Friday, December 19, 2014

HART Unveils Streetcar Modernization and Expansion Study

Tampa St./Florida Ave. is one alignment that was studied.
On Wednesday, December 17, the Tampa Historic Streetcar Board of Directors received the final Tampa Historic Streetcar Extension Study, undertaken by HART to explore the potential benefits of creating a modern streetcar extension through the heart of downtown Tampa to the Marion Transit Center. Those dynamic benefits would greatly complement the project proposed by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, and Strategic Property Partners LLC.

HART Board Chair, Councilman Mike Suarez, echoed the sentiment of Mr. Vinik, who stated that his development company Strategic Property Partners LLC are looking to take a leadership role in creating a more robust transportation system in downtown, including an improved streetcar system and enhanced bus service. "HART is excited to be an active partner in the revitalization in the Channelside District," Suarez said, "and it gives me great pride that the TECO Streetcar System is part of Mr. Vinik's vision plan for bringing improved transportation services to the community along with improved access to jobs and economic investment in this corridor."
HART remains committed to innovation for the benefit of the communities it serves including economic, social, and environmentally responsible technological improvements. The Tampa Historic Streetcar Extension Study represents the latest in a long history of leading initiatives HART has undertaken as a transit leader in Tampa as well as the entire state of Florida and the nation as a whole.

Click here to download a copy of the final study. As a note, the Streetcar Modernization and Expansion Study focused specifically on possible extension alignments directly/indirectly serving Marion Transit Center. This does not rule out future extensions serving other areas.

Monday, December 15, 2014

HART Bus Ridership Continues Strong Growth!

HART ridership is up once again!

HART is delivering more than 52,000 trips a day!
November continued the agency's run of strong ridership growth. November marked another month of more than 1 million in bus ridership. The most recent ridership report shows total passenger trips in November reached 1,185,748. That's 6,981 more riders choosing HART to get around Hillsborough County in November 2014 compared to the same month last year.
November 5 saw the greatest daily ridership throughout the month with 58,662 riders picking HART!    

On average each weekday HART is delivering more than 52,000  passenger trips on its growing network of buses.

"As ridership continues to grow, so does the need to expand service to keep pace with the growing demands of the county," said HART Chief Executive Officer Katharine Eagan. "We are pleased to see a steady increase in ridership during the first quarter of FY2015."  
Fast facts: 
  • November 2014 ridership marked 6,981 more trips than the same month last year. 
  •  13 days exceeded 50,000 riders.
  • MetroRapid ridership was 42,609.
  • Year-to-date (FY2014 vs. FY2015), bus ridership is up 3.4 percent; an increase of 86,164 trips compared to the same period last year. 
The top five average weekday ridership routes in FY2015, showing that public transit use remains strong in significant areas of Hillsborough County:
  • Route 1 (Downtown to University Area Transit Center via Florida Avenue): 1.8 percent increase
  • Route 6 (Downtown to University Area Transit Center via 56th Street): 14.6 percent increase
  • Route 12 (Downtown to University Mall/University Area Transit Center via 22nd Street): 8.2 percent increase
  • Route 34 (Northwest Transfer Center to Netp@rk Transfer Center via Hillsborough Ave.): 3.8 percent increase
  • Route 39 (Town 'N Country/Citrus Park to Netp@ark Transfer Center via Busch Boulevard): 5.7 percent increase
For the month of November, bicycle boardings in Hillsborough County saw a 3.2  percent increase over last year's numbers. HART logged 18,432 boardings compared to 17,641 last year.  

For all-things HART, including OneBusAway, Real-time Arrival Information via Text Message, trip planning, schedules, maps and fares, just visit     

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December 2014 HART Board Meeting Highlights

Transparency was the word of the day at the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority Board of Directors meeting on Monday, December 1.

The main focus of the session was a presentation by Jeff Seward, Chief Financial Officer who provided an overview about this week's launching of the agency's online accountability center. HART will post a wealth of financial information on our website, including our budgets, individual financial transaction records, contracts information and historical data. Also, Seward asked the Board of Directors to approve the inclusion of the new HART transparency initiative into the agency's finance policy. 

HART is the lead on the regional fare collection project
During its regular monthly meeting, the HART Board approved all action items, including authorization of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Hillsborough Transit Authority (HART) and the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) for financial support for the regional fare collection project. 

In other matters, HART Board of Directors Chairman Councilman Mike Suarez welcomed the newest HART Board of Directors members, Ms. Kathleen Shanahan and Commissioner Stacy White. In addition, Councilman Suarez recognized several re-appointed Board members and thanked them for their valuable contributions and commitment during their tenure on the HART Board of Directors. 

Several employees were recognized for their outstanding service and 30 plus years of commitment working at HART.
In addition, HART Board General Counsel David Smith asked the HART Board of Directors for a motion to initiate the process of revising the following HART Board Policies.

  •  120: General Organization of HART; Sub-section 120.02: Board of Directors
  • 1000: Environmental Policy; Sub-section 1000.02: Policy

The HART Board unanimously approved to move forward with the process of revising the HART Board Policies. 

The draft revisions to the HART Board Policies will be presented to the Finance, Governance, and Administration Committee on December 15, 2014 for their review and advancement to the January 5, 2015 HART Board of Directors meeting for the Board's consideration. 

Next Regular Board of Directors Meetings 

The HART Regular Board of Directors will take place Monday, January 5, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. at the HART Ybor Office, 1201. E. 7th Ave., in Tampa.
Closed captioning from the monthly HART Board of Directors meetings will be posted within 5 - 8 business days on the Hillsborough Television (HTV) website.

Click here to view video recordings from recent HART Board/Committee meetings.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

HART sets all-time monthly ridership record!

Despite declining gas prices, October 2014 marked the highest month for bus ridership in HART history!  

The numbers are in, and for the first time HART provided 1,438,947 passenger trips in one month, which is roughly a 5.8 percent increase over October 2013. 

"Our weekday ridership continues to grow, we're a different HART today, and the community has taken notice," said HART Chief Executive Officer Katharine Eagan. "While this is encouraging news, we have to continue the work to improve HART efficiencies, while simultaneously planning for its future growth."
Fast facts: 
  • October 2014 ridership marked 79,183 more trips than the same month last year. 
  • October 2014 topped the previous monthly record set October 2013 as the highest month for bus ridership in HART history.
  • MetroRapid set an all-time monthly high with 57,513.
  • October 2014 is the first time HART monthly bus ridership has marked more than 1.4 million trips.
  • Only one weekday was under 50, 000, so 22 weekdays were over 50,000 daily trips.
  • October 2014 streetcar ridership totaled 23,893 or an increase of 8.2 compared to the same month last year.
The increase continues to be visible in our daily ridership after a record breaking 60,711 trips on October 6 - the most in HART history.

For the month of October, bicycle boardings in Hillsborough County saw a 7.4 percent increase over September's numbers. HART logged 21,430 boardings compared to 19,961 last month. In fact, the HART bikes on buses program saw a 4 percent increase in FY2014 or 233,475 boardings compared to 224,466 in FY2013.

In addition, Almost 192,000 trips from University of South Florida students, faculty and staff have been taken on HART services since July. In October the use of the HART U-Pass service for USF students, faculty and staff increased 9.5 percent or 4,737 trips compared to last year. The U-Pass program is a partnership with the university that allows students to ride any HART local bus for free with a valid student ID; faculty and staff ride for 25¢. 

Meanwhile more than 2.7 billion trips were taken on U.S. public transportation in the second quarter of 2014, according to a report released by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

For all-things HART, including OneBusAway, Real-time Arrival Information via Text Message, trip planning, schedules, maps and fares, just visit