Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Flamingo Fares is Here!

One Application. One Region. One Fare.

Flamingo Fares has arrived!

With the launch of the Flamingo app on Monday, September 5, riders on both sides of the bay can now purchase a single fare for travel between both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties! The Flamingo app allows patrons to book a 3-day unlimited regional pass, valid for 3 consecutive days for only $11!

The 3-day pass is a test of the technology that will soon allow for the purchase of a variety of pass options, including 1-day, 31-day, etc.
E-fare will be animated and interactive

To pay with Flamingo, customers download the Flamingo app, purchase a ticket on the app, activate it, and show the screen to the Bus Operator upon boarding the vehicle. The mobile payment app will be free to download and available in the iPhone App Store and Google Play Store.

Cash will continue to be accepted on both transit systems, but with a smartphone app, patrons no longer have to worry about carrying the correct change or buying separate fares for different legs of their trip.  

Soon it will bring HART and PSTA into the future by providing easier, faster, and more convenient ways for riders to pay their fares on HART and PSTA.

The 3-Day (consecutive) unlimited ride ticket is valid on all HART and PSTA bus services, as well as, HARTFlex, The TECO Line Streetcar System, Jolley Trolley, Looper Trolley. Flamingo Fares are not valid on HARTPlus or PSTA DART.

This is just the beginning! Hernando, Pasco, Manatee and Sarasota Counties are also implementing the new technology for a future release. HART and PSTA expect to have the total system, which will include smart card technology, up and running by 2018.

After the test period, data from both agencies will be analyzed to determine what concerns need to be addressed before the full system is implemented in 2018.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Don't Get Caught in the Storm! Plan Ahead

HART provides Emergency Evacuation Service
With Tropical Storm-force winds possible in the next 48 hours, it's a great reminder of the importance of having a severe weather plan BEFORE a storm hits. Unlike earthquakes or tornadoes, which can happen in an instant, hurricanes tend to give a lot of warning.

Know your plan

For the safety of our riders and employees, normal HART service will cease if sustained winds reach 39 mph. HART is working closely with the Hillsborough County Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

HART service will also cease if the Hillsborough County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) instructs HART to begin operation of Emergency Evacuation service, after shelters have opened. Our emergency routes are designed simply to move people from low-lying areas to higher ground. Because of this, if a major storm threatens our area, you should plan for the possibility of service interruptions.

To minimize inconvenience to our customers, we will announce the need to interrupt service as early in the day as possible, and will work to restore service just as soon as it is safe to do so. The main thing for you is to be prepared and have a plan. Don't wait until the last minute to make arrangements or you may find yourself stranded.

Know your evacuation route ahead of time!
HART Emergency Evacuation service is not limited to hurricane evacuation. The EOC can call on HART as an official evacuation partner of Hillsborough County to implement evacuation service in any emergency evacuation situation in which it is safe to carry out service.

For more detailed information on the service and service plans in case of emergency, please click here.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Route of the Week: Route 6

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 6 is this week's Route of the Week!

The Route 6 operates Monday-Sunday between University Area Transit Center (UATC) in the USF area to Marion Transit Center (MTC) in Downtown Tampa. Service operates Weekdays from 4:50 a.m. - 12:20 a.m. and Weekends from 6:15 a.m. - 12:15 a.m. Service operates until midnight 7 days a week!

Route 6 is currently the BUSIEST route in the HART network, with 1,068,892 riders so far in FY16.

The route covers a lot of ground with service to the USF Tampa campus, Temple Terrace, East Tampa, Ybor, and Downtown Tampa. The Route also serves 3 main transfer points (and connection to almost 40 routes) with UATC, MTC, and Netp@rk served by the route.

USF students ride HART free with student ID!
USF students will appreciate bus service to major focal points on and near the Tampa campus:
  • Off-campus student housing located on 42nd St., 46th St., and 50th St.
  • Holly Apartments on campus
  • Marshall Center
  • USF Corbett Soccer Stadium
USF students ride HART FREE with valid student ID!

Route 6 also serves the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)! The facility (the largest science center in the Southeast) is an educational resource that is dedicated to advancing public interest, knowledge and understanding of science, industry and technology. The museum has a number of revolving and static exhibits, as well as, a domed IMAX theatre, showing both new and limited release films.

On the southbound end of the route, Route 6 serves:

Great views and atmosphere at Ulele!
  • Water Works Park - Renovated in 2014, the park features a splash zone, dog park, and band shell
  • Ulele - One of Tampa's hottest restaurants, the restaurant features food indigenous to the region's land and water sources
  • Hidden Springs Ale Works - Opened in 2015, the Brewery features over 20 taps of various styles in a minimalist, but warm setting
  • Stetson Law School - Florida's first law school

From Ulele to USF, HART Takes You There.

Route 6 operates between the USF area and Downtown Tampa

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Route of the Week: Route 34

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 34 operates between NWTC and Netp@rk
This week, we feature Route 34 as the Route of the Week!

Route 34 operates 7 days a week between Northwest Transfer Center and Netp@rk Transfer Center. Service operates Weekdays from 4:50 a.m. - 12:05 a.m. and on Weekends from 6:00 a.m. - 9:25 p.m.

Route 34 is currently the third busiest HART route, and our busiest east-west route. Roughly 620,000 rides have been taken so far in FY2016!

Operating mostly along Hillsborough Avenue, Route 34 serves parts of Town 'N Country, Seminole Heights, and East Tampa, providing residents with a healthy set of restaurant and entertainment options.

Here are some highlights:

Credit: Ichicoro Ramen
Once a blighted area, Seminole Heights has turned into a growing culinary and leisure destination. In terms of food, the area is a mix of culinary styles from fresh Mexican food at the original Taco Bus, to elevated American comfort food (Ella's Americana Folk Art Cafe,) and ramen, rice bowls, etc. (Ichicoro Ramen).

Those looking for Happy Hour, will want to check out the Independent Bar and Cafe, offering 14 taps of craft beer with a cafe menu, and Red Star Rock Bar, with live music on Friday and Saturday nights!

Those looking for family fun in Town 'N Country have quite a few options to check out as well:
  • Skateworld of Tampa features arcade games, laser tag, bounce houses, and a skating rink
  • Pin Chasers Veterans is a 40-lane bowling alley feature pool, darts, etc.
  • Northwest Family YMCA features a swimming pool, along with basketball, football, and soccer!
  • Twistee Treat serves up ice cream scoops, sundaes, malts, and hot dogs!
Other Route 34 destinations include:
Riders can transfer to Routes 1,2,5,6,7,9,12,14,15,16,18,30,32,36,37,39,41,45,57,61LX, and MetroRapid from Route 34.

From Ella's to Everest University, HART Takes You There.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Route of the Week: Route 31

Route 31 operates between Brandon and SouthShore
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 taking Route of the Week to South County this week. Route 31 is our Route of the Week!

Route 31 operates between the Westfield Brandon Transfer Center to the Gibsonton/Apollo Beach area. Service operates weekdays from 5:10 a.m. - 7:05 p.m.

Route 31 is one of our longest routes, connecting South County to Brandon and the rest of the HART system.

Brandon Destinations:
  • Westfield Brandon - (Connection to Routes 8,31,37,46,53LX, HARTFlex Brandon)
  • Bonefish Grill
  • HomeGoods
  • Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Orangetheory Fitness
  • Fitness for $10
  • Anytime Fitness
  • Square One Brandon

Winthrop is home to a number of restaurants and retail
Riverview/Gibsonton Destinations:
  • Winthrop Town Centre (EATS! American Grill, Cappy's Pizza, Acropolis Green Taverna, Starbucks, Ciccio's Cali, Menchie's Frozen Yogurt)
  • Florida Urban Organics
  • Riverview Fresh Market
  • Riverview Recreation Center
  • HART Riverview Oaks Park-n-Ride - (Connection to 24X,27LX,53LX)
  • Trust Me BBQ
  • Gardenville Recreation Center

Apollo Beach Destinations:
  • Massimos Pizza, Subs, and Salads
  • Kimi's Ice Cream & Sweets
  • Apollo Beach Park-n-Ride - (Connection to 31, 47LX)
  • Four Stacks Brewing Company

HCC Students can purchase a special HART Semester Pass!
Ruskin/SouthShore Destinations:
  • Amazon Warehouse - Route 31 was extended to the Amazon warehouse in Dec. 2014
  • HCC SouthShore Campus
  • Lennard High School
  • Ybor Grille
  • Joyce Ely Health Center
  • SouthShore Corporate Park
  • SouthShore Regional Service Center
From Amazon, to Anytime Fitness, HART Takes You There.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Route of the Week: HARTFlex Town 'N Country

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!

HARTFlex Town 'N Country is our featured Route of the Week!

HARTFlex service
HARTFlex is only $2 for an all-day pass!
Quick refresher on HARTFlex service. HARTFlex vans operate along a fixed route (like traditional bus service). However, the service will also "flex" from the fixed route within the designated zone. Patrons wanting to be picked up or dropped off outside the designated route, can make an advanced reservation. HARTFlex reservations may be made by calling 813-254-4278 anywhere from 2 hours, to 3 days in advance of your trip. Fares are $1.00 per trip, or $2.00 for an all-day HARTFlex pass.

HARTFlex Town 'N Country operates on a loop Monday-Friday. First trip leaves Northwest Transfer Center (NWTC) at 5:15 a.m. and the last trip is at 6:15 p.m. The service
departs NWTC every 60 minutes.

The Town 'N Country Flex zone serves a mix of destinations from educational facilities (Alonso High School, Town N Country Charter High School) to leisure (Pk's PlayZone and Grille, Skateworld of Tampa, Shimberg Park, Town 'N Country Nature Preserve, etc.).

Outdoorsy types should know that Tampa Bay's only Gander Mountain store is accessible via HARTFlex Town 'N Country. While fans of the sustainable, organic agriculture movement should drop by Sweetwater Organic Community Farm!

Westchase Town Center is home to a mix of dining, shopping, etc.
HARTFlex Town 'N Country also serves the Westchase area with service to the Westchase Town Center, home to the following mix of restaurants and services:
  • Burger 21
  • Tampa Pizza Company
  • Maloney's Irish Pub
  • Tijuana Flats
  • The Grind Coffee Bar and Cafe
  • Zen Bistro + Sushi Bar
  • Belanova Salon
  • Siam Thai
  • World of Beer

Catch Twenty Three, Irish Pub 31 and YMCA West Park Village are also accessible in the Westchase area with HARTFlex service.

Transfers to Route(s) 16,30,34,39,61LX, and connection to Pinellas via the North County Connector from PSTA are available from NWTC.

From Skateworld to Westchase, HART Takes You There.

HARTFlex Town 'N Country Service Map
HARTFlex Town 'N Country Service Map

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Route of the Week: Route 33

Route 33 operates between Carrollwood & the University Area
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 take a trip on Route 33!

Route 33 operates between the Carrollwood area and the University Area Transit Center, via Fletcher Avenue. The service operates Monday-Friday from 4:50 a.m. - 10:30 p.m., and on the Weekends from 6:00 a.m. - 9:45 p.m. Almost 210,000 trips have been taken on Route 33 so far in FY2016! 

Melting Pot is 1 of  many restaurants & shops in The Village Center
The Route 33 serves the heart of Carrollwood. Hop off at Dale Mabry Highway and Fletcher Avenue, and check off your to-do list with stops at Publix, Shear Art Salon & Spa, and Banfield Pet Hospital - all located in The Village Center. Those looking to grab dinner instead, can do so at The Melting Pot, Tampa Tap Room, Panera Bread, and more! Riders can also transfer to Route 36 and HARTFlex Northdale at the HART stop on Dale Mabry at Fletcher Avenue.

Families will want to take note of Route 33 service to Malibu Grand Prix. Featuring Go Karts, mini golf, an arcade and more, Malibu Grand Prix is a great place to entertain the kids! Route 33 drops off in front of the family fun center at Nebraska Avenue and 145th Avenue.

Old signage and memorabilia lined the walls of The "Skipperdome"
"Hippies use side door," reads a sign in front of the famous Skipper's Smokehouse. The Key West-style restaurant serves up tasty, "Floribbean" food, and some of the best wings in Tampa Bay! Their blackened grouper reuben has been featured on The Travel Channel's "Best Sandwich in America". Home to the "Skipperdome," Skipper's is also one of the most unique music venues in the Bay Area! Route 33 riders can hop off at Nebraska Avenue and Skipper Road.

Some other destinations include: Taco Bus, Side Splitter's Comedy Club, Tampa Bay Farmers' Market, North Tampa Community Head Start Center, Tampa Family Health Center.

Arriving into the University Area Transit Center, Route 33 provides connections to Route(s) 1,2,5,6,9,12,18,33,45,57,21LX, and MetroRapid, as well as, the University of South Florida's Bull Runner.

From Skipper's to Skeeball, HART Takes You There.