Thursday, August 29, 2019

HART is Prepared for a Storm. Are You?

HART operates Evacuation service. Know your route!
As Floridians, we are all aware of the threat of hurricanes from June-November. It's a part of the "charm" of living in the Sunshine State!

Should a hurricane threaten the Tampa Bay area, it is vital that residents heed any warnings and prepare for the worst of the storm.

Just as residents and their families need to prepare, so does HART. Have you ever wondered how an organization with over 800 employees and 200+ vehicles plans for a major storm?

Let's take a look at what it takes to prep the HART network for a major hurricane.

Should a storm threaten the Tampa Bay area, the Hillsborough Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will be activated. Once activated, a HART representative will be located at the center to keep the agency abreast of storm developments and coordinate evacuation service.

When instructed by the EOC, HART will cease normal service and begin Emergency Evacuation service to move residents from lower ground, to higher ground. For the safety of our riders and employees, normal HART service will cease once the EOC and HART Emergency Management determine that conditions are unsafe to continue service. 

When word is received that landfall is eminent in Tampa Bay within 72 hours, our volunteer Emergency Response Team (ERT) will activate.

The organization then begins the process of securing HART facilities. This includes:
  • Securing windows and outside objects
  • Shutting off water, electricity, gas, etc.
  • Disconnecting computerized equipment and covering with plastic sheeting
  • Backing up computer data to multiple sources

If a hurricane threatens, HART will relocate vehicles to higher ground
If the Tampa Bay area is forecasted to take a direct hit from a Category 3 or greater storm, HART may split the vehicle fleet up. You may have seen something similar in Houston, when Harvey hit. Our designated locations are the Hidden River Park-n-Ride lot and the University of South Florida. The remainder would remain at the 21st Avenue Operations Facility.

The TECO Line Streetcar System will house the fleet in the Ybor Streetcar Barn. However, depending on the severity of the storm, streetcars may be moved to an off-site storage location on the bed of a tow truck.

Following the passing of the storm, three phases will occur:
  1. Recovery - Damage assessment for facilities, vehicles, and other property
  2. Communication - Call back/contacting HART personnel
  3. Restoration - Delivery of service
HART will work to the best of our ability to get the network back up and get back to our daily job of moving Hillsborough County!

Rest assured though, HART is prepared for a storm. Make sure you are too!

Monday, August 19, 2019

Hop on HART this School Year!

HART serves 20+ colleges throughout Hillsborough County!
Welcome back, students! Another semester is here. If you're planning on using HART this school year, below is a quick reference guide on connecting to HART and the special fares available from your school.

What is HART?

Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) is the public transportation service provider for Hillsborough County. HART serves Hillsborough County's employees, residents and visitors with bus, and van services. HART also operates the FREE 2.7-mile TECO Line Streetcar System, serving the restaurants, attractions and other entertainment venues of Ybor City, the Channel District and downtown Tampa.

Learn how to ride HART here.

HART Adult Student Fare program:

Schools participating in the HART Adult Student Fare program sell HART fare cards to its students for a 25% discount. Students can purchase a 31-Day Local Adult Student Fare Card for only $48.75 (normally $65) at their respective schools by showing their valid student ID. Please note, the adult student discount is not applicable if the pass is purchased at traditional HART sales outlets.

Click here for a listing of participating schools.

What's a fare card worth, if you can't connect to your school?

Luckily, HART has you covered with multiple routes connecting to over 20 colleges in Hillsborough County. Below, you'll find a listing of some of the schools that HART serves with bus, van, and streetcar service.

University of South Florida (USF): 


The following HART routes serve the USF area:
  • MetroRapid North-South - UATC/Fletcher Ave.
  • Route 1 - Florida Ave.
  • Route 5 - 40th St.
  • Route 6 - 56th St.
  • Route 9 - 15th St.
  • Route 12 - 22nd St.
  • Route 33 - Fletcher Ave.
  • Route 42 - UATC
  • Route 48 - Fowler Ave./56th St./Morris Bridge
  • Route 275LX - Bruce B. Downs Blvd./UATC
Students ride FREE on MetroRapid, HART Local, Limited Express and Flex routes with valid student ID. Faculty and staff ride for just 50¢.

For information on the U-Pass program, click here.

Hillsborough Community College (HCC): 

We have a number of routes serving the HCC campuses around the county:
  • Dale Mabry campus - Route(s) 7, 32, 36, 45
  • Brandon campus - Route 37
  • SouthShore campus - Route(s) 31, HARTFlex South County
  • Ybor City campus - Route(s) 5, 8, 9, 12, the TECO Line Streetcar

HCC Semester Pass: HCC students can purchase the HCC Semester Pass, providing over 4 months of unlimited rides on HART for just $110 - roughly 50% off! The Semester Pass can be purchased at all HCC Bookstores.

Students can also purchase a 31-Day Local Adult Student Fare Card for $48.75 at the bookstores of HCC's Dale Mabry, Brandon and Ybor City campuses.
UT students receive a 25% discount on 31-day passes

University of Tampa (UT):

HART serves UT via the following routes:
  • Route 7 - West Tampa/Citrus Park
  • Route 19 - Port Tampa
  • Route 30 - Town 'N Country/Airport
Sanford Brown University:

HART connects to Sanford Brown via HARTFlex South Tampa

Ultimate Medical Academy:

HART connects to the Ultimate Medical Academy via routes 7, 32, 45.

Now that you've purchased your pass, what's the next step?

Plan your school commute with HART

Your best bet is the HART Trip Planner. Simply type in your starting and end points, arrival time/date, hit "get directions," and let the planner do the rest.

Real-time HART arrival information and trip planning is also available with the OneBusAway Tampa app!

You can also call the HARTinfo line at 813-254-4278, or visit us on Facebook and Twitter.

Hopefully, you found this guide helpful, if there is anything else that you think we should include (like your school), let us know in the "comments" section. Have a great semester!