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