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Friday, January 16, 2015

Set Sail to Gasparilla with HART and The TECO Line Streetcar!

Take the Streetcar to the pirate festivities!
Arrgh you ready?! Have your sights set on Gasparilla? Well, set sail with HART and the TECO Line Streetcar. We're rolling out extra streetcar, bus and trolley service to ensure a safe and easy way to get around during Gasparilla on Saturday, Jan. 31 

HART strongly recommends riders to board the TECO Line Streetcar System at either Station 1 (Centennial Park) or Station 2 (Tampa Bay Federal Credit Union) (TBFCU). For those parking in Ybor City, Station 3 (Streetcar Society Station) and Station 4 (Cadrecha Station) HART will be providing continuous bus service to/from Downtown Tampa, Station 10 (Dick Greco Plaza) 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Exact change is the fastest way to get on buses and streetcars during the parade. HART is by far the most convenient and affordable way to travel to the Gasparilla parade. You can purchase all-day $4.00 bus passes, or $5.00 streetcar passes.

HART will run extra streetcar, bus and trolley service to accommodate the large numbers of anticipated riders, with continuous service throughout the day. (Please note that routes are subject to change due to road closures.)
    
Below are important details to make the trip to the Gasparilla parade easier:



  • $5 for an all-day pass, which may be purchased in advance with cash (exact change required) at ticket vending machines, located at each streetcar station. *This fare does not cover the City of Tampa parking fees.
  • For those parking in Ybor City, take the streetcar from Ybor City, Station 1 (Centennial Park) or Station 2 (TBFCU) to Downtown Tampa, Station 10 (Dick Greco Plaza).
  • Continuous service 9 a.m.-1:30 a.m.
  • TECO Line Streetcar System Stations 3 and 4 will be closed 10 a.m.-2 p.m., but during that time, HART will provide continuous bus service to/from Station 10 (Dick Greco Plaza) between 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Stations 11 will be closed all day. View Map for Gasparilla 2015 -- Streetcar and Bus service  
  • Stations 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 will be closed 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

  • $4 for an all-day pass, which may be purchased in advance at HART retail outlets or on board buses on Gasparilla Day with cash only (no change provided). Monthly bus passes may also be used. *This fare does not cover City of Tampa parking fees.
  • For those parking in Ybor City, Station 3 (Streetcar Society Station) and Station 4 (Cadrecha Station) HART will be providing continuous bus service to/from Downtown Tampa, Station 10 (Dick Greco Plaza) 10 a.m.-7 p.m.  
  • For those parking at the Port Authority Parking Garage in the Channel District, HART will be providing continuous bus service to/from Station 10 (Dick Greco Plaza) 10 a.m.-7 p.m. View Map for Gasparilla 2015 -- Streetcar and Bus service  
In-Town Trolley

  • 25¢ with cash only (exact change required) or streetcar/bus all-day passes accepted.
  • The In-Town Trolley provides a connection from the north end of Downtown Tampa (Marion Transit Center) to the south end of Downtown Tampa, Station 10 (Dick Greco Plaza). View Map for Gasparilla 2015 -- Streetcar and Bus service
  • Continuous service 9 a.m.-6 p.m.  
Getting to Downtown Tampa on HART

Detours
Routes 7, 8, 14, 19, and 30 will be on detour during the festivities.

Make sure to party like a responsible pirate!

Monday, January 12, 2015

HART sees big ridership growth in December



HART ridership continued to be strong in December with 1.27 million boardings, an increase of 5.7 percent from last year. Fiscal year to date ridership is 4.1 percent ahead of the same period last year with HART on track to exceed over 15 million boardings in FY2015. All this, while gas prices are the lowest in six years!

The most recent ridership report shows total passenger trips for December reached
1,272,735. That's 69,006 more riders choosing HART to get around Hillsborough County in December 2014 compared to the same month last year.
2014 was a critical year for HART with record ridership, further recognition of its innovative transit system and new community partnerships. Ridership gains and system improvements continue to be fueled by efforts to position HART as a better way to travel around Hillsborough County.
 
"Just as our current passengers are using our service more, we continue to attract new passengers with service and amenities that are increasingly relevant and attractive," said HART Chief Executive Officer Katharine Eagan. "Public transit in Hillsborough County continues to improve, and I encourage people who haven't been on a bus lately to give it a try."
   
Fast facts: 
  • December 3 saw the greatest daily ridership throughout the month with 58,662 riders picking HART! 
  • 14 days exceeded 50,000 riders.
  • MetroRapid ridership was 49,584 up 8.3 percent from December 2013 and up 2.8 percent (149,506) for the year.
  • Year-to-date (FY2014 vs. FY2015), bus ridership is up 4.1 percent; an increase of 155,170 trips compared to the same period last year.
     
The following routes are our highest percentage gainers so far in FY2015,* showing that added investment in public transit pays off with more riders:   
  • Route 46 (Downtown Tampa/Brandon via Causeway Blvd.): +140.5 percent increase (Removed from Davis Islands and extended in Brandon to Dover Rd. + midday service added.) 
  • Route 57 (UATC/Temple Terrace/Netp@rk Transfer Center via Temple Temple Terrace): +25.4 percent increase (Saturday service added)
  • Route 37 (Brandon/Netp@rk Transfer Center via Grand Regency Plaza): +17.5 percent increase (Sunday service added)
  • Route 6 (Downtown Tampa to University Area Transit Center via 56th St.): +14.6 percent increase (Frequency increased in the midday from 30 to 20 minutes)
(*Each of these routes were enhanced in FY2014.)

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, January 6, 2015

January HART Board Recap: Officers Confirmed, Streetcar Study


Councilman Mike Suarez
Councilman Mike Suarez remains Board Chair
The HART Board of Directors approved the 2015 slate of officers at its regular monthly meeting held on January 5, 2015.

The Nominating Committee met in December to select a slate of officers and committee appointments to be voted on by the full Board. On Monday, the Board confirmed most of the nominating committee's selections, naming Tampa City Councilman Mike Suarez for a second full term as Chair. During the interactive voting process of HART Officers, Director Karen Jaroch was nominated as HART Board Vice Chair and Commissioner Sandra Murman as HART Board Secretary. Both were approved and confirmed by the HART Board of Directors. 

Appointments to Other Boards and Committees:
Tampa Historic Streetcar, Inc. Board
Members: Bryan Crino, Mickey Jacob, Councilman Eddie Vance
Alternates: Wallace Bowers, Councilman Mike Suarez, Karen Jaroch

Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization Board
Member: Josh Burgin
Alternate: Wallace Bowers

Transportation Disadvantaged Coordinating Board
Member: Commissioner Stacy White   
Alternate: Kathleen Shanahan 

Claims and Litigation Committee
Chair: Bryan Crino
Alternate: Kathleen Shanahan   

ADA Committee
Member: Commissioner Sandra Murman
Alternate:  Commissioner Kevin Beckner 

Audit Committee 
Members: C. John Melendez, Karen Jaroch, Wallace Bowers, Councilman Eddie Vance    

Finance, Governance and Administration Committee
Members: Karen Jaroch, Bryan Crino, Commissioner Sandra Murman, Commissioner Kevin Beckner, Councilman Eddie Vance, Kathleen Shanahan, Wallace Bowers
               
Major Projects and Legislative Committee
Members: Commissioner Lesley "Les" Miller, Mickey Jacob, Wallace Bowers, Josh Burgin, Karen Jaroch, Kathleen Shanahan, Councilman Eddie Vance
 
In addition, Chairman Councilman Suarez created an Ad-Hoc HART Board bylaws committee that would meet to review HART Rule of Procedures and Committee structure and schedule.  

Also on the agenda, HART Board approved a motion updating the HART Environmental Policy to ensure full compliance with
International Organization for Standardization (IOS) and to reaffirm the agency's commitment to pollution prevention.        
       
Possible alignment using Tampa St. and Florida Ave.
During the meeting, Steve Schukraft, AICP, of HDR Inc., offered a presentation of results from the analysis of an extension of the Streetcar system via various corridors including the Marion Transitway to the Marion Transit Center, as well as scenarios for fleet upgrades. The study explores the potential benefits of creating a modern streetcar extension through the heart of downtown Tampa to the Marion Transit Center. After the presentation several HART Board of Directors discussed HART taking a greater leadership role in the streetcar expansion.        
 
In other matters, the HART Board approved the final Chief Executive Officer's employment agreement. 

Next Regular Board of Directors Meetings 

The HART Regular Board of Directors will take place Monday, February 2, 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.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Guide to Getting Around Tampa for the 2015 Outback Bowl!


New Year's Eve is coming up and we've got a big time college football bonanza to bring in the New Year!

Welcome to Tampa for the 2015 Outback Bowl!
HART and the TECO Line Streetcar System would like to welcome all the Auburn University and University of Wisconsin coaches, players and fans to Tampa for the 2015 Outback Bowl!

We understand the difficulties in attempting to navigate the local public transportation scene without an idea on what to see and do and how to get there. So, we created this guide that breaks down some of Tampa's best attractions and how to get there with HART and the TECO Line Streetcar!

Use HART to get to the following Tampa attractions and avoid the parking hassles:

  • Busch Gardens - Routes 5, 18, 39
  • Lowry Park Zoo - Routes 41, 45
  • Florida Aquarium - Route 8, the TECO Line Streetcar
  • Channelside Bay Plaza (Dining, retail, Splitsville) - Route 8, the TECO Line Streetcar
  • Ybor City Historic District (Centro Ybor) - Routes 8, 5, 9, 12, 18, 46 the TECO Line Streetcar
  • International Plaza (Shopping) - 15, 30, 61LX
  • Lowry Park Zoo - Routes 41, 45
  • Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) - Route 6, 21LX
  • Amalie Arena - Route 8, In-Town Trolley, TECO Line Streetcar
  • David A. Straz Jr. Center - 7, 10, 14, In-Town Trolley
  • Tampa Convention Center - Route 4, 19, In-Town Trolley, TECO Line Streetcar
  • Tampa Museum of Art - Routes 7, 10, 14, In-Town Trolley
  • Tampa Theatre - Route 4, 8, 19, 30, 46, In-Town Trolley
  • Glazer's Children Museum - Routes 7, 10, 14, In-Town Trolley
  • University of South Florida - Routes 5, 6, 18, 21LX, MetroRapid
  • Westshore Plaza (Shopping) - Routes 15, 30, 45, HARTFlex South Tampa
  • Raymond James Stadium (Home of the Outback Bowl) - Routes 7, 32, 36, 41, 45

Only $2.00 for a one-way ride!

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 6:30 a.m. to midnight p.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, MetroRapid, In-Town Trolley and the TECO Line Streetcar System.

Things to know about the In-Town Trolley and TECO Line Streetcar System:

In-Town Trolley:  The In-Town Trolley is a rubber-wheel trolley that operates on a 15-minute frequency, serving popular locations in downtown Tampa and costs only 25¢! Service operates 6:30 - 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 - 6:00 p.m.; weekdays only.

The TECO Line Streetcar at Dick Greco Plaza
TECO Line Streetcar System: The streetcar line runs on rails that connects Ybor City, Channelside and Downtown Tampa. It operates 12 p.m. - 10 p.m. Monday - Thursday, 11 a.m. - 1:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and Noon - 8 p.m. on Sunday. Streetcar Operators do not provide change.

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).

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

New Year's Eve Service

Spending the New Year in Tampa? The TECO Line Streetcar System will operate until 1:00 a.m. to serve those attending the Fireworks Display in Channelside. HART will operate on a Sunday service level for New Year's Day.

Have a great time watching the Tigers take on the Badgers in the New Year's Day showdown and enjoy all that Tampa has to offer!

Friday, December 19, 2014

HART Unveils Streetcar Modernization and Expansion Study



Tampa St./Florida Ave. is one alignment that was studied.
On Wednesday, December 17, the Tampa Historic Streetcar Board of Directors received the final Tampa Historic Streetcar Extension Study, undertaken by HART to explore the potential benefits of creating a modern streetcar extension through the heart of downtown Tampa to the Marion Transit Center. Those dynamic benefits would greatly complement the project proposed by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, and Strategic Property Partners LLC.

HART Board Chair, Councilman Mike Suarez, echoed the sentiment of Mr. Vinik, who stated that his development company Strategic Property Partners LLC are looking to take a leadership role in creating a more robust transportation system in downtown, including an improved streetcar system and enhanced bus service. "HART is excited to be an active partner in the revitalization in the Channelside District," Suarez said, "and it gives me great pride that the TECO Streetcar System is part of Mr. Vinik's vision plan for bringing improved transportation services to the community along with improved access to jobs and economic investment in this corridor."
HART remains committed to innovation for the benefit of the communities it serves including economic, social, and environmentally responsible technological improvements. The Tampa Historic Streetcar Extension Study represents the latest in a long history of leading initiatives HART has undertaken as a transit leader in Tampa as well as the entire state of Florida and the nation as a whole.

Click here to download a copy of the final study. As a note, the Streetcar Modernization and Expansion Study focused specifically on possible extension alignments directly/indirectly serving Marion Transit Center. This does not rule out future extensions serving other areas.