Thursday, January 17, 2019

HART's Continued Commitment to Sustainability

HART Interim CEO Jeff Seward attends 15th International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic & Social Sustainability at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.




























HART Interim Chief Executive Officer Jeff Seward is continuing HART’s dialogue in sustainability conversations as he attends the 15th International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic & Social Sustainability at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.  As the region’s public transportation provider, it is imperative that we fully understand our services’ impact on all legs of the sustainability stool, and how to lessen the impact on the environmental leg, while building a strong influence over the cultural, economic and social legs. 

HART Interim CEO Jeff Seward
Mr. Seward has ensured HART’s representation in the sustainability and climate change conversations over the last 5 years by presenting HART’s on-going environmental and climate change mitigation work in academic centric and industry conversations held at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK, University of California, Berkeley, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon and several American Public Transportation Association sustainability conferences.

HART’s work on reducing its carbon footprint by over 17% over the past 5 years, significantly reducing energy consumption in its operating facilities, and its international certification as the only ISO 14001 environmentally sustainable transit agency in the State of Florida, one of only a dozen in North America, has been lauded by these organizations.


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Sail to Gasparilla with the TECO Line Streetcar and HART!

Take the Streetcar to the pirate festivities!
Arrgh you ready?! Have your sights set on Gasparilla? Travel safely to the festivities... set sail with HART and the TECO Line Streetcar!

HART will operate additional streetcar and bus service to accommodate the large numbers of anticipated riders on Saturday, January 26th for Gasparilla! Please note: Routes are subject to change due to road closures.
 
HART is by far the most convenient and affordable way to travel to the Gasparilla parade. An all-day HART bus pass is $4.00; and the TECO Line Streetcar is FREE!


Below are important details to make the trip to the Gasparilla parade easier:


  • Catch the Streetcar at Centro Ybor!
    FREE
  • For those parking in Ybor City, Station #2 (Centro Ybor) will be the ONLY station operating all-day streetcar service to/from downtown Tampa, Station 10 (Dick Greco Plaza).
  • Continuous service 8:30 a.m.- 2:00 a.m.
  • TECO Line Streetcar System Stations 3 and 4 will be closed from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m., but during that time, HART will provide FREE, continuous bus service to/from Station 10 (Dick Greco Plaza) between 9:30 a.m.- 7:00 p.m.
  • Stations 1 and 11 will be closed all day. View Map for Gasparilla 2019 
  • Stations 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 will be closed 8:30 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. 

Your Gasparilla treasure map!
HART Bus Service

  • An all-day pass is $4, which may be purchased in advance at HART retail outlets or on board buses on Gasparilla Day with cash only (no change provided). Monthly bus passes may also be used. *This fare does not cover City of Tampa parking fees.
  • For those parking in Ybor City, HART will be providing FREE continuous bus service between Station 3 (Streetcar Society Station) and Station 4 (Cadrecha Station) and downtown Tampa, Station 10 (Dick Greco Plaza) from 9:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
  • For those parking at the Port Authority Parking Garage in the Channel District, HART will be providing FREE continuous bus service to/from Station 10 (Dick Greco Plaza) 9:30 a.m.- 7:00 p.m. View Map for Gasparilla 2019  

Getting to Downtown Tampa on HART

  • From University Area: Routes 1*, 5, 6, 9, 12, 275LX, MetroRapid
  • From Temple Terrace: Route 6
  • From New Tampa/Wiregrass: Route 275LX
  • From Brandon: Routes 8*, 360LX*
  • From West Tampa/Citrus Park: Route 7*
  • From South Tampa: Routes 19*, 360LX*
  • From Tampa International/Town 'N Country: Routes 30*, 60LX
View HART bus maps and schedules

Detours


*Routes 1,7, 8, 14, 19, 30, and 360LX will be on detour during the festivities.

Make sure to party like a responsible pirate! No coolers or alcohol are allowed on HART buses and the TECO Line Streetcar System. Have a fun and safe Gasparilla!

Friday, January 11, 2019

HART Offers Assistance to Support Federal Employees at Tampa International Airport

Tampa International is served by five HART routes
The partial government shutdown has entered its third week. For many federal employees in Tampa, it has been 21 days of being furloughed or going without pay. According to reports, nationally about 800,000 workers have been affected by the partial shutdown. At the Tampa International Airport, 800 federal employees are impacted.

As this shutdown continues, HART and Tampa International Airport (TPA) have partnered to provide a viable transportation option for their employees travel to and from work. HART has donated 500 31-Day farecards to support workers of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to ease the hardship they are facing during the partial shutdown.

During a government shutdown, many federal employees are considered essential - requiring them to report to work even if they are not getting paid. The employee's ability to get to work is critical for Tampa both financially and operationally. Tampa International Airport is a vital transportation gateway and an economic engine for the Tampa Bay area.

HART's contribution will hopefully ease the transportation burden and enable workers to utilize the funds for other necessary items during this period of uncertainty.

"It is a privilege to be able to offer some assistance to the hardworking federal workers at Tampa International Airport during this time," said HART Interim CEO Jeff Seward. "We have built a strong relationship with the airport team, and any assistance we can provide its employees, we stand at the ready."

"We are grateful to all of our partners in the Bay area who are pulling together to assist the federal workers who are such an important part of the airport family," said Tampa International Airport CEO Joe Lopano. "Their commitment to safety and customer service is what helps make Tampa International one of the best airports in the world."

HART is committed to being an integral part of the communities it serves. Giving back for us is about identifying a need in our community and making sure we are there to provide the help needed.


Friday, December 28, 2018

Thankful in 2018: A HART Year in Review


With 2019 fast approaching, many are looking towards the New Year as a fresh start. However, we at HART are looking to continue building on the successes of the past year.

Year in Review


February Service Changes

In 2017, HART "reset" the system network with Mission MAX, establishing a stable foundation for expansion. February 2018 marked a significant step toward HART's five-year goal of ten routes with 15-minute service or better.

Flamingo Fares testing is underway
Flamingo Fares Testing

Our regional transit fare app and smart card payment system took a giant leap in 2018 with the start of public testing! While HART and PSTA have been testing the first generation of the Flamingo Fares app since 2016, this is the first test involving the Flamingo Fares smart card and web-based accounts.

Since the launch of testing in March, thousands of taps have been recorded and the second generation of the Flamingo Fares app is now in the testing phase. Flamingo Fares will fully launch to the public in 2019.

Route 275LX

Summertime typically means a slower pace with vacation-filled offices and schools out. However, summer 2018 saw the launch of HART's FIRST seven-day-a-week inter-county service, the Route 275LX. The new all-day, limited-stop service launched on July 1st, operating between Wesley Chapel and Tampa International Airport, with stops in New Tampa, the University area, and downtown Tampa. The Route 275LX has seen an 83% increase in monthly ridership (10,910 rides in October) since launching in July.






MVP Express

After years of requests for express/shuttle service to local sporting events, HART launched the MVP Express in November! This premium service allows Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans to park at four convenient park-and-ride locations and hop on the MVP Express to Raymond James Stadium. All for only $10 round-trip, per person! The MVP Express is currently a pilot and will be evaluated and possibly expanded to other local sports after the NFL season has ended.

New Era of Transit
Free fares launched on Oct. 7, 2018

Streetcar Fare-Free and Enhanced Service

It's possible no other individual route or transit mode in Tampa Bay has seen as drastic a change as the TECO Line Streetcar System in 2018.

In June, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) announced a game-changing $2.7 million grant to make the TECO Line Streetcar FARE-FREE with enhanced morning/late night service and increased frequencies for three years. The new service kicked off on October 7 with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a fresh new marketing strategy that represents HART's vision for the Streetcar - Free. Fun. Frequent. Totally Tampa!

It has been well received, with ridership up over 120% from last year!

InVision: Tampa Streetcar - Streetcar Extension and Modernization Study

The future looks even brighter as HART is currently partnering with the City of Tampa and FDOT on a study evaluating possible extension alignments and the feasibility of modernizing the current
heritage streetcar system. The City completed the first phase in Spring 2018 by identifying two north/south extension alignment options - a combination of Tampa St./Franklin St. and Florida Ave. The line would stretch through the core of downtown, near HART's main transit hub in Marion Transit Center, and north to Tampa Heights.

In June, the City received approval from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to enter Project Development phase to select a preferred alternative and refine improvement plans and strategies. The City will submit a Small Starts request for federal funding in September 2019.

Transit Referendum


Yes, we definitely saved the best for last! It's no secret that transportation has been on the minds of most in Hillsborough County for quite some time. The Tampa Bay region as a whole being seen more to put plans on shelves, than pen to paper.

However, that changed on Election Day as voters (overwhelmingly) approved a 1-cent sales tax increase to support transportation, including a mix of roads, public transportation, pedestrian, cycling, etc.

All of us at HART are incredibly humbled by this level of support and have already released our proposed short-term service improvement plan, which features speeding up the implementation of the first three years of the FY2019-2023 Transit Development Plan to 2019.

HART as an agency in 2017, revisited our infrastructure and established a blueprint for an improved transportation network in Hillsborough County.  This strategic plan allowed HART to overhaul its route system and build up that foundation in 2018, as we aligned for the future. 

The agency turns 40 in 2019, with the year poised to be HART's most celebrated yet, as we enter a new era of excellence. 

We look forward to seeing you on board one of our buses, vans, or streetcars in the New Year!

Happy Holidays!


Monday, December 17, 2018

HART to Give Free Rides for Joy of Giving on Dec. 22!

HART is giving the gift of transportation to the 9th Annual Joy of Giving by providing FREE rides on Saturday, December 22. The event at Raymond James Stadium features entertainment, food, and games, for children and families who deserve gifts and smiles.

Free rides on HART include HARTPlus and Express service.

For more information about the Joy of Giving, such as attending as a volunteer, or conducting a toy drive, visit www. JoyOfGivingTampa.com.





Friday, November 30, 2018

HART and TECO Line Streetcar Featured in "Connected Vehicle" Demo

The Tampa Connected Vehicle Pilot project team
The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) and HART recently invited industry peers and media to a demonstration showcasing connected vehicle technology on HART buses and the TECO Line Streetcar System. This was the first-ever demonstration of how connected vehicle safety applications on transit vehicles can help prevent crashes between cars, transit vehicles, and even pedestrians.

Attendees had the opportunity to ride in the vehicles and witness situational demonstrations of the technology, which allows the transit vehicles to "talk" wirelessly to the roadway and other connected vehicles.

Below is video of a simulated situation featuring a car turning in front of the Streetcar:



Tampa is one of the first cities in the nation (one of just three) to deploy connected vehicle technology through the Tampa Connected Vehicle Pilot, which THEA is spearheading. 

As part of the project, THEA is equipping 10 HART buses and 10 streetcars, and the cars of 1,600 individual volunteers with this exciting new technology to make downtown Tampa a safer, smarter place to walk, ride and drive.

The Tampa Connected Vehicle Pilot will also equip buses with Transit Signal Priority (TSP), which will enable them to communicate with streetlights on their routes. Downtown congestion can back up travel, causing buses to become late. When necessary, TSP can prioritize bus movements to speed up service.

The pilot has recently been featured on Discovery Channel Canada's Daily Planet!

The Tampa Connected Vehicle Pilot is a $21-million project funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

HART Service Changes Go Into Effect December 2

Service changes go into effect Dec. 2.
As part of our continued commitment to providing ease of access and convenience for patrons, HART is implementing minor service changes effective Sunday, December 2. HART makes regular service adjustments three times a year in response to public feedback and also to improve safety and efficiency. Routes are primarily selected for adjustment based upon demonstrated ridership and input via the customer service database.

The following HART service changes go into effect on Sunday, December 2:

Route and Schedule Adjustments:
  • Route 45 is being modified to serve Busch Blvd., between North Blvd. and Florida Ave.
  • Routes 60LX and 360LX will no longer serve Westfield Brandon Mall. 
  • Route 60LX will be extended to serve Culbreath at Bloomingdale Park-n-Ride.
  • Route 360LX is being extended to serve J.C. Handly Park-n-Ride.
Schedule Adjustments:
  • The TECO Line Streetcar will have minor "last trip of the night schedule adjustments.

Route 60LX will now operate along U.S. 301 to Bloomingdale Ave., ceasing at the Bloomingdale Park-n-Ride. This will provide the Valrico area with all day limited-stop service to Tampa International Airport and the rest of the HART service network.

Route 360LX will operate along Lumsden Rd. before turning on Kings Ave. (entering the J.C. Handly Park-n-Ride) and looping back on Bloomingdale Ave. and finally Providence Rd.

Riders wishing to connect between routes 60LX or 360LX and routes 37, 46, 75LX, or HARTFlex Brandon should transfer using routes 8 or 31 (at Providence Rd. and Bloomingdale Ave, and at Westfield Brandon Mall).

HART in the Community

HART staff will be out in the community at the Marion Transit Center and Westfield Brandon Mall bus stop over the next two weeks talking to riders about the service changes.
You can view the new route schedules on goHART.org or contact HART customer service at (813) 254-4278 for more information.