Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Route of the Week: Route 10

With a diverse service area roughly the size of Rhode Island, Hillsborough County provides a great mix of urban, suburban and rural destinations for our riders. Think about the destinations that you can see and experience with the HART transportation network!

This week we travel on the Route 10 from Cypress Point Park, eastward along Cypress St., to Marion Transit Center!

Operating from 5:05 a.m. - 6:35 p.m. Monday - Friday, Route 10 primarily serves workers along Cypress St. in the Westshore area and those in downtown Tampa. Route 10 carried 41,506 riders in FY2015.
 
The Route 10 is a little quirky, in that the western terminus of the route is not a HART facility, but actually a park... Cypress Point Park. The park, open daily from 6:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., features roughly 1.5 miles of trails, a beach, boardwalk and canoe launch.

The Westshore District is the largest business district in Florida, with over 4,000 businesses. As such, Route 10 serves a number of employment destinations such as: Department of Homeland Security, Social Security Administration, MacDonald Training Center, and Amscot Financial, Inc. Headquarters. Heads in Tampa for business, need beds to sleep. And again, the Route 10 serves a host of hotels: Holiday Inn Tampa Westshore, Tampa Marriott Westshore, DoubleTree by Hilton Tampa Airport, Courtyard Tampa Westshore/Airport, and The Sheraton Suites Tampa Airport Westshore.

The Westshore District is hardly all work and no play. Take part in some retail therapy at Westshore Plaza, home to 115 stores, restaurants such as Maggiano's Little Italy and PF Chang's and a 14-screen movie theater. HART riders are able to transfer to 4 different routes at Westshore Plaza.

The leaders of the future, may be taking the bus today. The University of Tampa and Jefferson, Blake and Tampa Preparatory high schools are all served by Route 10. All four also  receive discounts on HART! University of Tampa Spartans can purchase a 31-day pass for 25% off, or $48.75. Meanwhile, Hillsborough County High School and Middle School students ride FREE on HART until June 10, with valid school or HART-issued Youth ID.

Alessi Bakery has been in business since 1912
Hungry? A true Tampa landmark, Alessi Bakery, once delivered the freshest Italian and Cuban bread on horse and wagon to their customers. They've built up some credibility over their 100+ year existence and now have customers drop by the store located at 2909 W. Cypress St. for delicious pastries, deviled crabs and Cuban sandwiches. Hop off the Route 10 at Cypress St. and Excelda Ave.

Highlights upon entering downtown on the way to Marion Transit Center include: The Tampa Theatre, Tampa Museum of Art, Glazer Children's Museum, The Tampa Riverwalk, and the flagship of the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System, John F. Germany Public Library.

Operating through some of the Westshore District's most prime real estate, Route 10 offers access to a variety of employment and leisure destinations.

From work to The Riverwalk, HART Takes You There.


Friday, April 22, 2016

EVERY day is Earth Day at HART!

Earth Month, Earth Day, Earth Week, Earth Hour... days, weeks and hours devoted to Mother Earth. What's it really mean when Earth Month shares April with Cranberries and Gooseberries Month, Straw Hat Month and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Month? Designations that are great company... if you're a gooseberry growing, straw hat wearing, IBS sufferer.

The point is that while it is great that society has taken the time to designate a day in celebration of the Earth, we ask if that's enough? Is one hour, day, week, month or even year good enough to celebrate and create awareness for the protection of the environment?

At HART, EVERY day is Earth Day. We live it, we breathe it, we love it and we're not alone. Environmentalism and public transportation go way back as transit by nature (no pun intended) is green.

One bus can take up 50 cars off the road!
It's easy to see why! Did you know that just one 40-foot bus can take up to 50 gas-guzzling, carbon emissions-spewing cars off the road? How about that a two-car household can reduce their carbon emissions by 4800 pounds or 10% annually, just by switching their commute to public transportation?

Do you love heavy doses of carbon dioxide? Neither does the environment. Carbon dioxide contributes to smog in cities as well as some scientists believing that it contributes to the gradual warming of the Earth. Luckily, public transportation saves 37 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. That number is equivalent to emissions resulting from electricity generated for ALL of the households in D.C., New York City, Atlanta, Denver and Los Angeles... combined.

Looking to reduce your carbon footprint?

The great thing is that there are fairly easy ways to reduce your footprint. Check out this Carbon Savings Calculator to see how much you can reduce your carbon footprint by switching part or all your travel to public transportation.

HART Green Initiatives

At HART, we not only help others go green, but we like to practice what we preach. Over the years,

CNG buses reduce carbon monoxide by 90% over diesel
HART has focused on being more environmentally responsible with a number of green initiatives including: transitioning our fleet to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), becoming ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Management System (EMS) compliant (one of 14 agencies nationwide), solar panels on shelters, kickoff of employee recycling program, recyclable vehicle wash systems and a LEED-certified renovation of our Operations and Maintenance facility.

Want to do your part?

Businesses:

If you're looking to do your part as a business owner, Best Workplaces for Commuters has a top 10 list of ways to help green your employees' commute. The HART Corporate Transit Program may be an option. Federal law entitles all U.S. employers to a completely tax-deductible business expense of up to $255 per employee per month toward the cost of using public transportation.  Funds can also be allocated to vanpooling.

Individuals:


HART is a great way to start doing your part. Not only are you saving the environment, you're also saving money (up to $10,000 a year), reducing congestion and relieving stress.

If you're already riding HART, the next best thing to do is share how easy HART is with a friend. Go green and save some green too!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Route of the Week: Route 1

With a diverse service area roughly the size of Rhode Island, Hillsborough County provides a great mix of urban, suburban and rural destinations for our riders. Think about the destinations that you can see and experience with the HART transportation network!

Route 1 is our featured Route of the Week!  The route operates every 20 minutes between downtown Tampa and the area surrounding The University of South Florida. The Route 1 operates weekdays from 4:00 a.m. - 12:20 a.m.; Saturday from 6:15 a.m. - 10:15 p.m.; Sunday service from 6:15 a.m. - 8:35 p.m.

Route 1 is currently our 2nd busiest weekday route with 3,671 rides daily. The route averages roughly 98k monthly riders.

The Refinery is a James Beard nominated restaurant
Heading north from Marion Transit Center, along Florida Ave., is a growing gourmet dining scene set among the 1920s-era bungalows on Florida Ave. in Seminole Heights. Fodder and Shine, Front Porch Grille, Ichicoro Ramen, The Refinery and Rooster & The Till make up a who's who of the local dining scene. Cappy's Pizzeria, a Seminole Heights institution, is also served by the route.

Hillsborough County's oldest public high school, Hillsborough High, and Memorial Middle School are only a short walk from Route 1 stops on Florida Ave. Students should note that Hillsborough County middle and high school students ride HART free until June 10 with their valid school ID or HART-issued Youth ID.

Sulphur Springs Water Tower
Heading north of Sligh Ave., it's hard to miss the iconic Sulphur Springs Water Tower. Once served by streetcar, the tower is now served by Route 1. The tower was historically part of a resort called the Sulphur Springs Hotel and Apartments. The tower once provided the area with fresh drinking water. Hop off at Florida Ave. and Bird St. to see the local landmark.

The Route 1 then departs Florida Ave. at Fletcher Ave. before turning on to Nebraska Ave.

Looking for fun for the whole family? Grand Prix Tampa provides 15 acres of go kart racing, arcade, ropes course, mini golf and more! Grand Prix Tampa is located at 14320 N Nebraska Ave.

Turning right on Skipper Rd., you will find yourself at the famous Skipper's Smokehouse. "Hippies use the side door," as this hippie haven/restaurant/music venue serves up delicious wings and smokin' tunes nightly!

The Route 1 provides transfer options at 3 different HART Facilities: Marion Transit Center, Yukon Transfer Center and University Area Transit Center (UATC).

Our northbound Route 1 trip ends at UATC.

From Ramen, to landmarks, HART Takes You There.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Extended Streetcar Service for Tampa Bay Lightning Playoff Push!

Be the Thunder! Extended streetcar service during playoff push.
HART is ALL IN for the Tampa Bay Lightning's Stanley Cup run! The TECO Line Streetcar System is extending regular streetcar service hours for all Tampa Bay Lightning home playoff games.

Streetcar service will operate until 30 minutes following the end of all weekday games (Friday/Saturday service already ends at 1:30 a.m.).


With over 20,000+ fans converging on the Amalie Arena, 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 Amalie Arena!


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 System fares and regular service hours can be found at www.TECOlinestreetcar.org.

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

Go BOLTS!

Streetcar service hours during Lightning playoff push:
  • Game 1 - Wednesday, April 27, 2016: 7:00 p.m. - 30 minutes following the end of the game

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Route of the Week: Route 18

With a diverse service area roughly the size of Rhode Island, Hillsborough County provides a great mix of urban, suburban and rural destinations for our riders. Think about the destinations that you can see and experience with the HART transportation network!

This week we explore the Route 18! The Route 18 operates 30 minute weekday service and hourly weekend service from The University area to Downtown Tampa.

Route 18 serves a number of USF student housing
Operating near The University of South Florida (USF), Route 18 serves a number of student housing complexes, including (but not limited to): Campus Lodge, The Livingston, The Social at South Florida and Reflections Apartments.

Transversing the northwest corner of The USF Tampa campus, Route 18 is a great option for non-emergency medical trips with a trio of Hospital/Medical Centers served: Florida Hospital - Tampa, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and, the Veteran's Administration (VA) Hospital. Seniors, ages 65+, and those with disabilities, are eligible for 50% off normal fare.

Botanical Gardens features over 3,000 plants, animals & more
A somewhat hidden gem on the USF campus, The USF Botanical Gardens, is 16 acres of gardens, with over 3,000 plants, animals and natural habitats. Admission to the gardens is only $5.00 for adults, and free for children under the age of 6.

Continuing our southward trek, Route 18 operates on the western side of Busch Gardens, with only a short walk to the park entrance. "Race" a cheetah at 60 mph, or feel the fury of a falcon, with a 300-ft drop at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay!

Whether it's racquetball at Alfred "Al" Barns, Jr. Park, or soccer (and hopefully soon, swimming) at Cuscaden Park, Route 18 has your outdoor activity needs covered.

On our way into Ybor City, Hillsborough Community College (HCC) students will be happy to see Route 18 connects to the Ybor Campus at 15th St. and 11th Ave. HCC students receive discounts on a 31-day pass, and the HCC Semester Pass provides four months of unlimited rides for $110. This deal breaks down to roughly four months of rides, for the price of two months.

Soon after, we are back in Downtown Tampa at Marion Transit Center, with connection to 25+ routes, including inter-city connections via PSTA, Megabus, and RedCoach!

From campus to coasters, HART Takes You There.
 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Tampa Fun for Frozen Four

A champion will be crowned in Tampa!
The Frozen Four and Tampa, Florida conjures up the image of an ice cube in the sun.

Despite the warm climate however, Tampa Bay is Hockey Bay and this week has Tampa at the center of the biggest week in NCAA Men's Hockey - the Frozen Four. HART would like to offer a big welcome to all the Boston College, Quinnipiac, Denver and North Dakota athletes, students and fans. Tampa has a number of attractions and things to do while you're in town!

Use HART to get to the following Tampa attractions and avoid renting a car and the parking hassles:
  • Amalie Arena - Route 8, The In-Towner, TECO Line Streetcar
  • Adventure Island - Route 5
  • Busch Gardens - Routes 5, 18, 39
  • Florida Aquarium - Route 8 and the TECO Line Streetcar
  • Channelside Bay Plaza (Dining, retail, Splitsville and Channelside Cinemas) - Route 8, the TECO Line Streetcar
  • Ybor City Historic District (Centro Ybor) - Routes 8, 12, the TECO Line Streetcar
  • Glazer's Children Museum - Routes 7, 10, The In-Towner
  • International Plaza (Shopping) - 15, 30, 61LX
  • Lowry Park Zoo - Routes 41, 45
  • Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) - Route 6
  • David A. Straz Jr. Center - Route 7,10, The In-Towner, TECO Line Streetcar
  • Tampa Convention Center - Route 4, 19, The In-Towner, TECO Line Streetcar
  • Tampa Museum of Art - Routes 7, 10, The In-Towner
  • Westshore Plaza (Shopping) - Routes 15, 30, 45, HARTFlex South Tampa
  • Tampa Theatre - Route 4, 8, 19, 30, 46, The In-Towner, TECO Line Streetcar
A schedule of Frozen Four events can be found here.

Convenient service to airport!
Flying out? Route 30 runs between downtown and Tampa International Airport every 30 minutes on weekdays and weekends. Service begins at 4:30 a.m. through midnight during the week and 7 a.m. to 12:20 a.m. on the weekends.

A 3-day Visitor Unlimited HARTride card is your best bet at only $11.75 and valid on all HART local buses, The In-Towner and the TECO Line Streetcar System.

Things to know about The In-Towner and TECO Line Streetcar System:
  • The In-Towner: The FREE In-Towner makes stops at popular locations in downtown Tampa weekdays; 6 - 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 - 6 p.m. The In-Towner operates on a 15-minute frequency with a stop at Amalie Arena. 
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  • TECO Line Streetcar Line: The streetcar line runs on rails that connect Ybor City, The Channel District and Downtown Tampa, which includes a stop at Amalie Arena. It operates Noon - 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday*, and 11 a.m. - 1:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Service runs every 20 minutes except on Friday and Saturday from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m., when service is 30 minutes.  Streetcar Operators do not provide change.

    *Streetcar service is being extended on Thursday, April 7, until 11 p.m. or game end, whichever is later.
It's easy to plan your own trip! Visit www.goHART.org to use the Google Trip Planner feature or call 813-254-HART (4278). Get HART real-time service information on-the-go with OneBusAway Tampa.

Click here for a map of downtown Tampa's network of public transportation service, including streetcar stops, The In-Towner and HART bus routes.

Have a great time taking in the Frozen Four and while you're here, we hope you enjoy all that Tampa has to offer!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Route of the Week: Route 4

With a diverse service area roughly the size of Rhode Island, Hillsborough County provides a great mix of urban, suburban and rural destinations for our riders. Think about the destinations that you can see and experience with the HART transportation network!

This week, we explore the Route 4! The Route 4 operates hourly service from HART Marion Transit Center southward to the Ballast Point/Gadsden Park area. Route 4 operates Monday-Friday from 5:30 a.m. - 7:45 p.m.

Heading southward from Marion Transit Center, Route 4 meanders through South Tampa.

Take the Route 4 to Cinebistro!
Along Swann Ave, the rejuvenated Hyde Park Village, is home to a mix of restaurants (Bartaco, Irish 31, Timpano, etc.), retail (Brooks Brothers, London Philips, etc) and services. Cinebistro, an upscale theater, featuring in-theater dining and large leather recliners, is located across the street from the complex. Riders can pick up the Route 4 in front of Brooks Brothers.

Continuing our trip along Swann Ave. to S. Howard Ave., the Route 4 serves the unofficial SOHO restaurant row: Daily Eats, Green Lemon, Ciccio/Water, etc.

Turning onto Palm Dr., the Route 4 serves Fred Ball Park, which houses a gazebo, picnic area and open green space for Frisbee and other outdoor activities. A little fun fact, the large open field that now encompasses Fred Ball Park, was once a fresh water spring!

Those looking to connect to other routes, can do so at our next stop, Britton Plaza Transfer Center.  Located in the Britton Plaza Shopping Center, Route 4 riders can connect to Routes 19,36, HARTFlex South Tampa and PSTA 100X.

Two more parks, Skyview Park and Gadsden Park, featuring play courts, ball fields, playground, grills, picnic area, and restrooms complete our southbound trip.

Heading back northbound, Route 4 splits at S. Blvd. and Platt St. heading into Downtown Tampa. Route 4 continues along Channelside Dr., with service to The Tampa Convention Center and Amalie Arena, before arriving back at Marion Transit Center.

From ball fields, to Buddy Brew, HART Takes You There.