Monday, April 17, 2017

Ride HART FREE with a Friend on Earth Day!

Public transportation takes cars (and their pollution) off the road!
The ultimate green initiative is public transportation!

Consider yourself environmentally conscious? Have energy-efficient light bulbs, low-flow shower-heads, and recycle bins in your house, but then drive a gas guzzler to work? There is still work to be done! Use Earth Day as a chance to give the ultimate green initiative a try - public transportation! You just might find out how easy it is to go on a car-free diet.

According to APTA, public transportation reduces energy consumption to the tune of 4.2 billion gallons of gas a year, or the equivalent to 320 million cars filling up - 900,000 times a day. A household's biggest carbon footprint contributor is their car. One person switching their 20-mile commute to public transportation can also reduce their carbon footprint by 4,800 pounds of CO2 annually. CO2, or carbon dioxide emissions have been linked to global climate change known as "global warming".

Ride Free with a Friend

Ride HART FREE with a Friend on Earth Day!
Still not convinced? How about a FREE ride on HART for Earth Day? Grab a friend, make a day out of it, and try HART. We are providing FREE rides for those riding with a friend on Saturday, April 22, in celebration of Earth Day.

We feel that you'll be pleasantly surprised at how affordable, clean, convenient, and awesome it is to get around with HART.

The cherry on top? There's a good chance that you'll be riding in a clean-burning, American-sourced, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) bus or van, as HART is currently transitioning our fleet away from dirty diesel.

Try transit! Your planet (and wallet) will thank you!

To calculate your carbon emissions savings by switching to transit, visit APTA's Carbon Emissions Savings Calculator.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Regional Transit Feasibility Plan to identify “catalyst project” in Tampa Bay

The RTFP is looking at over 30 years of studies
There has been no shortage of transit studies in the Tampa Bay area in recent years. In fact, over the past 30 years, more than 55 plans and studies for transit have been conducted by Tampa Bay area agencies.

But the question remains: How can we turn planning into projects? Answering this question is the goal of the Regional Transit Feasibility Plan.

Creation of the plan started in November 2016, with a review of those 55 previous plans. After that work is complete, the process will move into creating a plan for a regional transit network, culminating in recommendations for improvements that address needs in the community and have a solid chance of getting funding.

The ultimate goal: identify the top transit corridors in the Tampa Bay region, while determining one “catalyst project” that would be eligible for federal funding and could be implemented first.

The plan is being funded by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and is being administered by the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART).

“Our mission is to create a ‘route map’ to implementation,” said Katharine Eagan, Chief Executive Officer of HART, the agency administering the plan. “The result, we hope, will be a catalyst project that’s the first of many projects that will be competitive for federal funding, forward thinking, and makes the best use of today’s technology.”

The Tampa Bay region is defined for this plan as the urbanized areas of Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties.

The Regional Transit Feasibility Plan will be conducted in two phases. The first phase consists of a year of technical analysis to identify the most competitive projects. During the first year, the milestones will include identifying the most promising corridors for transit, then identifying what type of transit mode can best serve those corridors, and finally, determining which projects could potentially be implemented first.

How did we get here?


The starting point for the Regional Transit Feasibility Plan is the adopted county and regional Long Range Transportation Plans and the more than 50 plans and studies completed by Tampa Bay area agencies over the past 30-plus years. The step-by-step process will then determine which projects are the most competitive for implementation.

During phase one, public involvement will be heavily focused on digital communication (website, online surveys, social media, and e-communication) but will also offer many in-person opportunities to get engaged (community workshops, small group meetings, and a stakeholder working group).
Phase two will involve vetting and refining plans for those specific projects to make sure the catalyst project selected is the best project for the region and is supported by the community. During phase two, a wide range of communication tools will be utilized, including public meetings, workshops, special events, the website, social media, town halls, and regional transit forums.

“The simplest way to describe what it takes to build a premium transit project is by answering the following three questions: What is the project? How is it funded? And who is responsible for building and maintaining it?” Eagan said. “During this plan, we will be addressing the first question and identifying possible next steps so the region can move forward with answering questions two and three.”

To learn more about the Regional Transit Feasibility Plan, and to participate in our transit preference survey, visit the project website at