Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Carolyn House Stewart Honored with "Women on the Move" Recognition

HART's very own Staff Attorney, Carolyn House Stewart, ESQ was recently honored as ONYX Magazine's "Women on the Move" . Stewart is among 22 of Florida’s most impactful and influential women of color who have demonstrated their commitment to excellence, responsible leadership, and service. The recognition highlights women who have shattered the glass ceiling in their professions and persevered against all the odds, according to the magazine’s leaders.

Ms. Stewart has almost 40 years of legal experience and became the first African-American partner at Macfarlane Ferguson & McMullen, one of Florida's oldest law firms.

Ms. Stewart also served as the 28th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority, Inc. During that time, she was responsible for guiding policy, developing programs, and setting the leadership tone for 250,000 AKA members in 975 chapters worldwide.

HART is no stranger to ONYX Magazine's "Women on the Move," as HART Vice Chair Melanie Williams is also being recognized this year.

Carla Williams, HART Manager of Community Engagement, was recognized for the award in 2018.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Spot the "Art on HART" Bus for a Chance at a 31-day Pass!

Spot the Art on HART" bus in public? Take a photo & tag #GoHART, #AIATampaBay, #TBFAD for chance at 31-day pass!
HART and the Tampa Bay Foundation for Architecture and Design (TBFAD) partnered in January 2019 to unveil a rolling canvas to be displayed on HART routes throughout Hillsborough County. The project is part of a TBFAD initiative, which places artists' one-of-a-kind designs in highly accessible and visible public spaces. Michael O' Connell's "Soundwaves" was selected after a poll of over 800 HART employees. The 40-ft. moving art canvas brings together art, music and public transportation onto the streets of Hillsborough County! Spot the "Art on HART" bus out in the community? Take a photo and tag #GoHART, #GMFTampa, and #TBFAD on either Facebook or Twitter to enter a monthly raffle for the chance to win a FREE 31-Day Unlimited Ride Pass!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

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.

"Gateway" Sculptures
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!

Celebrating Black History Month: Pioneers & Innovators of Transportation

HART is proud to celebrate Black History Month by paying tribute to the cultural trailblazers of the past and present as we explore their contributions to advancing transportation. Leaders such as Bessie Coleman, Garrett A. Morgan, Katherine Johnson, Elbert R. Robinson, Gladys West, among others, continue to inspire hope and encourage audiences through their accomplishments in areas including aviation, inventions, railway systems, Global Positioning System (GPS) and mathematics.

Throughout February, Hillsborough County students will have the opportunity to engage in stimulating conversations with HART staff regarding these cultural pioneers and their continuing legacies.

"African American contributions to society are all around us and positively impact our lives daily. Having a recognized time to celebrate accomplishments, perseverance, innovation, and tradition is an opportunity to appreciate, teach and expose others to the rich history of African Americans in the transportation industry," said HART Interim CEO Jeff Seward. "Continuing the conversation of Black legacies and achievements is an honor that HART takes pride in every day."

Garrett A. Morgan invented the first US traffic signal
In support of Black History Month, HART is gearing up for what it hopes will be both an informative and unforgettable HART Black History tour for students at several area schools. For the first time, HART has a fully wrapped uniquely designed bus featuring photos and exciting facts about African American transportation pioneers. HART plans to stage the bus outside of the schools, and the children will have the opportunity to tour the inside, while learning about these innovators impact on transportation. HART team members will be on hand leading the educational trivia contests and providing giveaways.     

The HART Black History tours will take place at the following schools:
  • Progress Village Middle Magnet School
  • Ferrell Girls Preparatory
  • Lomax Elementary Magnet School
  • Booker T. Washington Elementary 
  • Paul Mort Elementary
  • Stewart Middle Magnet

HART routes serve several local African American historical sites
Take HART to Black History

Want to tour local African American historical sites? Hop on HART! Click here for several local historical sites and how to get there on HART.

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

Monday, February 4, 2019

The TECO Line Streetcar is Now on OneBusAway Tampa!

See where your streetcar is in real-time
OneBusAway Tampa, the innovative app that brings you HART real-time arrival information, is now even better with the addition of service information for the TECO Line Streetcar System!

Streetcar customers can access OneBusAway Tampa via a smartphone app, mobile browser, text, and a touchtone phone. Click here for instructions on how to use OneBusAway Tampa.

To access streetcar information, use the "search" feature and type in 800, the streetcar's route number.

The OneBusAway Tampa app allows streetcar customers to view real-time travel information by stop and also see where the streetcar is on a live map.

Since its launch, the free app has gained in popularity with HART customers accessing the app nearly 225,000 times per month.

Thanks to OneBusAway, riders save time, effort, and stress, with the reassurance of knowing exactly where their HART bus, and now streetcar, is located!

Friday, February 1, 2019

HART Board Selects Benjamin Limmer as New CEO

The HART selected Benjamin Limmer as the new HART CEO
The HART Board of Directors today voted unanimously to name Benjamin Limmer, AICP, as the Authority's new chief executive officer.  During the regular HART Board of Directors meeting today the Board authorized HART general counsel to begin contract negotiations with Limmer who is currently the Assistant General Manager for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA).

"Benjamin Limmer will bring the experience this County needs to expand service for our fast-growing area," said HART Board Chair Commissioner Lesley "Les" Miller. "Increasing mobility in our County is our basis for a prosperous and sustainable future. Today, we welcome a seasoned transit professional with more than 15 years of experience." 

"We were impressed with his expertise, industry knowledge, and proven leadership," said HART Board Secretary Tampa Councilman Mike Suarez. "The Board is confident he shares our commitment to ensuring HART is providing excellent service to its customers and will take an innovative and collaborative approach to lead the organization."
Limmer is a Michigan native who currently serves as the assistant general manager at the MARTA. In addition to his role as the primary advisor to the Authority's GM/CEO on strategic initiatives, development of expansion and service plans, and monitoring of the Authority's overall performance. Limmer leads a team of 200 employees in the areas of MARTA's customer service, external affairs, marketing, policy, planning, and business development. MARTA is the 8th largest transit system in the US.

Before joining MARTA, Limmer held transit leadership positions at the Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. and the City of Atlanta, Valley Metro in Phoenix, Arizona and the Regional Transit Authority in Cleveland, Ohio.

Limmer has been recognized as one of Mass Transit Magazine's "40 Under 40." He was also the recipient of the Women's Transportation Seminar, Honorable Ray LaHood "Man of the Year" Award.

HART participated in a rigorous search process to ensure the Authority found the best possible leader to take it forward. Executive search firm Krauthamer & Associates aided HART starting in early November when the Hillsborough County voters approved a 1-cent sales tax for transportation improvements on November 6, 2018.

Limmer replaces interim CEO Jeff Seward who has been serving for well over a year since former CEO Katharine Eagan left the agency to lead the Port Authority of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh area's transit agency.

The board of directors expressed thanks to all of the candidates who were part of the process and who brought a wealth of talent for the board to consider.

Exciting times ahead for HART and Hillsborough County!