Wednesday, September 27, 2017

HART HyperLINK is Changing!

HART HyperLINK is changing on October 8th!
Changes are coming to HART HyperLINK on October 8th!

Quick refresher. HART HyperLINK started as a pilot program with TransDev, an international transportation operator, in November 2016. Heralded as the nation's 1st "transit-operated rideshare" service, HyperLINK extends the footprint of HART and provides a valuable "First Mile, Last Mile" connection to riders within HyperLINK zones.

HART HyperLINK blurs the line between rideshare and transit, in that customers dial up a ride on the HyperLINK app (via GPS) much like Uber and Lyft. HyperLINK riders also have the added bonus of being able to book a ride by calling 813-298-0455.Another bonus is that HyperLINK is also ADA-accessible, unlike Uber and Lyft.

Currently, HyperLINK connects you to the HART network via designated stops (University Area Transit Center, Westfield Brandon Transfer Center, etc.) for a flat $3.00 fee within the zone. On October 8th, HyperLINK will also add the option of direct trips (see below).

Being a pilot program, we have continuously reviewed rider feedback and are now ready to implement a few changes to the service.

Temple Terrace will now be served by HyperLINK!
The following changes are coming to HyperLINK on October 8th:
  • Carrollwood will no longer be served by HyperLINK, due to low usage.
  • Temple Terrace will now be served by HART HyperLINK. Designated stops include: University Area Transit Center, Temple Terrace City Hall, and others.
  • The HyperLINK fare is changing for all zones. Riders taking HART HyperLINK to designated stops will now only pay $1.00 each way. Those taking HyperLINK to/from ANY point (not connecting to transit) within the zone, will only pay $3.00.

The Brandon and University area HyperLINK zones will not change. However, fares for both zones will reflect the new pricing of $1.00 each way to a designated HART stop; $3.00 each way to ANY point (not a designated stop) within the zone.

The future of transportation just got even better! Download the HART HyperLINK app today!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Mission MAX Bus Stop Bagging: What it Means

Orange bags will inform patrons of service changes to their stop
The HART system will drastically change in less than two weeks!

HART staff Mission MAX training is almost complete, operators have selected their runs, maps and other signage has been finalized, and now bus stop removal and replacement is taking place!

Have you seen an orange bag over your bus stop sign?

This means service will be changing at that location.

Routes serving the stop may be changing, such as that in the photo. Or, HART service may be in the process of being removed from that stop altogether.

All stops with route changes/replacements will have the orange bags removed in the early morning hours of October 8th. Deleted stops will have orange bags on them until the stop is completely removed.

We want to give a quick shout out to our Route Maintenance team! With the majority of the 3500 stops in the HART system affected, they are working tirelessly to make sure our riders are notified well in advance of the launch of Mission MAX on October 8th.

We recently went LIVE on Facebook with a couple members of the Maintenance team to talk more about the bus stops changes.

While the launch of Mission MAX is fast approaching, HART is here to make sure you are prepared with trip planning, finding your stop, and more! Find us on Facebook and Twitter, or contact HART Customer Service at 813-254-4278.

We will also be hosting a Facebook Live Q&A with HART CEO Katharine Eagan on next Monday, October 2nd, at noon.

Visit www.goHART.org/MissionMAX for more information on Mission MAX, including maps, schedules, etc.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Plan Your Mission MAX Trip In Google Maps!

Pick a date after Oct. 8th for Mission MAX data to show!
  Still confused about what your trip will look like when Mission MAX takes effect on Sunday, October 8th? You can now plan a future trip to see any upcoming changes to your commute!

Here's a quick rundown on how to do this via Google Maps:

Step 1: Enter your origin and final destination as you currently do.

Step 2: Instead of "Leave now," select "Depart at" from the drop down menu.

Step 3: Next, enter a date beyond October 8, 2017.

You will now see an updated map and trip options reflective of Mission MAX.

Top: Current HART commute; Bottom: Mission MAX commute





The image to the right is a comparison showing how commuting options may differ between the current network and Mission MAX.

You can see in this instance, Mission MAX shaves upwards of 14 minutes off trips for those interested in commuting from Westshore to Ybor City.

Simply enter your trip, change the date beyond October 8th, and you are all set!

Hopefully, this helps to clear up any confusion you still might have about what your commute looks like in October. 

For more information on Mission MAX, visit www.goHART.org/MissionMAX!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

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 750 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 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.

If the need arises, streetcars will be moved off-site
The TECO Line Streetcar System will house the majority of 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!

Friday, August 25, 2017

What is Mission MAX?

Mission MAX launches October 8, 2017!
Beginning Sunday, October 8, 2017, HART will implement a comprehensive schedule change - Mission MAX.

Through Mission MAX, we are Modernizing the system to deliver more efficient service and higher frequencies on high-demand routes. We are Aligning routes to provide shorter trip times and better connections.  And we strive for eXcellence by designing a network that lays a strong foundation for future expansion.

This redesign of the bus system includes route and schedule modifications based on an extensive period of research, operational considerations, and public input.

How does Mission MAX Modernize the HART network?

The last time HART conducted a system redesign was back in 2003. Hillsborough County and commuting habits have changed quite a bit since then. That's why Mission MAX provides new connections such as all-day service between Brandon (FY18), and the University of South Florida (FY19), to Downtown and Tampa International Airport.

Mission MAX transitions HART to more of a "grid" network, focusing less on transfer centers, and more on direct, at-stop connections. This may mean the rider having to transfer more, however, with routes coming more frequently and schedules better entwined, riders should see overall quicker trips. The final plan means roughly 85% of customers will see service improve!

Mission MAX Aligns routes to operate in a way that makes more sense. No more long, winding, routes, with buses traveling out of direction, or off of main roads. This system redesign is backed by route data analysis, including stop-by-stop ridership data, to maximize HART efficiency.

Mission MAX provides a great foundation for future expansion
Long term, the most important aspect of Mission MAX is that it provides a service network that is sustainable for HART, but also provides a great foundation for expansion in our 10-year Transit Development Plan. Based on current funding projections, we plan to roll out 10 routes operating at 15 minute frequency, or better within roughly 5-6 years. Five of those routes would operate north-south, and five operating east-west.

We are also looking at expanded weekend service on a number of routes, adding and restoring routes, and expanding HART HyperLINK zones, for better connections throughout Hillsborough County.

Mission MAX is just one piece of a plan toward eXcellence, as HART continues to grow and evolve over the next 10 years.

Still have questions about Mission MAX? You can visit the Mission MAX FAQ, or interact with HART on Facebook and Twitter!

HART CEO Katharine Eagan recently went LIVE on Facebook from HART Dispatch to talk Mission MAX!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Receive HART Detour and Service Alerts with Everbridge!

Sign up for HART service alerts from Everbridge!
You're at the bus stop and OneBusAway Tampa swears your bus just passed your stop.

*Cue anger, frustration, sadness, etc.*

Turns out your bus was on detour due to a water main break a couple blocks away from your stop. Unfortunately, the bus was routed around your stop and now you're late for work.

This situation is a thing of the past with Everbridge!

Everbridge is a rider notification system that allows members of the public to subscribe to alerts for transit routes. These alerts are sent by HART when an issue is impacting a route. Examples of typical usage include service delays due to weather or construction. Everbridge is a completely opt-in system, meaning that you select the notifications that you wish to receive.

Click "Sign up" to register for the service

Getting Started

Simply sign up for an account with your email and log in. Once logged in, click "Sign up" next to "Don't Have an Account". Select the routes that you wish to receive service notifications for and you're done.

Want text notifications? Add you phone number and service provider when registering your account.

Additional Questions?

If you still have questions regarding Everbridge, contact HART on Facebook or Twitter, or call HART Customer Service at 813-254-4278.


Monday, July 31, 2017

Redesign Process Closes in on the Finish Line!

With over 45k daily trips, HART is a big part of the community!
You hop on HART, pay your fare, put in headphones, arrive at your destination, and hop off.

Easy, right?

The bus is just a way for you to get home - Point A to Point B.

In actuality though, public transportation is more than that. Public transportation provides accessibility, mobility... FREEDOM to riders. We understand that.

HART isn't a bureaucracy, we're human. We live in the community, and a lot of us are your neighbors on the bus, van, streetcar, etc.

Over 150 individuals took time out of their day on July 26th to attend the Public Hearing on the system redesign. The allotted time for public comment went over by roughly 40 minutes, as our packed Ybor office buzzed with all walks of life.

We heard you.


We have reviewed all of the comments from the Public Hearing and have looked at possible solutions. We want to be upfront, that some of the proposed solutions from the Public Hearing are not currently financially feasible.

With that said, let's walk through the revisions to the plan and answer some of the biggest requests from public comments:

Revision for service north of Fletcher

REVISIONS


Service north of Fletcher: Route(s) 1,18,33,57

The proposal to straighten out route(s) 1 and 33, and the removal of the route(s) 18 and 57, left customers north of Fletcher with HyperLINK as the one remaining service option.

After receiving comments on this service and reviewing the need, the Route 45 will split at Yukon Transfer Center. The northern portion from Yukon Transfer Center becomes a new Route 42 that travels north of Fletcher on Nebraska, Skipper/Bearrs and Bruce B Downs.

Route 19

Route 19 routing revision
The Route 19 segment on Westshore Blvd. south of Britton Plaza was removed due to low ridership and high cost per boarding. The segment on south of Britton Plaza on Manhattan Ave. is replaced by the new Route 17.

Route 19 is now proposed to operate along Cleveland Ave., not Swann Ave. As a result, northbound Route 19 trips will once again serve the Lighthouse for the Blind and Tampa General Hospital. Trips from downtown can transfer from Cleveland St. to Platt St. or near Armenia Ave. at Swann Ave.

Route 51X/21LX revision map

Route 21LX/Route 51X

The 51X morning trips will serve the Temple Terrace Park and Ride. This will provide service to customers of the 21LX (which is being removed). The afternoon alternative for 21LX riders to the Temple Terrace Park-n-Ride will be the Route 6.



Route 36

Route would travel Himes Ave. between Busch Blvd. and MLK Jr. Blvd. and then travel Lois Ave./ Tampa Bay Blvd. to connect to Route 7 at HCC Dale Mabry campus.

The revisions we just covered have been added to the system redesign proposal going to the HART Board on August 7th.

Below, let's clarify some common questions in the proposal and provide context for the changes.

SERVICE CLARIFICATIONS AND RATIONALE


HARTFlex South Tampa/Route 10
The proposal to expand the HARTFlex South Tampa north to Cypress remains intact. HARTFlex South Tampa will now serve the western section of Route 10 (which is being removed) to include connections to the MacDonald Training Center, Tampa Housing Authority, and the Social Security Office. Service will operate hourly.

HARTFlex Brandon/HART HyperLINK

The proposal to eliminate the Brandon FLEX remains intact. The approximate per passenger trip cost for HARTFlex Brandon is $14, whereas the per trip cost for HyperLINK (as it exists today) is $10. We are looking at possibly modifying the Brandon HART HyperLINK for a deployment in October 2017. This may include reducing the customer fare and increasing connection points within the zone.

Route 46/Route 37

Route 46 will operate between the Dover Park-and-Ride and Westfield Brandon Mall, while serving Brandon Regional Hospital. Route 37 will travel directly to the Westfield Brandon for faster trip times and connections from the Route 46. The proposal removes Route 46 segments serving Palmetto Beach and Causeway Blvd. With 1.1 boardings per service mile and less than 15 boardings per service hour, the existing Route 46 is one of the lowest performing local routes in the HART network. The modification of the 46 preserves the most productive segments of the route.

Route 39 revision map
Route 39/57

We initially proposed Route 39 having alternating trips to Bullard Pkwy/Harney Rd. However, we're revising the initial proposal to only use the 50th St/Puritan Rd/Sligh Ave segment. Route 39 would run every 30 minutes on Saturdays.

The proposal to alternate segments was removed due to concerns about confusion in operating the alternating segments and reducing the level of service on the 50th St/Puritan Rd/Sligh Ave segment. Service in the Bullard Pkwy/Harney Rd would be returned in the future, possibly in the expansion of HART HyperLINK to Temple Terrace City Hall.

MetroRapid

With the consolidation of MetroRapid and Route 2, we are proposing to add seven MetroRapid stops along the route. MetroRapid hours would also expand to cover existing Route 2 service schedule.

MetroRapid service between UATC and the Hidden River/Telecom Park area will now be served by Route 33 in the proposal going before the HART Board.

SHAPING THE PLAN + NEXT STEPS


We hope this helps to understand the revisions to the proposal and why the changes were necessary.

We truly appreciate the community's involvement in this effort to transform the HART system. From the beginning, the community has helped shape this proposal through valuable insight, such as that provided at the Public Hearing.

Please note: Due to an expected overflow crowd, the HART Board meeting scheduled for August 7th, has been moved to County Center, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd. in Downtown Tampa.

Can't make the meeting? It will be streamed LIVE here.