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Monday, December 15, 2014

HART Bus Ridership Continues Strong Growth!


HART ridership is up once again!

HART is delivering more than 52,000 trips a day!
November continued the agency's run of strong ridership growth. November marked another month of more than 1 million in bus ridership. The most recent ridership report shows total passenger trips in November reached 1,185,748. That's 6,981 more riders choosing HART to get around Hillsborough County in November 2014 compared to the same month last year.
 
November 5 saw the greatest daily ridership throughout the month with 58,662 riders picking HART!    

On average each weekday HART is delivering more than 52,000  passenger trips on its growing network of buses.

"As ridership continues to grow, so does the need to expand service to keep pace with the growing demands of the county," said HART Chief Executive Officer Katharine Eagan. "We are pleased to see a steady increase in ridership during the first quarter of FY2015."  
 
Fast facts: 
  • November 2014 ridership marked 6,981 more trips than the same month last year. 
  •  13 days exceeded 50,000 riders.
  • MetroRapid ridership was 42,609.
  • Year-to-date (FY2014 vs. FY2015), bus ridership is up 3.4 percent; an increase of 86,164 trips compared to the same period last year. 
The top five average weekday ridership routes in FY2015, showing that public transit use remains strong in significant areas of Hillsborough County:
  • Route 1 (Downtown to University Area Transit Center via Florida Avenue): 1.8 percent increase
  • Route 6 (Downtown to University Area Transit Center via 56th Street): 14.6 percent increase
  • Route 12 (Downtown to University Mall/University Area Transit Center via 22nd Street): 8.2 percent increase
  • Route 34 (Northwest Transfer Center to Netp@rk Transfer Center via Hillsborough Ave.): 3.8 percent increase
  • Route 39 (Town 'N Country/Citrus Park to Netp@ark Transfer Center via Busch Boulevard): 5.7 percent increase
For the month of November, bicycle boardings in Hillsborough County saw a 3.2  percent increase over last year's numbers. HART logged 18,432 boardings compared to 17,641 last year.  

For all-things HART, including OneBusAway, Real-time Arrival Information via Text Message, trip planning, schedules, maps and fares, just visit www.goHART.org.     

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December 2014 HART Board Meeting Highlights


Transparency was the word of the day at the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority Board of Directors meeting on Monday, December 1.

The main focus of the session was a presentation by Jeff Seward, Chief Financial Officer who provided an overview about this week's launching of the agency's online accountability center. HART will post a wealth of financial information on our website, including our budgets, individual financial transaction records, contracts information and historical data. Also, Seward asked the Board of Directors to approve the inclusion of the new HART transparency initiative into the agency's finance policy. 

HART is the lead on the regional fare collection project
During its regular monthly meeting, the HART Board approved all action items, including authorization of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Hillsborough Transit Authority (HART) and the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) for financial support for the regional fare collection project. 

In other matters, HART Board of Directors Chairman Councilman Mike Suarez welcomed the newest HART Board of Directors members, Ms. Kathleen Shanahan and Commissioner Stacy White. In addition, Councilman Suarez recognized several re-appointed Board members and thanked them for their valuable contributions and commitment during their tenure on the HART Board of Directors. 

Several employees were recognized for their outstanding service and 30 plus years of commitment working at HART.
         
In addition, HART Board General Counsel David Smith asked the HART Board of Directors for a motion to initiate the process of revising the following HART Board Policies.

  •  120: General Organization of HART; Sub-section 120.02: Board of Directors
  • 1000: Environmental Policy; Sub-section 1000.02: Policy

The HART Board unanimously approved to move forward with the process of revising the HART Board Policies. 

The draft revisions to the HART Board Policies will be presented to the Finance, Governance, and Administration Committee on December 15, 2014 for their review and advancement to the January 5, 2015 HART Board of Directors meeting for the Board's consideration. 

Next Regular Board of Directors Meetings 

The HART Regular Board of Directors will take place Monday, January 5, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. at the HART Ybor Office, 1201. E. 7th Ave., in Tampa.
 
Closed captioning from the monthly HART Board of Directors meetings will be posted within 5 - 8 business days on the Hillsborough Television (HTV) website.

Click here to view video recordings from recent HART Board/Committee meetings.

 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

HART sets all-time monthly ridership record!



Despite declining gas prices, October 2014 marked the highest month for bus ridership in HART history!  

The numbers are in, and for the first time HART provided 1,438,947 passenger trips in one month, which is roughly a 5.8 percent increase over October 2013. 

"Our weekday ridership continues to grow, we're a different HART today, and the community has taken notice," said HART Chief Executive Officer Katharine Eagan. "While this is encouraging news, we have to continue the work to improve HART efficiencies, while simultaneously planning for its future growth."
 
Fast facts: 
  • October 2014 ridership marked 79,183 more trips than the same month last year. 
  • October 2014 topped the previous monthly record set October 2013 as the highest month for bus ridership in HART history.
  • MetroRapid set an all-time monthly high with 57,513.
  • October 2014 is the first time HART monthly bus ridership has marked more than 1.4 million trips.
  • Only one weekday was under 50, 000, so 22 weekdays were over 50,000 daily trips.
  • October 2014 streetcar ridership totaled 23,893 or an increase of 8.2 compared to the same month last year.
The increase continues to be visible in our daily ridership after a record breaking 60,711 trips on October 6 - the most in HART history.

For the month of October, bicycle boardings in Hillsborough County saw a 7.4 percent increase over September's numbers. HART logged 21,430 boardings compared to 19,961 last month. In fact, the HART bikes on buses program saw a 4 percent increase in FY2014 or 233,475 boardings compared to 224,466 in FY2013.

In addition, Almost 192,000 trips from University of South Florida students, faculty and staff have been taken on HART services since July. In October the use of the HART U-Pass service for USF students, faculty and staff increased 9.5 percent or 4,737 trips compared to last year. The U-Pass program is a partnership with the university that allows students to ride any HART local bus for free with a valid student ID; faculty and staff ride for 25¢. 

Meanwhile more than 2.7 billion trips were taken on U.S. public transportation in the second quarter of 2014, according to a report released by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

For all-things HART, including OneBusAway, Real-time Arrival Information via Text Message, trip planning, schedules, maps and fares, just visit www.goHART.org.     


Friday, September 12, 2014

HART Board Advances FY2015 Proposed Budget During Public Hearing

Enhancements and a balanced budget were the theme of the first Public Hearing and HART Board of Directors Regular Meeting on the Proposed FY2015 Millage Rate and Annual Budget held September 8. The HART Board of Directors voted to adopt the tentative FY2015 budget, tentative levying of ad valorem taxes, and a tentative millage rate of .5000 for FY2015.

The $83.8 million proposed operating and capital balanced budget is 3.1 percent lower than the current one and includes cost-saving measures that allow the agency to expand service on five bus routes. 
  • The FY2015 budget is based on projected revenue of $65.8 million for operations, which is $2.1 million higher than the current budget.
  • The FY2015 Proposed Operating Budget is $65,813,577, which is $2.1 million higher than the FY2014 Amended Budget and the FY20145 Capital Budget is $18,084, 814, which is $4.7 million less that the FY2014 Amended Budget. 
  • FY2015 Budget goals were established based on the reality of available resources, to provide a stable foundation for HART for five years. These budget documents are available at www.goHART.org, under the "Public Meetings" page. 
Primary FY2015 Budget Goals:
  • Maintain current service levels and support continued increases in ridership, while providing enhancements to selected existing services based on Transit Development Plan (TDP).
  • Long-term fiscal sustainability will include a plan to migrate the reliance on Federal funds for operations.
  • Prepare HART for future growth.
  • Focus overall on "forward-thinking" innovative programs; making HART an "employer of choice," and reinvesting new revenues.
In other matters, the Board of Directors also approved all the action items on the agenda, including reaffirming HART vision, mission, core values and goals and the proposed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for FY2015, and keeping the fare structure as Status Quo for FY2015. The FY 2015-2024 Transit Development Plan (TDP), is an annual update submitted by HART to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).

During the meeting, Ruthie Reyes Burckard, Interim Chief Operating Officer, updated the board about year-to-date status and various factors impacting Operations Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

In addition, Ms. Reyes briefed the Board of Directors on the results of an on-board survey conducted by Tindale-Oliver and Associates, Inc. (TOS) contracted by HART. Generally, a comprehensive on-board survey is performed every four to six years. The last survey was conducted in April 2009.

Next Regular Board of Directors Meetings 

The HART Regular Board of Directors and 2nd and Final PublicHearing on the proposed FY2015 Millage Rate and Annual Budget will take place Monday, September 22, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. at the HART Ybor Office, 1201. E. 7th Ave., in Tampa.

Closed captioning from the monthly HART Board of Directors meetings will be posted within 5 - 8 business days on the Hillsborough Television (HTV) website.

Click here to view video recordings from recent HART Board/Committee meetings.

Friday, August 15, 2014

HART Celebrates Another Ridership Gain in July!


HART ridership continues to gain steam with a 4.6 percent increase, compared to the same month last year.

A total of 1,235,600 trips were taken last month, which marks the tenth consecutive month of serving more than 1 million bus riders in FY2014. This continues a strong upward ridership trend for HART, coming after a record year in 2013 with 14.6 million riders.

"With the initiatives and improvements, we are seeing progressive growth," said HART Interim Chief Executive Officer Katharine Eagan. "We will continue to implement other changes to benefit and attract more riders." 
Fast facts:
  • July 28 saw the highest daily ridership throughout the month with 55,179 riders
  • MetroRapid ridership was 51, 401
  • Year-to-date (October 2013 - July 2014), bus ridership is up 1.9 percent; an increase of 234,099 trips, compared to the same period last year  
  • For the month of July, bicycle boardings in Hillsborough County saw a 7.9 percent increase over June's numbers. HART logged 20,120 boardings compared to 18,649 last month.
If you haven't ridden a HART bus recently, you may be surprised at how much more "user friendly" the system has become thanks to the HART OneBusAway Tampa app, which empowers riders with Real-Time Bus Location Information. The OneBusAway Tampa app provides a suite of tools to deliver real-time bus tracking information to HART riders on the go.

With the HART OneBusAway Tampa app, riders can easily find out when the next bus will arrive at their stop. The FREE application is available on a number of devices and platforms (Desktop computer, tablets, smartphones, Android, iPhone and mobile phones with browsers), which means less waiting at the stop and more time enjoying other things.

For all-things HART, including OneBusAway, trip planning, schedules, maps and fares, just visit www.goHART.org.