Tuesday, February 27, 2018

From the Bus Line to the Starting Line: HART Runs the Gasparilla Distance Classic

Team HART at the PGDC on Saturday!
Adopting a healthy lifestyle is much easier when you have support, which usually comes in the form of friends and family. However, HART is taking on the role of supporter, motivator and encourager when it comes to employees and their health.

Nearly 50 HART employees participated in different race events during this year’s Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic (PGDC) last weekend.

HART employees who participated in last weekend’s PGDC ranged from every level of the organization, including senior level leadership. All these wonderful employees have a special story to share of how their lives have been transformed as a result of the health and wellness tools and opportunities afforded to them as HART employees.

HART takes their employees’ health seriously and a few years back implemented an agency-wide wellness program to both challenge and reward those individuals who adopt healthy habits.

As part of the HART Wellness Program, the agency works to bring employees together and engage in becoming healthier and happier at work and home. It annually provides opportunities for employees to earn wellness incentives through participation in wellness-related activities, such as the PGDC, with the purpose of recognizing and rewarding active employees who practice healthy behaviors and those who wish to make improvements.  Activities such as wellness exams, biometric screenings, health risk assessments and tracking physical activity, can earn an employee up to 4,000 points to purchase items in the "wellness store" in October.
HART CAO Kenyatta Lee participating in the PGDC

One reason employees may be embracing the wellness culture is the support received from the top. HART Chief Administrative Officer Kenyatta Lee encourages employees to participate in the wellness program with this message:

“Take the time to invest in your health, both physical and mental, enjoy the benefits that well-being will provide you…You are the lifeline of this company, and with your well-being, HART will enjoy healthy growth as well.”

The authority’s efforts are leading the way to make their employees and the Hillsborough County community healthier.

HART Employees Reflect on Black History Month

Throughout the month of February, Black History Month is celebrated each year to honor the contributions and achievements of African Americans, both past and present. HART celebrates Black History Month by supporting its employees, local nonprofit organizations, and members of the community that contribute to the rich heritage of African Americans throughout its service area.

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Ronald Watkins - Bus Operator
In observance, we sat down with some employees to reflect on what the month means to them and how they are living their dream.

"I live my dream each day by being a HART Bus Operator," said Watkins. "I love working with people and I enjoy what I do. Growing up in Tampa, as a child I didn't see any Black bus drivers back then. It's significant now that you see more African Americans in the driver's seat. I just feel like that's a part of history in itself, I take every opportunity that comes my way as a chance to represent the dreams of my forefathers."

Ronald Watkins, Bus Operator - 29 years with HART

"I live my dream through the opportunities and experiences that I have been fortunate to have at HART," said Dallas. "When I first started there was not many African Americans in management or supervision. Now we have grown tremendously including myself having gone from floor technician to a supervisor. You have to take advantage of the many growth opportunities at HART."

Lyndon Dallas, Maintenance Supervisor II - 33 years with HART

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Jerry Allen - Master Mechanic
"When I first started here there was not that many African American mechanics, supervisors and managers. HART has come a long way." -

Jerry Allen, Master Mechanic - 30 years with HART

HART places great value on diversity, inclusion, and a positive work environment, which are important factors in maintaining a vibrant workforce that produces innovative, customer-focused transit solutions.

HART has been fortunate to have generations of families be part of our team!

One such case is Valencia and Maurice Joyce.


As a 19-year Bus Operator veteran, Valencia Joyce notes her son Maurice saw HART as an opportunity to help others and make a difference in someone's life. The mother-son duo love working with people and are grateful for the many opportunities afforded at HART.

"He loves the fact that he works with people and he really also loves the fact that we have the Paratransit division."

Valencia Joyce, Bus Operator - 19 years with HART

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Maurice Joyce - Van Operator
"Being part of the HART has helped me to be like a mentor and giving out advice," said Joyce. "Just being that person that listens to people and helps them feel better. These are the things that make my job a blessing."

Maurice Joyce, Van Operator - 9 years with HART  

The workforce is what makes HART STRONG. UNITED. DIVERSE.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Show Love for Transit!


What better time than the "season of love" to proclaim your love for transit?

Maybe it's not having to worry about driving in heavy traffic? Or, the considerable cost savings associated with giving up the wheel? Maybe environmental considerations, or the health benefits?

Whatever the reason may be, let us know why you love taking transit and you might receive FREE tickets to the Florida State Fair! Post your main reason for loving transit on the HART Facebook page, or tag us on Twitter. We will randomly pick 4 winners on Thursday to receive a family pack of "Anyday Armbands," providing admission on all rides for any day of the Fair (Feb. 8-19).

Show some Transit Love and get some love in return!

Monday, February 5, 2018

HART Celebrates Black History!

HART celebrates Black History Month
HART celebrates Black History Month!
As we celebrate Black History Month, we are frequently reminded of the important role that transportation plays in supporting and sustaining communities of color in today's complex landscape.

HART has several activities planned throughout February to celebrate the African American community!

Starting this week, all HART fixed route buses will have a seat designated for Rosa Parks, a pioneer in the Civil Rights Movement. Parks, the "Mother of the Civil Rights Movement," will be honored by HART in this fitting tribute by designating a seat on every HART bus. Each of these special seat covers will have a commemorative sign displayed on them, honoring both Parks' legacy and her dedication to the Civil Rights Movement.

HART is designating a seat for Rosa Parks throughout Feb.
HART is designating a seat for Rosa Parks throughout Feb.
More than 170 HART buses will have a seat designated for Rosa Parks. A sign will remind all passengers of Parks' decision to take a stand simply by taking a seat. Parks' non-violent action on December 1, 1955 led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott that culminated one year later with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing access to public transportation.

Public transportation also happens to be a great way to visit local African American historic sites in Tampa.

Throughout February, we're highlighting historical sites on our social media channels and how you can Take HART to Black History!

HART is also partnering with local schools to host field trips to these local sites on one of our buses. Local community leader Clarence Fort will provide insight into the Civil Rights Movement, as Tampa experienced it.

Clarence Fort, former President of the NAACP Youth Council, led the first Tampa sit-ins in 1956 and fought for the first African American Tampa bus operators.

HART is honored to be able to celebrate the lives of all those who paved the way during this month's activities in recognition of Black History Month.

Take HART to Black History!

From Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus, to the "Freedom Rides" throughout the South, public transportation has played a historic role in African American history.

Public transportation also happens to be a great way to visit local African American historic sites in Tampa.

Hop on, as HART Takes You to Black History!
People gather at La Union Mari-Maceo in 1944

Sociedad La Union Mari-Maceo

Just across the street from the HART Administrative Building in Ybor City, is a building which represents the melting pot that is Ybor - Sociedad La Union Marti-Maceo building. The Cuban club was founded by Afro-Cubans in 1900, and served both white and Afro-Cubans excluded from other Cuban and Spanish clubs, until the club was forced to segregate due to local laws. The facility became more than a social club housing events, morphing into a mutual aid society, with self-help activities and a school.

Sociedad La Union Mari-Maceo is located at 1226 East 7th Avenue in Ybor City and is accessible by Route(s) 8,9,12 and the TECO Line Streetcar System.

Central Park
The LIFETILES installation at Perry Harvey Sr. Parl

One of the most culturally and historically rich neighborhoods in Tampa, the area once housed the likes of Ray Charles (he wrote "I found my baby there," in Central Park area,) Jackie Robinson, Ella Fitzgerald, and more! The neighborhood was a vibrant African American business and entertainment district with restaurants and clubs such as the Cotton Club, Apollo Theatre, etc.

The district would later fall into disrepair, due to racial unrest and disruption. However, the Central Park district is now home to Encore! Apartments. Encore! has paid homage to the heritage of the district with a number of public art installations throughout the complex, as well as, at near by Perry Harvey Sr. Park.

The Central Park District and Perry Harvey Sr. Park are located at 900 E Scott St, Tampa, FL 33602, and are accessible via Route(s) 9,12 and MetroRapid. Marion Transit Center is also just a block away.

Black History & Art Museum

Located inside the Paradise Missionary Baptist Church, the Black History & Art Museum is home to hundreds of historical photos, documents, and artifacts.

The museum is located near Perry Harvey Sr. Park, at 1112 East Scott Street. The site is accessible via Route(s) 9,12, and MetroRapid.

Robert W. Saunders, Sr. Public Library
A new Robert W. Saunders, Sr. Library opened in 2014!

Named in honor of Robert W. Saunders, Sr. a civil rights activist and former Field Secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The library is one of just two African-American research libraries in the state of Florida. The library is hosting a number of Black History Month events, such as an "Introduction to African American Genealogy" and a Black Heritage Celebration. A bronze bust of Saunders is featured in the lobby.

The Saunders Library is located 1505 N. Nebraska Ave. and can be reached by Route(s) 9,12, and MetroRapid.

Ft. Homer Hesterly Armory/ the Bryan Glazer Family JCC

Dr. King Jr. speaking at the Ft. Homer Armory
The Bryan Glazer Family JCC was formerly known as the Ft. Homer Hesterly Armory. The building has seen historic figures from Teddy Roosevelt, to JFK grace the hall. On November 19, 1961, a crowd of 4,200 waited out a bomb threat to see Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speak in the hall.

"We are standing on the border of the promised land of integration," Dr. King promised, undeterred by the early bomb threat.

The facility recently underwent substantial renovations, which include a Visual Arts Center, an event center, a food bank, and more.

The Bryan Glazer Family JCC is accessible via Route(s) 14 and 30.

Tampa is full of African American history. Explore it on HART!