Route 41 (Sligh Avenue, between West Tampa and NetPark): 7.6 percent increase
(*January - August 2013)
For more information about HART, visit

Thursday, August 15, 2013

HART Ridership up 6% in July 2013!

Another month, another ridership gain for HART!
The numbers are in, and HART had another strong month for ridership in July with 1,181,409 total trips during the month, a 6 percent increase compared to July 2012.
"These are exciting times at HART, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to provide dependable service to a growing number of riders each and every month," said HART Chief Operating Officer Katharine Eagan.

Fast facts: 
MetroRapid launched June 10, 2013
  • MetroRapid ridership in July was 41,822   
  • July 8 saw the greatest ridership throughout the month with 49,332 riders choosing HART 
  • Year-to-date (October 2012 - July 2013), bus ridership is up 2.9 percent; an increase of 344,782 trips, compared to the same period last year  
  • Average weekday was 44,847; up 3.1 percent over July 2012
  • Monthly bus ridership has been on the rise for the last 7 consecutive months 
August 2013 Service Changes

Effective Sunday, August 18, HART will make modifications to bus service for MetroRapid North-South and routes 9, 37, and 47LX.

Summary of route modifications:

  • MetroRapid North-South: Route permanently moved from Marion Street Transitway to Morgan Street between Marion Transit Center and Kennedy Boulevard and Jackson Street. Minor schedule adjustments. Schedule
  • Route 9: 15th Street - Weekday route extended by one-hour to last trip at 8:45 PM (Northbound) and 9:00 PM (Southbound). Schedule
  • Route 37: Brandon/Netpark - Weekday route extended by one-hour to last trip at 9:05 PM (Westbound) and 8:05 PM (Eastbound). Schedule 
  • Route 47LX: Southshore Limited Express - Minor time changes in first northbound trip in order to provide improved connections at Marion Transit Center. Schedule 

These service changes were made for cost-effectiveness, to streamline route schedules and adjust to ridership trends.

View flier 

For complete information and to view schedules for each modified route, visit, or call HART Customer Service at 813-254-HART (4278).


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

OneBusAway Tampa Arriving August 19!

Real-time schedule info on the go!
Starting August 19, the innovative OneBusAway Tampa app from HART puts cool, convenient power at the fingertips of HART bus riders. HART is proud to make Tampa the third city in the nation to adopt this real-time technology, which first debuted in Seattle and New York.
  • The OneBusAway Tampa app provides a suite of tools to deliver real-time bus tracking information to HART riders on the go. Click here for a list of features.
  • The super user-friendly OneBusAway Tampa is easy to navigate, and it seamlessly interfaces with Web-enabled devices such as computers, tablets, and smart phones. This app uses GPS technology to send up-to-the-minute details on bus arrival information.
Available on a number of platfoms
Downloading OneBusAway Tampa will be free, easy, and fast. Just tap the "My Location" icon and a map of the Tampa area appears on the screen, plus graphics that show all the active stops. Then tap on the bus icon and its estimated time of arrival is instantly displayed.

HART is fully committed to providing the best customer experience with the recent implementation of HART MetroRapid North-South and the upcoming roll out of features like OneBusAway Tampa.     

"With an assortment of ways of accessing OneBusAway Tampa, riders will find it extremely convenient and useful," said Philip Hale, HART Chief Executive Officer. That was confirmed by the experience of local resident Dustin Lemke, who has relied on HART for two years to get him around town, volunteered to test the app during HART's pilot program.

"The OneBusAway Tampa app really helps me plan my time more wisely," remarked Lemke. "When you can't see the bus and it's running a few minutes late, you start to think you've missed the bus and then will be late for work and think your whole day is ruined. But this app helps keep me calm and knowledgeable about what's going on!"

HART partnered with the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida, where the software was developed with funding from the National Center for Transit Research. Georgia Tech evaluated the system for HART too, thanks to funding from the National Center for Transportation Systems Productivity and Management.

Visit this Monday, August 19 for OneBusAway Tampa access/download instructions.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

HART Regular Board Meeting 8/07/13 Recap

During its regular monthly meeting on Monday, August 5, the Board unanimously voted to authorize the HART Board Chair Fran Davin to sign an amendment for the creation of the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) endorsing the 2013 membership apportionment plan for submittal to the Governor's office.   
The main focus of the meeting was an overview presentation of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and a compliance presentation on
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin. 

Key points from the meeting include:
  • Marco Sandusky, HART Manager of EEO & Compliance Programs updated the board about HART Title VI compliance. As a recipient of federal funding, HART carries out a Title VI Program consisting of Notification, Complaint Procedures, a Limited English Proficiency (LEP) plan, Public Participation, Fixed Facilities Impact analysis, System-wide service standards and policies, Transit Service Monitoring, and Service and Fare Change Analysis. 
  • Katharine Eagan, HART Chief Operating Officer updated the board about Operations Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The KPI for on-time performance has been trending upward during FY2013 and is expected to meet KPI targets for the year. Ms. Eagan touched upon factors impacting On-Time performance (OTP) and HART staff efforts on mitigating OTP.

COO Katharine Eagan also formally introduced the new HART Director of Van Operations, Ruthie Reyes Burckard, who assumed the role in July. Van Operations includes services such as HARTPlus, HARTFlex, and Travel Training, and Reyes Burckard will also oversee HART Dispatch and Customer Service Departments.

Ms. Burckard will now oversee HARTFlex and HARTPlus service
Reyes Burckard has been with HART since 2002 and most recently served as the Paratransit and Customer Service Manager. In that role she headed up the Paratransit Eligibility and Customer Service departments while ensuring that HART delivers the highest level of customer service.     

Next Regular Board of Directors Meetings 

HART's First Budget and Regular Board Meeting will take place Monday, September 9 at 5:30 p.m., and Final Budget and Regular Board Meeting will take place Monday, September 23 at 5:30 p.m. at the HART Ybor Office, 1201. E. 7th Ave., in Tampa.