Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Route of the Week: Route 8

With a diverse service area roughly the size of Rhode Island, Hillsborough County provides a great mix of urban, suburban and rural destinations for our riders. Think about the destinations that you can see and experience with the HART transportation network!

This week, we feature the Route 8, which operates from Marion Transit Center in Downtown eastward to The Westfield Brandon Mall. Service operates 7 days a week with Weekday service from 4:45 a.m. - 10:20 p.m. and Weekend Service from 6:20 a.m. - 8:40 p.m.

In FY2016, the Route 8 is averaging almost 40,000 monthly riders and has operated over 8,000 trips!

Leaving from Marion Transit Center, the Route 8 parallels The TECO Line Streetcar System, providing bus service to Amalie Arena and The Tampa Bay History Center, before splitting with The Streetcar and heading up Meridian Ave. with a stop serving Grand Central at Kennedy, which houses Stageworks Theatre, Powerhouse Gym, as well as, a mix of restaurants and local shops.

The Route 8 is the only HART route to operate along 7th Ave.
Heading north on Channelside Dr. and Nuccio Parkway into the Ybor City area, where the Route 8 turns onto historic "La Séptima". The Route 8 is the only HART route to operate along 7th Ave., which was designated in 2008 as one of the "Great Streets in America" by the American Planning Association. The HART Administrative Office, Centro Ybor entertainment complex, GameTime and The Columbia Restaurant are just SOME of the destinations served along 7th Ave.

The Ybor campus of Hillsborough Community College is also just a short walk from 7th Ave.
The Larry Sanders Sports Complex is over 120 acres!

Continuing the trip east, the Route 8 travels through the Progress Village area, serving the 120-acre Larry Sanders Progress Village Sports Complex. The complex features four baseball fields, batting cages and two football fields.

Entering the Brandon/Riverview area, the Route 8 operates along Bloomingdale Ave., serving Winthrop Town Centre, a mix of restaurants, shops and services, before turning onto Providence Rd.

Your eastbound trip on the Route 8 ends at Westfield Brandon Mall, with connection to five different HART routes, including HARTFlex Brandon.

From Amalie Arena to La Séptima, HART Takes You There.

Route 8 operates from Marion Transit Center to Westfield Brandon Transfer Center

Friday, March 25, 2016

Minor HART Service Changes Coming March 27

As part of our continued commitment to providing ease of access and convenience for its patrons, HART is implementing minor service changes effective Sunday, March 27. HART makes regular service adjustments three times a year in response to public feedback collected prior to each change, and proposes potential adjustments to improve safety and efficiency. Routes are selected for adjustment based upon demonstrated ridership and input via the Customer Service database.

The service changes scheduled to begin Sunday, March 27 include the following:

HART Service Changes - March 27
Service changes go into effect March 27
  • Route 4 - The AM detour before 9:00 AM at MacDill will become permanent
  • Route 16 - Will have an additional trip leaving Northwest Transfer Center at 8:15 PM during the weekdays
  • Route 47LX - The 4:40 PM trip out of Marion Transit Center will continue from the South 301 Park-n-Ride to Amazon Fulfillment Center.

Minor time adjustments:

  • Limited/Express Routes 24X, 25LX, 27LX, 28X will have minor time adjustments
  • Local Routes 31, 36, 41 will have minor time adjustments

You can view the new route schedules on our website or contact HART customer service at (813) 254-HART for more information 

Curious how route scheduling works and what goes into a service change? Check out our in depth look at the Service Change process.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Route of the Week: Route 37

With a diverse service area roughly the size of Rhode Island, Hillsborough County provides a great mix of urban, suburban and rural destinations for our riders. Think about the destinations that you can see and experience with the HART transportation network!

Route 37 gets to shine this week!

The Route 37 is an east-west route operating from netp@rk Transfer Center (Connection with routes 6,15,32,34,37,39,41,57) to Westfield Brandon Mall (Connection with routes 8,31,37,46,53LX, HARTFlex Brandon)/Brandon Regional Hospital. The route operates 7 days a week with Weekday service from 5:05 a.m. - 9:45 p.m. and Weekend service from 6:05 a.m. - 7:10 p.m.

Heading east from netp@rk Transfer Center, Route 37 serves Grant Park, which houses a Community Center, playground and baseball diamond. In the summer, The Grant Park Activity Center has a full program of summer fun, as a City of Tampa Day Camp.

Love competition? Race go-karts, regardless of the weather, at Tampa Bay Grand Prix, Tampa's only indoor go kart racing facility. Just a short walk from the Route 37.

HCC students receive discounts on HART!
Heading south along Falkenburg Rd., the Brandon campus of Hillsborough Community College may be of interest to students in the area. HCC students receive two discounts when riding HART. A 31-day pass is only $48.75 (a discount of 25% over retail) and recently, HART launched the HCC Semester Pass. The pass provides HCC students with roughly 4 months of rides for roughly the price of two. The Semester Pass is $110 and available at all HCC Bookstores.

Movie buffs will happy to know that AMC The Regency 20 is accessible via a Route 37 stop directly in front of the theater complex.

Route 37 serves a number of Brandon destinations!
Eastbound on Brandon Blvd., the Route 37 caters to Brandon Regional Hospital employees with a stop at Oakfield Dr. and S. Parsons Ave. During the week, the frequency on the Route 37 is roughly 30 minutes and splits trips at Providence Rd., with every other trip serving Brandon Regional Hospital. Weekday trips not serving the hospital, operate along Providence Rd. Brandon High School, Hillsborough County Service Center and the Brandon Post Office are also accessible via this leg of the trip.

After the roughly 9-mile journey, the Route 37 ends at Westfield Brandon Mall, with over 150+ stores and restaurants, as well as, connection to 5 different HART routes.

From summer camp, to morning shifts, HART Takes You There.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Route of the Week: Route 39

With a diverse service area roughly the size of Rhode Island, Hillsborough County provides a great mix of urban, suburban and rural destinations for our riders. Think about the destinations that you can see and experience with the HART transportation network!

We're featuring another east-west route this week with The Route 39!
Route 39 operates from the Town 'N Country/ Citrus Park area to Netp@rk Transfer Center via Busch Boulevard.

One of our newer routes, (relatively speaking) the Route 39 was launched in the early part of the new millennium and has grown steadily. Previously operating hourly, weekday only service, The Route 39 has improved to 30 minute frequency Monday-Saturday, with hourly service on Sunday. The Route 39 is currently our 4th highest ridership, with FY2016 year-to-date ridership at 2.9 million trips.

Westbound Route 39 operates from netp@rk Transfer Center
The Route 39 serves 3 transfer centers: Northwest Transfer Center (routes 16,30,34,39,61LX, HARTFlex Town 'N Country, PSTA North County Connector), Yukon Transfer Center (routes 1,9,14,16,39) and netp@rk Transfer center (6,15,32,34,37,39,41,57).

Beginning our trip at netp@rk Transfer Center, the Route 39 serves netp@rk Tampa Bay. At 956,107 sq. ft, it is the largest single office building in Tampa Bay. Netp@rk currently houses 20 tenants in a mix of industries.

Animal lovers and roller coaster aficionados will appreciate the Route 39 connection to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay with a westbound stop at Busch Blvd. at 40th St. and eastbound stop at Busch Blvd and 37th St. The Route 39 operates past park closing time, 7 days a week. 

Hillsborough County middle and high school students are well served on the Route 39 with connections to King and Chamberlain high schools and New Springs and Van Buren middle schools. Even better, Hillsborough County middle and high school students ride HART FREE with school ID or HART-issued Youth ID until June 10th.

Route 39 also serves The Temple Terrace and North Tampa Branch Libraries for those looking for a good book to read while you ride.

Westfield Citrus Park is home to roughly 150 restaurants and stores
Have plans to see the new summer blockbuster? Or, grab a bite to eat? Westfield Citrus Park Mall is home to roughly 150 stores and restaurants. The mall also houses Regal 20 Cinemas, a multi-screen theater complex with concessions.

Our trip on the Route 39 comes to an end at Northwest Transfer Center.

From roller coasters to movie matinees, HART Takes You There.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

HART and TransDev to Partner on Innovative First Mile, Last Mile Solution

The HART Board voted during the March 7th meeting to partner with TransDev, an international transportation company, on a pilot program aimed at providing a solution for what is known in the industry as the "First Mile, Last Mile Problem".

How does a potential rider get to/from the bus stop when a stop is not within reasonable walking distance to one? "First Mile, Last Mile" is an industry-wide barrier to potential riders trying transit for the first time.

Enter the TransDev First Mile, Last Mile pilot program.

Brandon, Carrollwood and University area are pilot areas
Here are the basics. HART and TransDev have identified 3 initial zones: Brandon, Carrollwood and the University Area/North Tampa. The selected areas are under-served areas with a large population, making it a great opportunity to be more relevant to people's lives and hopefully bring more riders into the HART network. TransDev's service will connect users to HART transit hubs within 3 miles of pickup.

TransDev will operate Minivans with roughly 27% of the vans being ADA-accessible.

Here is how it works.

Riders will be able to book their trip via an Apple IOS/Google Android smartphone app or a traditional call center. The app will act similarly to current rideshare apps such as Uber and Lyft, locating you via your phone's GPS.

Riders will be able to choose the next available van or schedule a pickup via advance booking.

The app will be integrated with trip planner technology, and will be able to determine which bus route riders need to connect with and plan their trip, anywhere in the area. The app will provide the pickup that best ensures the customer arrives at the bus stop before the bus departs.

TransDev's drivers will have pre-employment drug screen, background check, driving record/reference check and training in Customer Service, HART rules, etc. Riders will also be able to rate the driver for enhanced transparency.

The "First Mile, Last Mile" solution pilot will be a flat $3 fee, with HART picking up the remaining $7 cost of the up-to 3-mile trip.

The pilot project is expected to launch in summer 2016. Should the pilot be successful, the goal is to expand this pilot to other HART services.

Route of the Week: Route 36

With a diverse service area roughly the size of Rhode Island, Hillsborough County provides a great mix of urban, suburban and rural destinations for our riders. Think about the destinations that you can see and experience with the HART transportation network!

This week, the Route 36 gets the spotlight as our Route of The Week!

The Route 36 provides service from the Carrollwood area to South Tampa via Dale Mabry Hwy./Himes Ave. The route operates Weekday service from 5:25 a.m. - 9:25 p.m. and Weekend service from 6:10 a.m. - 7:35 p.m. Two major transfer points are located along the Route 36 at West Tampa Transfer Center (WTTC - 7,32,41,45), located near Raymond James Stadium and Britton Plaza (4,19,100x HARTFlex South Tampa) at Euclid Ave. and Dale Mabry Hwy.

For the stat geeks out there, the Route 36 is averaging 47,277 monthly rides and has operated roughly 6,600 vehicle trips so far in FY2016.

Starting our journey in the Carrollwood area, those needing non-emergency medical service can take the Route 36 to Florida Hospital at Himes Ave. and Hamilton St. or St. Joseph's Hospital - North via connection to HARTFlex Northdale at Fletcher Ave. and Dale Mabry Hwy.

Hillsborough County Middle and High School students ride HART FREE until June 10!
Middle/High School students ride FREE until June 10!
The Route 36 may be of interest to Plant and Jesuit High School students, with the return of our STAY-cation promotion. Hillsborough County Middle and High School students, ages 18 and under, ride HART free with School or HART Youth ID until June 10!

Craving an outdoor adventure? Al Lopez Park, named after one of Tampa's most distinguished former residents, offers a 1.2 mile interior asphalt multi-purpose trail, picnic shelters, fishing piers and more. The park is accessible via multiple Route 36 stops along Himes Ave.

HART service is on detour at WTTC during Ray Jay events
Just south of Al Lopez Park is one of the crown jewels of the National Football League, Raymond James Stadium. Route 36 serves Ray Jay at WTTC. Please note: Due to road closures from Tampa Police, WTTC is CLOSED a few hours before/after all major events at Ray Jay. Routes serving WTTC are relocated to St. Isabel St.and MacDill Ave. This may be convenient for event-goers tailgating in the eastern lots.

Need to pick up a treat for the pooch, or grab dinner with friends? Walter's Crossing Shopping Plaza has a mix of retailers and restaurants, from Whole Foods and Target, to PetSmart and Romano's Macaroni Grill. Hop off at Dale Mabry Hwy. and Spruce St.

Your southbound trip on the Route 36 ends at the Kingfisher St. Burger King in South Tampa.

From game day, to every day, HART Takes You There.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Take HART to AirFest 2016!

HART takes you AirFest!
If you love intense aerial maneuvers, along with getting in the cockpit of dozens of new and classic aircraft (safely on the ground), this event is for you! The U.S. Air Force hosts the free event, but expect other branches of the armed services to get in on the flight action.

More than 50,000 are expected to attend the event.  If you're planning on attending the event, HART and MacDill AFB have partnered
to provide transportation for Airfest 2016 in order to minimize event traffic congestion on March 19 and 20. Gates open at 8:00 a.m. Aerial Performances begin at 10:00 a.m.

Here are your HART options for getting to the Fest:
  • Route 4 will operate serving Marion Transit Center and the Whiting Street Parking Garage in Downtown
  • Route 4 will begin service at 8:00 a.m., southbound service will cease after 3:00 p.m. Northbound service from 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • Route 36 (6 a.m. - 7 p.m.) will terminate at Britton Plaza. Patrons can board the Route 4 from Britton Plaza to continue to MacDill AFB.
  • Additionally, Route 19 will serve Britton Plaza, operating regular route. However, expect major delays.

Please note: MacDill AFB is a high security facility and certain items are prohibited.

What NOT To Bring:
  • Firearms (CCW Permits not recognized/honored) NOTE: Off-duty/Retired LEOs must leave firearm in vehicle.
  • Replica or toy weapons
  • Stun guns, tasers, any electrical discharge devices
  • Knives, box cutters, cutting devices (any blade size) NOTE: This includes multi-tools, Swiss army knives, etc.
  • Laser pointers
  • Sharp objects, sticks or poles of any kind
  • Batons and Asps
  • Pepper spray, mace or any chemical dispensing device'
  • Any type of weapons to include "self-defense" weapons
  • Fireworks
  • UAVs, drones, or any type of remote controlled vehicles
  • Drugs, controlled substances, drug paraphernalia
  • Any size coolers. EXCEPTION: small handheld coolers with baby food (formula and food in PLASTIC containers) or medications will be allowed after inspection
  • Alcoholic beverages (not purchased at event)
  • Food or beverage items (not purchased at event) EXCEPTION: plastic bottled water
  • Any glass bottles or glass containers of any kind
  • Portable BBQ or cooking devices
  • Skates, roller blades, skateboards, scooters, OR HOVERBOARDS
  • Bicycles not allowed past the security screening area
  • Banners or signs on a pole of any kind
  • Clothing with objectionable language or images (profanity, racist, anti-military, anti-government, obscene)
  • Costumes or any garment resembling military personnel or law enforcement officers
  • Pets (with exception to service dogs)
  • Any other items base personnel consider a security or safety risk 

Please leave prohibited items at home as you will be denied boarding and entry to the event. We appreciate your cooperation!

Feel the need... the need for speed, at AirFest 2016. HART Takes You There.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Regional Fare Collection Project Moves Ahead

A new region-wide electronic fare management system will soon streamline the transit ticket-buying process for the whole Tampa Bay region. Riders will buy a card in one county and use it to catch a bus in any of the other seven counties. The solution will not only make it easier for patrons to manage their fares, but it will also speed up boarding times and cut back on time spent counting coins and bills coming out of bus fare boxes.

With this long-overdue upgrade fare collection will be simpler, easier for patrons, and will also work seamlessly to provide one common fare media for all public transit passengers throughout the region. Transit agencies in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Citrus, Hernando, Manatee, Pasco, Polk, and Sarasota counties - which make up the Regional Working Group, have been partnering for nearly four years, to create this unified fare collection system to improve regional connectivity.

The region-wide fare collection system solution, which allows passengers to purchase fares for travel throughout the entire region on any bus, is one step closer to deployment.

For months a partnership coalition of various agencies has cooperated and collaborated to implement forward-looking smart technologies that benefit transit customers and the greater Tampa Bay region. "The Regional Working Group is excited to bring this innovative system to our riders," said Jeff Seward, HART CFO. "It will move our region into the future of transit fare collection and allow our riders an unparalleled, flexible rider experience. The project will provide great value to our region, improve on time performance, and reduce costs."

On March 3, the multi-agency Regional Working Group will meet with the technology vendor, INIT Innovations in Transportation, to officially kickoff the final phase of the innovative project. On that day teams and leaders, along with the vendor, will confirm the steps and details and share status reports to set things in motion for the groundbreaking project. The outcome of this effort will provide riders with technology that lets them purchase fares using a convenient mobile device app or reloadable, account based fare card. "INIT is excited to partner with the RWG to deliver a modern fare system that will  provide passengers with better fare options and offer them greater mobility throughout the Tampa bay region", Roland Staib, CEO, INIT Innovations in Transportation, Inc., Chesapeake, VA.Within 6 to 8 months of the project kicking off riders will be able to use the mobile app across the Tampa Bay area by showing their purchased fare via the phone to the driver. By the end of the project fares will be validated using the new on-board validators that are to be installed.

The new $12 million system will provide seamless and common fare media for passengers throughout the Tampa Bay region and will replace the outdated and less efficient fare collection systems in the area - including the system used by HART for more than 25 years. "With our strong base of out-of-town customers brought in by our nationally acclaimed tourism, the ability to pay fares instantly and mobility via smart phones will be a real game-changer," said Brad Miller, CEO of the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority. "Soon your vacation will begin the moment you land at the airport by simply downloading the app, hopping aboard, and the next thing you see will be the white sands of Clearwater Beach."