Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Take The TECO Line Streetcar to Tampa Pride Parade!

Take The Streetcar to the Pride festivities in Ybor this Saturday!
The Tampa Pride Festival and Parade takes place in Ybor City this Saturday, March 25! A street festival with live music, local vendors/food and more begins at 9:45 a.m. with the parade following at 1:00 p.m.

The event is expected to draw over 20,000 to Ybor City for the day. Expect parking and traffic to be a hassle with street closures. Avoid this by parking in downtown Tampa or the Channel District and taking The TECO Line Streetcar! Only $5.00 for all-day pass, with a special $12.50 Family Pass also available. Streetcar service begins at 11:00 a.m.

Routes 2,5,8,9,12,18 will be on detour
Please note: TECO Line Streetcar System service will be affected by the Tampa Pride Festival and Parade. Stations 1-4 will be closed until roughly 7:00 p.m., due to the event. Streetcar service will operate from a temporary station in front of the HART Ybor Streetcar Barn from 11:45 a.m. until the end of the event.

HART route(s) 2,5,8,9,12,18 will also be on detour due to the event.

Ybor has PRIDE! Enjoy the day and get there with HART and The TECO Line Streetcar System.

For more information on the event, visit Tampa Pride.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Quick-thinking Operator Saves Girl's Life

On February 13, bus operator Angela Read arrived at the Marion Transit Center at 3:25 p.m. While assisting a patron in a wheelchair to disembark from the bus, she overheard another patron asking one of her daughters if anything was wrong. The child did not answer. Operator Read noticed that the girl may have been choking on something. The operator asked her if she could swallow or talk, but the child could not. Operator Read then administered the Heimlich maneuver, successfully dislodging a piece of candy that was causing the blockage. The little girl was once again able to breath thanks to the life-saving technique performed by operator Read.

Operator Read went far beyond the call of duty of the expected day to day activities. By reacting to a serious situation and using the training provided to her, Operator Read prevented a tragedy by saving the life of this child. 

We want to recognize Operator Read for her outstanding response and heroic efforts. Please show her some gratitude the next time you see her on board!

While you're at it, thank you bus, van, or streetcar operator for the tremendous job they do on a daily basis. We have the best team in transit!

Monday, March 13, 2017

New Pass Options Available on the Flamingo Fares App!

New fares options on the Flamingo Fares app
The Flamingo Fares Tampa Bay app is taking flight! HART and PSTA have added five new pass options which are valid on all HART and PSTA bus services, including HARTFlex, Jolley Trolley, Looper Trolley. (Not valid on HARTPlus or PSTA DART.) Flamingo Fares has also expanded to include a new 1-day Streetcar pass, as well as, the $12.50 Family Pass!

Traveling the Tampa Bay region by bus and streetcar will continue to get even easier with mobile ticketing technology. Flamingo Fares, allows riders to travel throughout the greater Tampa Bay area using a single fare.

The new pass options provide more flexibility for HART and PSTA riders. Both agencies will continue to test the new system that will provide riders a new way to pay for transit fares, and seamlessly travel throughout the region from system to system. The launch of the full App is expected to be released in 2018.

Streetcar fare goes from yellow to grey/black to show its valid.
To pay with Flamingo Fares, customers download an app similar to the one Starbucks uses to enable its customers to pay quickly and digitally. Patrons simply purchase a ticket on the app and show the screen to the bus operator/motorperson upon boarding the vehicle.

The mobile payment app is free to download and available on the iPhone App Store and Android Google Play. 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.

Hernando, Pasco, Manatee and Sarasota Counties are also implementing the new technology in the future. Both agencies will continue to analyze all the data to determine what concerns need to be addressed before the full system is implemented in 2018.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Streetcar Morning Service to End March 24th

Streetcar morning service will cease March 25th, following the end of a six-month pilot exploring potential demand for "commuter" streetcar service. HART funded the six-month pilot that was scheduled for September 27-March 24.

Here is what we learned:
Daily AM Streetcar Ridership Per Hour During Pilot
  • Streetcar morning ridership averaged 428 riders weekly
  • Ridership during "rush hour" averaged roughly from 2.9 - 5.9 riders per hour
As you can see from the graph, early morning commuters didn't take to the service as we had hoped, but the service fared well beginning around 9 a.m. This could be related to Ybor City and Downtown Tampa's retail, restaurant, and hotel sectors. We will do a deeper dive into the data from the pilot.

For those now hooked on the car-free commute, the route 8 roughly parallels the TECO Line Streetcar System and may make a great option! Service to Downtown Tampa begins at 5:10 a.m. and operates every 30 minutes. A one-day pass is only $4.00. Visit www.goHART.org for more information.

Stay involved in the process!
A study is underway to look at modernizing and extending the Streetcar

The City of Tampa, the Florida Department of Transportation, and HART are looking at ways to make the TECO Line Streetcar System a viable commuting option in Ybor City, Downtown Tampa, and beyond. A feasibility study is currently underway to look at the possible extension and modernization of the TECO Line Streetcar System.

Here is where you come in! The next brainstorming session will be held April 4th at the Tampa Bay History Center from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Share your thoughts and be a part of the process.

Please also take this online survey regarding the Streetcar.

The momentum is there. As downtown grows by leaps and bounds, so will the need for expanded transit options and alternative commutes.

Thank you for the continued support!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Let's Have Ourselves a Streetcar Wedding!

Jeff Philbin and his fiance
We received some great tales of love in February. However, this story touched us the most. We would like to congratulate Jeff Philbin and his fiance on being the recipient of a FREE streetcar wedding! Their story and love for each other and our great city ultimately wooed us the most.

 Their story...

"My fiancé and I have would be so humbled and grateful if we were selected for this opportunity. We met here in Tampa and Tampa is our home. When we got engaged, we decided to do something special with our engagement and wanted to show off our love for this city in a unique way as our photos were taken all over the city; from Ulele to the Beck Building to Tampa Theatre to Curtis Hixon to the middle of Ashley Drive, we wanted our love for one another collide with our love for this city and showcase it.

We would extend that same level of concern and attention by having such a unique wedding since it would allow our wedding story to come full circle and celebrate the beauty of even more incredible locations in Tampa, like Ybor City, Florida Aquarium, or Channelside. We recently had a son and needless to say because of the non-traditional milestone path, our families will not support the traditional wedding and we are okay with that because we would love to celebrate our bond, enjoying the city, and celebrate it with an intimate, close group of friends who will share in the splendor of Tampa! I am proud to call Tampa home, and every time I ride the streetcar, I ask people where they are coming from, acting as the unofficial ambassador giving them a tour of the city and it’s rich history along the way. I celebrate them and make them feel home learning their story; who they are, where they’re coming from, and why they’re here. I recommend restaurants and places to go. I appreciate them enjoying the city and in turn investing in us with them being here.

Maybe one day someone can share my fiancĂ© & I’s story of our rich love and tell our story on The TECO Line Streetcar System. Thank you for your consideration."

We look forward to being a part of their big day!

Friday, March 3, 2017

March is Florida Bike Month!

Coast Bikes can be rented from Marion Transit Center and Dick Greco Plaza
Happy Florida Bike Month! We're celebrating alternative commutes and looking at the relationship between personal (bikes) and public transportation.

Once seen as a child's toy, bikes are now considered a serious commuting option. Coast Bike Share, a bike rental service, has rolled out dozens of bike hubs throughout Tampa (and now St. Petersburg), including at our Marion Transit Center in Downtown.

At HART, we're dedicated to getting our riders to their destination as quickly and efficiently as possible. We see bikes as supplemental to our service and that's why we added racks to our buses and rubber-wheeled trolleys almost 20 years ago. More recently, bike racks have also been added to all of our HARTFlex vans.

In November 2011, folding bikes - in proper carrying bags - were allowed on board.

Bikes on Buses saves time, money and the environment!
Bike riders might not view a 30-mile round trip bike ride to downtown as an attractive commute. However, pair a quick 1-2 mile bike ride with a HART route to pick up the majority of the miles and you have some serious pedal power.

Cycling HART riders find that bikes not only speed up their commutes, but also provide them greater exercise, ground coverage, and route options.

For example, you might live within walking distance of a route 34 stop, but possible transfers don't work well with your schedule. Instead, you choose to bike to the route 1 stop where you can catch a straight shot to Marion Transit Center and save 10 minutes. Couple those time savings with the low-cost of a HART 1-day pass ($4.00) or 31-day pass ($65, $2.10 a day) and you've saved time, money and the environment!

Don't take our word for it though. Roughly 20,000 Bikes on Buses trips were taken last month.

Click here to learn more about the HART Bikes on Buses program, including how to secure your bike on the bus bike rack.  We also have a Bikes on Buses how-to video on our YouTube page here.

Placing your bike on the bus is easy! Just follow these quick steps.

Ride on!