Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Assisting Older Americans on National "Dump the Pump" Day!

Hillsborough Transit Authority (HART), Hillsborough County, Aging Services Division, Town 'N Country Senior Center, Florida Public Transportation Association (FPTA), Florida's Safe Mobility for Life Coalition (SMFLC), and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) have joined together to create a "Dump the Pump" Day event at the Town 'N Country Senior Center in Tampa. 

The 8th Annual National Dump the Pump Day on Thursday, June 20 is a day to highlight that using public transportation is a great alternative to driving that not only saves money, but is also a reliable and safe transportation option for older adults who no longer drive. Hillsborough County has been identified by the SMFLC as one of the Top 10 Priority Counties based on Five Year Average Crash Frequencies for Aging Road Users 65 Years and Older.
"By using public transportation, older adults can gain access to the services that they need in an efficient and safe manner to help them remain independent and active in their community" said Lisa Bacot, Executive Director of FPTA. "This will also help them prepare to transition from driving when it's no longer a safe option."
In order to increase the use of public transportation, this event will both encourage and introduce the use of the HART transit system to safely move older adults throughout Hillsborough County. The participants at the senior center will have the opportunity to learn about the available transit services provided to older adults, the benefits of using public transportation, and how these resources can help ease the transition from the driving process. Then, the participants will travel together to the closest bus stop to ride the HART system to a local destination.
The event will begin at 10:00 am (with the bus ride occurring at 11:10 am) at the Town 'N Country Senior Center, located at: Hillsborough County, Aging Services Division, Town 'N Country Senior Center 7606 Paula Drive Tampa, FL 33615

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

HART Ridership Continues Growth in May

HART bus ridership numbers for May are in!
  • Bus ridership for May 2013 is 1,255,586, up 3.5 percent compared to the same month last year.
  • Bus ridership is up 2.8 percent year to date (October 2012 - May 2013), compared to the same months last year.
  • May 6th saw the greatest ridership throughout the month with 53,802 riders choosing HART.
Ridership isn't the only thing going up at Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART). Numbers show HART's new premier bus service is becoming popular among our riders. During its first 4 days of service, MetroRapid ridership was 4,336. A clear indication that our riders are shifting to MetroRapid.

Last week was the last week for Hillsborough County public school students, which means it's time to blast into summer with HART's Summer Blast Pass. (SBP) For just $30, students 17 and under get unlimited rides on HART local bus routes all summer long. HART's SBP is a perfect way to get to summer jobs, the movies, the mall and all of your favorite places. The HART Summer Blast Pass is now on sale, and may be used on any HART local bus route May 13 - Aug. 31. 

Summer Blast Passes are available for purchase at any of the following four HART locations:
  • Downtown Tampa: HART on Franklin, 403 N. Franklin
  • Downtown Tampa: Marion Transit Center, 1211 N. Marion St.
  • University Area: University Area Transit Center, 13110 N. 27th St. 
  • Ybor City: HART Administrative Offices, 1201 E. Seventh Ave.
Summer Blast Pass is not valid for use on HART Express, HARTPlus, or the TECO Line Streetcar System. Proof of age is required at the time of purchase.

Last year nearly 67,134 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. 

For more information about HART, visit 

Friday, June 7, 2013

HART Regular Board Meeting 6/3/13 - Recap

During its regular meeting on Monday, June 3, the HART Board approved several action items. The main focus of the session was a presentation on the Proposed FY2014 Operating and Capital Budget by Jeff Seward, HART Chief Financial Officer.

"We are pleased to be able to provide the community a balanced budget which has a planned increase of service hours to our riders," said Jeff Seward, HART CFO. "Including new late night, midday, and weekend service on some of our key routes. All of that was achieved through strong fiscal stewardship yielding over $1.2 million of savings."

Highlights of the Proposed FY2014 Operating and Capital Budget

  • FY2014 goals provide stable foundation for 5 years with continued emphasis on out-year fiscal sustainability.               
  • Primary goals include: maintaining current levels of service, supporting continued ridership increases, and providing enhancements to selected current services, with a general focus on long-term fiscal sustainability, in order to enable migration from federal reliance.
  • Cost saving measures include: across-the-board spending controls and realignment of resources. Reinvestment of savings will add $1.2 million of service enhancements.
  • The Proposed FY2014 Operating and Capital Budget is balanced at $77,252,226, which is 26.7% under the FY2013 Amended Budget.     
  • The Proposed FY2014 Operating Budget is$62,034,259, which is $453,748 higher than the FY2013 Amended Budget. 
  • The Proposed FY2014 Capital Budget is $15,217,967, which is $28,567,682 less than the FY2013 Amended Budget.   
  • Despite increased needs and only slight increases in revenue, HART's FY2014 proposed budget offers the following key elements:

     - Maintains current bus and paratransit service levels 
     - Adds over 16,000 hours of service enhancements to 9 routes   
      - Teamster step increases and non-bargaining cost of living wage adjustments 
     - Addition of operator and customer service positions for increased service levels 
     - Absorption of anticipated 11 percent increase in healthcare costs 
     - Funding for activities including a passenger survey, HART website and bus tracking system upgrades, DBE training, Streetcar safety assessment, and CNG operations/maintenance

Next Meeting 
The Transit Oriented Development Committee will meet Friday, June 14 at 9 a.m., at the HART Ybor Office, 1201. E. 7th Ave., in Tampa.