Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Take the Streetcar to Memorial Day Weekend Events!

The Streetcar will operate late night all weekend!
Memorial Day weekend is upon us!

Typically seen as a day for cranking up the grill with family, Memorial Day has become an extended weekend full of events!

From Fourth Friday Tampa, to a Memorial Day celebration at Channelside Bay Plaza, downtown is chocked full of fun this weekend!

The fun kicks off on Friday with the monthly Fourth Friday Tampa. The event is a monthly celebration of Downtown Tampa's culture. The night features special offers and curated programs by museums, restaurants, and more!

Beginning this Friday, the TECO Line Streetcar System is joining in on the fun with free rides! The addition of the TECO Line Streetcar to the event opens up Ybor City venues to Fourth Friday Tampa for the first time.

Saturday celebrates a Memorial Day favorite, the margarita. The Tampa Bay Margarita Festival in Curtis Hixon Park calls for a huge variety of the famed beverage, a fireworks display, and a headline performance from the Barenaked Ladies! Have fun, but enjoy responsibly. TECO Line Streetcar service will be available from 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 a.m.

Sunday provides a number of ways to celebrate the holiday.

Streetcar service extended until MIDNIGHT on Sunday!
Enjoy Memorial Day weekend at Channelside Bay Plaza! The free event features an eclectic mix of food and beverage on the waterfront in downtown Tampa. Live music from the Jimmy James Band kicks off Sunday at 6:00 p.m.

Next door, titans of Country music, Alabama, will be rocking the house at Amalie Arena.

As we do with all weeknight Amalie Arena events, the TECO Line Streetcar System is extending service hours until MIDNIGHT on Sunday.

Avoid all of the event traffic in the Channel District and Downtown this weekend, by parking in Ybor City and taking the TECO Line Streetcar!

The TECO Line Streetcar System will operate on a normal schedule on Monday for Memorial Day.

Have a safe and fun holiday weekend!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Ride the TECO Line Streetcar System FREE for Fourth Friday!

The TECO Line Streetcar System is joining in on the Fourth Friday Tampa fun! Starting May 26th, riders with Fourth Friday Tampa wristbands can ride the TECO Line Streetcar System FREE all day!

Simply show the streetcar motorperson your Fourth Friday Tampa wristband and you are good to go!

The addition of the TECO Line Streetcar System to the Fourth Friday Tampa discount lineup is noteworthy, because it provides a valuable connection to Ybor City. Fourth Friday Tampa will now feature all three of the districts that the Streetcar serves!

Fourth Friday Tampa is a monthly celebration (the fourth Friday of each month) of Downtown Tampa and Ybor City's culture! The night features special offers and curated programs by museums, restaurants, and more!

Visit the Fourth Friday Tampa website for a full list of special offers.

Enjoy the all that Downtown Tampa and Ybor City has to offer, and only park once!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Flamingo Fares is Taking Flight!

Smart card readers are installed on HART buses
The Now

By now, you have probably heard of the Flamingo Fares Tampa Bay app. For those that are unfamiliar, the app allows riders in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties to pay their transit fare via smartphone and (with a Regional Fare) travel on multiple services between HART and PSTA. Ultimately, Flamingo Fares will morph into a smart card system.

It appears that the holidays have come early to HART, as we will be the first agency in the region to install the smart card readers. Installation is currently underway and is expected to be completed in June.

Installation will then bounce back-and-forth between HART and PSTA, culminating in August, with the entire TECO Line Streetcar System being outfitted with the Flamingo Fares smart card readers.

The Near

A new iteration of the Flamingo Fares app will be available in September. Meanwhile, testing of the smart card readers will be taking place on board HART buses (and later streetcars) around the same time.

This is where YOU come in! We will be reaching out to our riders to help test the smart card system! Stay tuned to the HART social channels for more information as we get closer to that time.

Why are the readers going up so soon if we are not expecting to roll them out until Summer 2018? We are planning on testing the system for a year to ensure that the system is ready for customers on both sides of the Bay!

The Future

Flamingo Fares smart card design
Soon Flamingo Fares will bring HART and PSTA into the future by providing easier, faster, and more convenient ways for riders to pay their fares.

No scrambling for change. Save time and prepay your fare online, while you wait for the bus!

No stressing about losing your 31-day pass. Check your balance online daily!

Leave the worries behind. Just tap and go!

Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas and Sarasota Counties are also implementing the new technology in the coming years. HART and PSTA expect to have the complete system, which will include smart card technology, up and running by summer 2018.

From Flamingo Fares to autonomous vehicles, this is another way HART is going Beyond The Bus!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Summer is in Session: The Summer Blast Pass is Back!

Unlimited rides from May 22 - August 31
It's time to blast into summer with the HART Summer Blast Pass! For just $30, ages 5-18 receive over 3 months of unlimited rides on HART services. 

That's less than $2.25 a week!

The Summer Blast Pass is the perfect way for teens to get to summer jobs, the movies, the mall and all of their favorite places.

The pass is now on sale, and may be used on any HART service, excluding Express, HARTPlus, and The TECO Line Streetcar System from May 22 - Aug. 31. Riders 12 and younger must have an adult traveling with them. Proof of age is required at the time of purchase.

Summer Blast Passes are available for purchase at any of the following four HART locations:
  • Downtown Tampa: HART at City Hall, 306 E. Jackson St.
  • Downtown Tampa: Marion Transit Center, 1211 N. Marion St.
  • University Area: University Area Transit Center, 13110 N. 27th St. 
  • Ybor City: HART Administrative Offices, 1201 E. 7th Ave.

The Summer Blast Pass is your all-access adventure pass, and provides youth with a way to be green, learn independence, and save money. The purpose of the program is to familiarize ages 18 and under with public transportation, which allows them to travel safely and independently throughout Hillsborough County.


Click here to view the HART Summer Blast Pass flyer.

Visit www.goHART.org for HART fares, maps, and schedules!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Tale of an Old Farebox

Old streetcar farebox from the 1920s
We recently had an interesting drop-in that felt like it was straight out of the TV show "Pawn Stars". Thanks to Jerry from Lakeland for dropping by the TECO Line Streetcar barn with an interesting artifact - an old streetcar farebox.

Jerry's father originally came across the old farebox at a salvage yard in West Virginia in the early 1960s. While walking through the yard, he stumbled upon an old streetcar laid to rest. He inquired about the farebox and was allowed to take the item with him.

Jerry's mother and father were saving for a house at the time, and used the farebox as a piggy bank of sorts.

The day finally arrived some time in 1966, and the couple were ready to purchase a home. Jerry's father approached the local transit agency about opening the box, and luckily, they had a key! However, while they opened the box for Jerry's father, they would not provide him with the key.

Fast forward 50+ years, and that's how Jerry arrived at our doorstep.

The farebox was created by the Cleveland Farebox Company
With his father looking to downsize, Jerry found himself in possession of the farebox. He stopped by the Streetcar barn to inquire about opening the relic. Unfortunately (fortunately?), our streetcars use slightly more modern (newer than 1920s) fareboxes, and we were unable to assist him.

However, it sure provides a great story.

Just remember, even fareboxes have tales!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

HART Supervisor Rescues Two Officers in Distress



HART Transit Supervisor Timm Martin
From saving a young girl's life, to that of two Tampa Police Department (TPD) Officers', HART employees have recently found themselves in the right situation, and at the right time.

You may remember the HART operator that saved a young girl's life, just a couple months ago. 

On April 26th, Timm Martin, HART Transit Supervisor, found himself in a similar situation, after a Marion Transit Center security officer was assaulted.

Mr. Martin was asked by TPD to follow the suspect until TPD could arrive at the scene.

Tracking the individual to the downtown Greyhound Bus depot, TPD officers attempted to restrain the individual, but were unable to do so. During the ensuing struggle, the suspect then reached for one of the officers' weapons.

Using the training provided to him, Mr. Martin stepped in and subdued the suspect until the officers could get to their feet, possibly preventing a tragedy.

HART applauds him for his outstanding response and incredible act of bravery.

"HART is extremely proud to have employees like Mr. Martin working at our agency that go far beyond the call of duty," said HART Chief Administrative Officer, Kenyatta Lee. "We are happy that he was able to assist the two Tampa police officers in quite the tense situation."

HART will recognize Mr. Martin for his bravery at an upcoming HART Board Meeting.

The Tampa Police Department is also looking to recognize Mr. Martin at an upcoming meeting.

Mr. Martin has been with HART for 6 years.