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).

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