Monday, October 24, 2016

HART to Partner with FDOT on Downtown Autonomous Circulator!

Downtown Autonomous Circulator will operate along Marion Transitway
HART has teamed up with FDOT to address current mobility needs in Downtown Tampa

FDOT has indicated that up to $1 million in funding will be available to fund an Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Circulator Service connection between Marion Transit Center (MTC) to Downtown Tampa along the low speed, controlled access Marion Street Transitway. This project would be one of the first of its kind in the U.S. utilizing autonomous technology and has the potential to solve local transportation issues.

"FDOT is working together with our communities to promote the use of autonomous technologies," FDOT District Seven Secretary Paul Steinman said. "Our mission is to help solve the transportation needs of our area utilizing all transportation modes, while maximizing the use of the funding sources available. We are very excited about this project."

This funding gives HART the opportunity to take the first step in a major technology project and, working with third party providers, to bring Autonomous Vehicle Technology to the Tampa Bay region. For the next two years, HART will receive $500,000 each year from FDOT to fund the project. Funding for a third year will depend on the success of the program.

"We want to thank FDOT Secretary Paul Steinman for his leadership in helping HART receive up to $1 million in funding from the Florida Department of Transportation for this service," HART Chief Financial Officer Jeff Seward said. "We will utilize our experience in multi-modal solutions to work with our partners to provide much-needed relief to address mobility needs in Downtown Tampa."
This project is part of a larger vision that HART has to bring innovative technology to the Tampa Bay area while diversifying its array of options to deliver service to the Tampa Bay region. Autonomous vehicles can supplement the HART transit network with first-mile last-mile service, or enhance options to underserved areas.

In late November, HART plans to conduct an Industry day for interested parties, which will coincide with the fourth Annual Florida Automated Vehicles Summit in Downtown Tampa, an event dedicated to highlighting Florida's progress in preparing for automated vehicles.

The Downtown Autonomous Circulator Service project will complement local service provided by existing routes.

HART is committed to innovative solutions to solve our region's transportation issues!


  1. It's good to see HART doing something to address the issue, but all of the pod systems I'm aware of have limited passenger throughput. Because of this I can't help but wonder if the situation might be better addressed by improved conventional bus service, or by saving the money to be invested in the pod system to invest in monorail, light rail, or some higher throughout system.

    1. What issue are they addressing? They are providing a new technology on a section of street that is already served by many buses.

      This is a pilot project. They are one of the first agencies in the country to try autonomous vehicles. Believe it or not your local transit agency is on the cutting edge.

      Also, monorail and light rail are way more expensive than this...


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