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!


  1. Is it possible in the future that the flamingo app will accept american exspress?

    1. Hi there! Unfortunately, we will not be accepting American Express moving forward. However, when we launch the Flamingo Fares website, you will be able to link your bank account (similar to SunPass) with your Flamingo Fares account. We will also accept MasterCard, VISA, and Discover.

  2. Another question, will the current TVMs in use at TECO Stations and some HART bus loops be upgraded to accommodate Flamingo Fares or will new TVMs be installed?

    1. No TVM upgrades. Flamingo Fare users will be able to load their smart cards online, via the app, and via Customer Service.


Comments to this blog are moderated by HART staff. Constructive comments are welcome; any obscene, threatening, or otherwise inappropriate comments will be deleted before posting. Questions about specific service ("is my bus on time?") cannot be answered here, and should be directed to the HARTinfo Line at (813) 254-HART (4278). General questions may be addressed in future posts.