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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Extended Hours for the TECO Line Streetcar During Lightning Playoff Run

Streetcar drops off at the Tampa Bay Times Forum!
HART is all in on the Tampa Bay Lightning's Stanley Cup run! The TECO Line Streetcar System is extending regular streetcar service hours during the remaining Tampa Bay Lightning playoff games. Streetcar service will operate until midnight for Game 1 on Wednesday and normal hours of 1:30 a.m. for Game 2 on Friday. Should a Game 5 be needed, or the Lightning advance to the next round, Monday-Thursday streetcar service will be extended 15 minutes following the end of the game.

With over 20,000+ fans converging on the Tampa Bay Times Forum, the TECO Line Streetcar offers a low cost and convenient way to avoid all the playoff traffic in downtown.  Park in any of the Ybor City garages and ride the streetcar, which drops off at the Tampa Bay Times Forum!

Not going to the game?  Anyone can take advantage of this later service to get around Downtown Tampa, the Channel District and Ybor City!

TECO Line Streetcar fares and regular service hours can be found at

Tampa Bay Lightning's playoff ticket information and schedule can be found here.


Streetcar service hours during Lightning playoff push:
  • Game 1 - Wednesday, April 16, 2014: 12:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.
  • Game 2 - Friday, April 18, 2014: 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 a.m.
  • Game 5 (If necessary) - Thursday, April 24, 2014: 12:00 p.m. - 15 minutes following the end of the game
  • Game 7 (If necessary) - Tuesday, April 29, 2014: 12:00 p.m. - 15 minutes following the end of the game

Monday, March 31, 2014

HART has you covered with upgraded bus stops and shelters!

One out of five of HART's 3,200 stops are shelters! 
HART is fully committed to its progressive Bus Stop Improvement Program, which will make all bus stops ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant; not just for someone in a wheelchair, but anyone with any kind of mobility device. For the past couple of years, a route-by-route assessment has been underway for all of the agency's approximately 3,200 bus stops and 681 shelters to ensure they comply with these standards. Sites scheduled for improvements are chosen based on ridership activity and demand, proximity to other nearby covered stops, adequate right-of-way, opportunities to sell advertisements, and planned neighborhood improvements. 

This project, known as the Bus Stop Improvement Program, also provides all riders with enhanced passenger amenities such as, bus bays, new sidewalks and shelters to help protect customers from the rain and hot sunshine. This is especially significant since 55.3 percent of HART riders board at shelters.

All new shelters are lit by solar power, saving taxpayer money on electrical costs and making them environmentally friendly. By using solar power the authority's energy savings will return the cost of investment while enjoying increased safety, less maintenance, and a smaller carbon footprint! Meanwhile HART has already tripled the number of covered stops from one shelter for every 15 stops to one shelter for every five stops.
The latest installation completed was placement of a bus bay on Fowler Avenue and 53rd Street in the City of Temple Terrace. To match the city's Mediterranean-style theme it was given a custom Spanish-tiled roof. The installation also includes stand-alone seating to accommodate the high volume of patrons that utilize the stop.    
Also, completed were bus bay projects on the south side of Progress Blvd east of I-75 at Valley Dale Drive in front of Villages of Bloomingdale Apartments and MLK Jr. Blvd and Interstate Corporate Center just west of I-4.
Improvements also have other practical benefits for riders, for example, an insufficient number of stops can diminish customer access to HART services, so creating new stops under the Bus Stop Improvement Program addresses that issue. Similarly, optimizing the distances between bus stops helps ensure that buses stay on schedule by cutting down on unnecessary, inefficient stops that can cause delays.
The Bus Stop Improvement Program is supported by federal funding, as well as local impact fees. In addition, this program is driven by partnerships. An advertising contract with Signal Outdoor, for instance, helps offset shelter costs. Signal Outdoor pays for shelters and their maintenance, in exchange for shared advertising revenue. HART also engages with private developers, local government and the Florida Department of Transportation for opportunities to obtain land easements or offset construction cost.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Have an Irish-spirited Weekend in Downtown Tampa!

Mayor's River O' Green Fest

The river goes GREEN on Saturday!

Another busy weekend in Tampa's Downtown! Join Mayor Buckhorn at Curtis Hixon tomorrow for the annual River O' Green Fest! Watch as the river transforms into a festive bright green, with live music from the Lucid Druids, beer, games, kids' activities, and of course food trucks with Irish food! There will also be a chance to give back to the community, as the Salvation Army will be on site collecting non-perishable donations.

19th Annual Rough Riders' St. Patrick's Day Parade

Rough Riders' St. Patrick's Night Parade in Ybor at 8 pm!
After you are done feasting on Irish faire and dancing to the Celtic jams from the Lucid Druids at Curtis Hixon, hop on the Streetcar and catch some clover leaf beads at the Rough Riders' St. Patrick's Day Parade in Ybor! The 19th annual parade kicks off at 8 p.m. along 7th Avenue. Family passes for the Streetcar, providing a full day of rides for up to 2 adults and 3 children, or 1 adult and 4 children are available at all stations for only $12.50!

What a great way to spend a day in downtown. Take in two Irish-filled events and only have to park once with the TECO Line Streetcar System!

Please note: The TECO Line Streetcar System service will cease north of 7th Avenue for the parade beginning at 7:40 p.m. until the end of the parade. Riders will depart the streetcar in front of the streetcar barn on 7th Avenue.

Visit for maps, fares, and schedules!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sharp Jump in Ridership for HART in February!

MetroRapid reached 50k monthly rides for the 1st time!
HART ridership has reached new highs by setting another record! February 2014 marked the highest month for weekday average bus ridership in HART history! Weekday average ridership reached 52,896 setting the highest weekday average ever.

Along with enhanced service and better on-time performances, HART registered a remarkable increase in ridership over the past year. New figures show that, from February 2013 to February 2014, the agency's bus ridership jumped by 3.5 percent from 1,199,670 to 1,242,223. The takeaway in one sentence: ridership for HART continues to climb and numbers remain strong.
It's an exciting time at HART," said HART Chief Operating Officer Katharine Eagan. "Our staff took advantage of many opportunities, and continued to provide high-quality service. We are poised to do an even greater job in 2014. We thank our riders for their loyalty to public transit."

Fast facts: 

  • MetroRapid ridership in February was 50,587. 
  • Last month, February 4 saw the greatest daily ridership throughout the month with 59,000 riders choosing HART.
  • 15 of 20 weekdays exceeded 50,000 riders.
  • Year-to-date (October 2013 - February 2014), bus ridership is up 1.8 percent; an increase of 110,632 trips, compared to the same period last year.
Meanwhile, according to a report released Monday by the American Public Transportation Association during its annual legislative conference, 10.7 billion trips were taken on public transportation last year, the eighth consecutive year that saw more than 10 billion trips taken on public transportation systems nationwide. 

Here in Hillsborough County, HART carried 14.6 million customers in FY2013 matching a national trend that saw Americans taking more public transportation to get around.

Friday, February 28, 2014

HART CFO Jeff Seward Named 2014 CFO of the Year!

Jeff Seward, Chief Financial Officer of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority, has been named CFO of the Year in the Tampa Bay Business Journal's 2014 CFO of the Year Awards in the Government Agency category. 

On Wednesday, February 26, at A La Carte Event Pavilion the Tampa Bay Business Journal made its much-anticipated announcement of the winners of the prestigious CFO of the Year Award. 
The award ceremony is an annual event hosted by the Tampa Bay Business Journal to recognize top financial executives and finalists are chosen by an independent panel of judges. The event honors Chief Financial Officers from Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee, Sarasota, Polk and Hernando. Six distinct industry categories are honored, and Seward won in the Government category.

Seward has more than 25 years of local government, private-sector and military experience, and providing leadership for various areas, including financial advising, strategic planning, economic development and auditing. Mr. Seward joined HART in 2011.    

As CFO, Mr. Seward is responsible for Accounting & Financial Reporting, Budget, Cash Management, Internal Audit, Procurement, Contracts Administration, Grants & Planning. Those vitally important departments execute the long-term financial strategy of HART, manage major capital projects, secure grants to enhance our current infrastructure and implement investment tools to improve fiscal sustainability.
His latest accomplishment is establishing the Regional Revenue Collection Working Group with 6 other regional transit agencies as well as partnerships with the FDOT and TBARTA to establish a streamlined fare collection system where passengers, regardless of where they live or transit service they use, can move between counties in the region with one single smart card.  This is the first of its kind public transportation regional partnership in the Tampa Bay area.  Partnering with FDOT will allow this to be a model that is used elsewhere in the State of Florida.

"This recognition is well deserved and we're fortunate to have Jeff, a proven leader and dedicated HART employee, as our CFO," said HART CEO, Philip R. Hale. "The CFO of the Year award in the Government category was competitive and we're happy that Jeff has been recognized for his unique vision and exceptional execution." 

"I am truly humbled by this recognition and I appreciate the opportunity that Mr. Hale, our CEO, has given me to help move this organization forward, but it is the HART Board and staff that truly deserve the accolades for getting HART to where it is today, and that is a provider of public transportation for over 14.5 million passengers a year - THAT is an achievement!" said Mr. Seward.

The announcement was made yesterday. View entire list.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Make it an Ybor Weekend: Flan Fest and Fiesta Day this Saturday!

The 67th Annual Fiesta Day
7th Avenue - 2/22 - 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

A day to celebrate Ybor City's culture and heritage, this free, family friendly "street festival" offers food, entertainment and shopping. Prepare your senses as the smells of Latin food and the rhythms of Latin music will fill 7th Avenue, along with vendors, dancing and a whole array of family fun.

Please note: 7th Avenue will be closed from 15th Street to 20th Street from 6:00am to 7:00pm to accommodate crowds and vendors. The TECO Line Streetcar might be your best bet as 15,000 attendees are expected and parking might become scarce. Simply park in the Channelside garage or any of Downtown's parking garages and catch the streetcar to Ybor.

Ybor City is served by TECO Line Streetcar stations 1-4.

Visit for more information.

The 11th Annual Flan Fest
Centennial Park - 2/22 - 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Flan is the star of this fest!
Consider yourself a big flan fan? The fabulous dessert will be featured once again at Flan Fest, held in conjunction with Fiesta Day. The flan-tivities will be held this Saturday, Feb. 22 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. at Centennial Park in Ybor City. The main attraction is the Annual Flan Bake-Off, a 40 contestant flan slug-fest to determine who has the best custard treat the Bay area. Judging (featuring a VIP HART judge) begins at noon with winners announced at 2:30 p.m.

The event will also feature live entertainment, shopping, and all day food and flan sampling.

And if you really, really, LOVE flan, a Flan Eating Contest is also scheduled for the event.

Flan Fest is a fundraiser for the Ybor City Saturday Market, a non-profit organization.  Make it a flan-filled day in Ybor and support a great Ybor City group! HART will have an information booth, so don't be afraid to come by and say hi!

Centennial Park is served by TECO Line Streetcar station 1.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

MetroRapid, U-Pass Help Grow Ridership to over 1.2 Million in January!

On the heels of setting another annual record for total ridership by providing transportation services to more than 14.6 million Hillsborough County residents in FY2013, January marked another month of more than 1 million in bus ridership. The most recent ridership report shows 1,229,442 rides taken on HART buses to get around Hillsborough County in January. 

Fast facts:
  • MetroRapid ridership has been on an upward trend for the first eight months of this innovative limited stop service. Ridership for January was 49,184.
  • Last month, January 13 saw the greatest daily ridership throughout the month with 53,954 riders choosing HART. 
  • Year-to-date (October 2013 - January 2014), bus ridership is up 1.4 percent; an increase of 69,079 trips, compared to the same period last year.
In addition, more University of South Florida faculty, staff and students are riding HART. U-Pass ridership has increased by 12 percent in FY2014 compared to FY2013. In fact, the U-PASS program represented 4 percent of HART January ridership. The U-Pass program is a partnership between HART and the University of South Florida that allows students to ride any HART local bus for free with a valid student ID; faculty and staff ride for 25¢.

 For more information about HART, visit