Tuesday, December 1, 2020

HART Celebrates 'Rosa Parks Day'

Rosa Parks

It all started on a bus in 1955, after Rosa Parks decided to take a stand by taking a seat. 

Ms. Parks' brave actions on December 1, 1955, led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott that culminated one year later with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing access and ending segregation on public transportation.

Rosa Parks' seat designation
In honor of Ms. Parks' courageous act and dedication to Civil Rights, HART designates a seat on every bus throughout Black History Month in February.

"Ms. Parks' actions created opportunities for millions of transit users locally and throughout the country who rely on public transportation to get to work, to school and to create the lives they want to live," Ruthie Reyes Burckard, HART Interim Chief Executive Officer said. "Her decision to keep her seat reminds all of us of the importance of standing for equality."

It all started on a bus, and HART celebrates Ms. Rosa Parks and the role transit played in advancing Civil Rights and equality.





Monday, November 16, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE: Van Operator Tests Positive for COVID-19 - 11.16.20


HART has received confirmation that a van operator has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The van operator's last day worked was 10.29.20.

This brings the total number of cases of HART employees testing positive for the coronavirus to 62 – including 27 bus operators, 6 van operators, 2 streetcar motorpersons, and 27 other employees.

All individuals are entitled to medical and health privacies and HART maintains the security of employees’ confidentiality. We respectfully ask media to honor all HART employees’ privacy.

For the safety of everyone on board, following the City of Tampa Executive Order 2020-27 (effective Friday, June 19, 2020 at 5:00 PM) and Hillsborough County Executive Order (effective Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 5:00 PM), riders are required to wear a cloth face covering over their mouth and nose when in public and on transit, as recommended by the CDC. HART is providing face coverings to customers at transit centers, while supplies last. Face coverings can also be made from household items, including handkerchiefs, bandanas, or scarves. This is to protect people around you if you are infected but do not have symptoms and is not a substitute for social distancing. 

HART is committed to the safety of all our employees and riders. In accordance with CDC guidelines as well as local and state health departments, HART has taken the following steps to help reduce the spread of COVID-19:
  • HART continues to disinfect the fleet, transit centers, amenities and work areas - daily.
  • HART provided onsite COVID-19 testing for all employees.
  • HART is communicating with all employees and customers to practice CDC recommended good hygiene and social distancing.
  • HART is providing gloves, hand sanitizer, and face masks to frontline employees. Safety shields on fixed-route vehicles provide a barrier to reduce contact.
  • HART is running a temporary reduction of hours for transit service for essential trips. HART is following a modified-Sunday schedule with weekday service on highest ridership routes to alleviate overcrowding. HART is asking customers to limit travel to essential trips only.
  • The bus destination signs on the outside of all HART buses display “Masks Required” and “Essential Trips Only.”
  • Audio announcements and on-board seat signage have been installed to encourage staggered seating among riders and that masks are required.
  • The first row of seats nearest to the front door is closed off to maintain additional distance between riders and the operator (but is still available for customer with disabilities that have mobility devices). HART has seen reduced ridership which provides the benefit of creating more space.
  • HART operators are continually notified to contact the HART Operations Control Center (OCC) immediately to report if their transit vehicle is too crowded or other potential COVID-19 safety concerns. Responses may involve dispatching appropriate personnel, contacting emergency services, sending a swap vehicle, or sending a plug bus along the route.
  • HART is offering alternative work schedules if the job function allows the employee to do the following: flexible/staggered work schedules, reduced work schedules and remote working.

While we remain committed to serving those who serve us, HART asks customers and employees to exercise personal responsibility and follow the CDC recommended guidelines.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

HART Plans to Restore Service Following Tropical Storm Eta

HART is preparing to restart service on all bus routes, the TECO Line Streetcar and HART SMART AV service beginning at NOONTHURSDAY, November 12following Tropical Storm Eta and weather permitting. 

In preparation of sustained high winds and for the safety of our customers, employees and to safeguard equipment, transit service ended at 12 NOON today. 

Hillsborough County has declared a State of Emergency. HART will continue to keep you updated on service restorations as official weather updates become available.

Customers can follow HART on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates. 


Monday, November 2, 2020

Ms. Adelee Le Grand Selected as New HART CEO

The HART Board of Directors selected Adelee Le Grand as the next HART CEO during its board meeting on November 2nd, 2020. Ms. Le Grand delivered a powerful public presentation introducing her vision of a transportation network to unite and offer the community immediate access and opportunity.

"It was evident to the entire Board of Director that Ms. Le Grand will rebuild and revision HART by building trust through transparency and respect with employees, customers and the community," said Commissioner Mariella Smith, HART Chair, Board of Directors. "As we look to the future, we're confident Ms. Le Grand is the right person to lead HART and create a long legacy of providing the highest level of service equitably and to openly drive Hillsborough County forward."

Next Steps:

Recruiting firm GovHR USA and HART General Counsel with negotiate contract terms with Ms. Le Grand.  A contract for approval will be placed on the December agenda at the regular meeting of the Board.

Professional Biography:

Adelee Le Grand is a leader, with over two decades of experience, who is passionate about utilizing mobility as a tool to create and sustain vibrant equitable communities. Her area of speciality is developing and communicating strategies into the implementation of business solutions and innovations. 

Adelee has served as a member of the executive team for two transit agencies. She has served as the Chief Mobility Officer for the Atlanta-region Transit Link Authority (ATL), working closely with the Executive Director and Planning Division to develop a strategic plan to document the new state authority's suite of services and strengthen partnerships with key stakeholders and regional partners. Adelee also served as the Chief Strategy Officer in service to the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority, where her responsibilities included developing the first Strategic Mobility Plan for the New Orleans Region and rebuilding the Planning Department. 

She empowers her team to view their portfolio of projects as opportunities to improve the lives of the community they serve. Her motto is, "it is not about the project, it is about how the project improves the community".


Ms. Adelee Le Grand

Monday, October 26, 2020

HART Restores Weekday Service to 95% of Pre-COVID Levels


HART will be restoring regular service schedules for all local routes and the TECO Line Streetcar System beginning on Sunday, November 15, 2020. HART continues to disinfect daily and continues to require face coverings onboard and stagger seating onboard. The restoration brings HART up to 95% of pre-COVID service levels.

"It is critically important to restore frequency on local routes throughout Hillsborough County to ensure that our customers and the communities we serve continue to rely on HART to take them to places that enhance their lives," said Interim Chief Executive Officer Ruthie Reyes Burckard. "HART has delivered over 3.5 million essential trips since March 1, 2020. Restored frequency will provide our customers confidence to ride knowing local route schedules will return to pre-COVID levels." 

Summary of Service Restoration:
  • All local routes will operate on their regular service schedule beginning November 15, 2020
  • Route 275LX will continue to operate between the Wiregrass Park-and-Ride and the University Area Transit Center only 
  • Route 360LX is operating on a regular schedule
  • There is no service for all other Express and Limited Express routes and HARTFlex routes. 
  • The TECO Line Streetcar System is returning to regular hours.
Visit www.goHART.org for the latest service information or call Customer Service at 813-254-4278.

Monday, October 19, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE: Two Additional Bus Operators Test Positive for COVID-19 - 10.19.20


HART has received confirmation that an additional two bus operators have tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The bus operators' last days and routes worked are the following:

  • 10/14/2020 Route 5 (40th Street)
  • 10/15/2020 Route 5 (40th Street)

This brings the total number of cases of HART employees testing positive for the coronavirus to 60 – including 27 bus operators5 van operators2 streetcar motorperson, and 26 other employees.

All individuals are entitled to medical and health privacies and HART maintains the security of employees’ confidentiality. We respectfully ask media to honor all HART employees’ privacy.

For the safety of everyone on board, following the City of Tampa Executive Order 2020-27 (effective Friday, June 19, 2020 at 5:00 PM) and Hillsborough County Executive Order (effective Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 5:00 PM), riders are required to wear a cloth face covering over their mouth and nose when in public and on transit, as recommended by the CDC. HART is providing face coverings to customers at transit centers, while supplies last. Face coverings can also be made from household items, including handkerchiefs, bandanas, or scarves. This is to protect people around you if you are infected but do not have symptoms and is not a substitute for social distancing. 

HART is committed to the safety of all our employees and riders. In accordance with CDC guidelines as well as local and state health departments, HART has taken the following steps to help reduce the spread of COVID-19:
  • HART continues to disinfect the fleet, transit centers, amenities and work areas - daily.
  • HART provided onsite COVID-19 testing for all employees.
  • HART is communicating with all employees and customers to practice CDC recommended good hygiene and social distancing.
  • HART is providing gloves, hand sanitizer, and face masks to frontline employees. Safety shields on fixed route vehicles provide a barrier to reduce contact.
  • HART is running a temporary reduction of hours for transit service for essential trips. HART is following a modified-Sunday schedule with weekday service on highest ridership routes to alleviate overcrowding. HART is asking customers to limit travel to essential trips only.
  • The bus destination signs on the outside of all HART buses display “Masks Required” and “Essential Trips Only.”
  • Audio announcements and on-board seat signage have been installed to encourage staggered seating among riders and that masks are required.
  • The first row of seats nearest to the front door is closed off to maintain additional distance between riders and the operator (but is still available for customer with disabilities that have mobility devices). HART has seen reduced ridership which provides the benefit of creating more space.
  • HART operators are continually notified to contact the HART Operations Control Center (OCC) immediately to report if their transit vehicle is too crowded or other potential COVID-19 safety concerns. Responses may involve dispatching appropriate personnel, contacting emergency services, sending a swap vehicle, or sending a plug bus along the route.
  • HART is offering alternative work schedules if the job function allows the employee to do the following: flexible/staggered work schedules, reduced work schedules and remote working.

While we remain committed to serving those who serve us, HART asks customers and employees to exercise personal responsibility and follow the CDC recommended guidelines.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Ruthie Reyes Burckard Named Interim HART CEO

New HART ICEO Ruthie Reyes Burckard

The HART Board of Directors appointed HART veteran Ruthie Reyes Burckard as its Interim Chief Executive Officer (ICEO), effective immediately, at the October 14, 2020 Special Board meeting. Reyes Burckard will be receiving a salary of $195,000, until the permanent CEO joins HART.

Reyes Burckard brings 30-years of public transportation experience to the ICEO role as the Agency narrows the field of candidates in a search for a permanent CEO. Reyes Burckard started her career as a Bus Operator in 1990 in New York City. She has served HART in Operations since 2002, most recently as the Deputy Chief of Transportation.

"I look forward to strengthening the agency by focusing on what's most important - the customer, the employees and continue fostering lasting community partnerships," she told the HART Board of Directors in an October 14th Special meeting.