Wednesday, July 26, 2017

HART is Hitting the Reset Button!

FY18 System Redesign outreach by the numbers!
After an exhaustive outreach schedule of over 40 meetings, we are now to the "finish line" of the public input portion of this process, which began back in March.

The Public Hearing for the HART FY2018 system redesign took place at the HART Administrative Office on July 26th, from 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. This was the final opportunity for public comments on the proposal.

HART staff is reviewing comments from the Public Hearing and working on further revisions to the proposal before its final destination.

The HART Board will have the final word on the system redesign proposal at their August 7th meeting. If approved, the proposal would be scheduled for implementation on Sunday, October 8th, 2017.

Public Involvement

79% of respondents wanted more frequent service over better coverage
While the HART Board might have the final say, the public truly shaped the plan.

At the March workshops, we asked riders to choose between better coverage (shorter walk to the bus stop) vs. higher frequency (buses come more often). Overwhelmingly (79%), the public choose higher frequency. We based the current proposal on that principle.

Roughly 80% of HART riders will see improvement in overall travel times:

Higher Frequency
  • MetroRapid - Service increased to every 12 minutes  
  • Route 1 - Weekday service increased to every 15 minutes
  • Route 12 - Weekday service increased to every 15 minutes (FY19)
  • Route 14 - Weekday service increased to every 30 minutes
  • Route 16 - Weekday service increased to every 30 minutes (FY19)
  • Route 34 - Weekday service increased to every 20 minutes (FY19)

Expanded Service
  • MetroRapid - Saturday and Sunday service added
  • Route 9 - Earlier weekend service
  • Route 14 - Sunday service added
  • Route 16 - Sunday service added 
  • Route 32 - Service extended to Tampa International Airport
  • Route 46 - Sunday service added; service extended to Brandon Regional Hospital

New Connections
  • Route 60LX - All-day, hourly, limited stop service between Northwest Transfer Center, Tampa International Airport, Downtown Tampa, and Westfield Brandon
  • Route 275LX - All-day, hourly, limited stop weekday service between UATC, Downtown Tampa, and Tampa International Airport (FY19)
  • Route 360LX - All-day, hourly, limited stop service between Westfield Brandon, Downtown Tampa, Britton Plaza, and MacDill AFB
Route 60LX and 360LX will be "staggered" from Westfield Brandon Mall, providing 30 minute service between Brandon and Downtown Tampa.

Bringing a massive system redesign to the public has not been easy. After countless meetings, and sifting through public comments, we realized there were areas where the proposal fell short.

We've heard you
and now have revisions to our initial system redesign proposal.

 Proposal Revisions
Revisions from the initial FY18 System Redesign Proposal


  • MetroRapid - Route 33 will operate portion of previous MetroRapid service between UATC and the Hidden River / Telecom Park area
  • 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
  • Route 39 - Would only use the 50th St./ Puritan Rd./ Sligh Ave. segment
  • Route 42 - New route would travel Skipper Rd./ Bearss Ave., as well as, take place of Route 45 from Yukon to UATC, via 15th St.
  • Route 45 - Route would end at Yukon with 42 covering Yukon to UATC
Click here to view a map of the initial revisions to the system redesign proposal.
Following feedback at the Public Hearing, we are working on further revisions and will make those public ASAP.

Please note: Due to expected overflow, the August 7th HART Board meeting is being moved to County Center, 601 E Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33602.

HART hits the “reset” button on our network in October. We hope to see you on board!

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Future is GREEN at HART!

"Rideshare" Public transportation!
Being the original "rideshare," public transportation has always been synonymous with "going green." It's easy to see why, with 40 or so passengers sharing a trip to work, school, etc., reducing carbon emissions, and relieving congestion on already crowded highways.

However, a factor that typically doesn't make it to the forefront of rider's minds is the environmental sustainability of the transit organization itself.

In 2016, HART received ISO 14001 certification for our Environmental and Sustainability Management System (ESMS) program. A certification process that started in 2013, ISO 14001 certification provides assurances to our community that are practices are environmentally friendly. Internally, the HART ESMS program provides a framework for us to continuously take steps to reduce pollution and improve our environmental footprint on the Tampa Bay region.

HART is 1st FL transit agency to have ESMS program ISO14001 certified!
HART is one of only a select number of transit agencies nationwide (13th in the nation, at time of certification,) and the only agency in Florida to achieve ISO 14001 certification.

Through the ESMS program, HART has:
  • Introduced recycling programs at Marion Transit Center and the HART Administrative Building in Ybor City, recycling 28.45 tons in 2016.
  • Reduced energy consumption at the HART Administrative Office in 2016 over 16,000 kWhs, or roughly 25% over 2015.

A big part of the ESMS program has been our fleet transition to Compressed Natural Gas. HART was the first transit organization in Florida to transition from diesel, to CNG buses and vans.

HART reduced carbon emissions from buses and vans in FY16 by 22.09% over FY13, when the CNG transition began.

In fact, HART recently hit a milestone with our CNG program. Since 2014, HART vehicles have consumed the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) equivalent of 1,000,000 gallons of diesel fuel. These CNG equivalency units are commonly referred to as Diesel Gallon Equivalents (DGEs).

HART has also reduced its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2,826 metric tons. This is the equivalent of taking 597 passenger cars off the road for one year. Since 2015, HART estimates it has saved approximately $720,000 using natural gas, when compared to the cost of diesel fuel.

The Future

HART is expecting to replace more than half of our existing fleet by 2021, with the ongoing fleet transition expected to be complete by 2025. The agency currently has 25 CNG buses, with another 25 CNG buses to be delivered by October 2017. This is in addition to 39 CNG HARTPlus vans, and eight CNG HARTFlex vans.

Solar as an option? HART is currently evaluating potential facilities for possible solar projects to reduce overall energy consumption, and at our Operations and Maintenance facility, neutralize rising consumption related to our CNG transition. Marion Transit Center and the HART Administrative Office are the other potential candidates for this project. We are hoping to release an RFP for the project in March 2018, following a facility audit.

Charging the future! Electric charging stations could also be coming to a few HART facilities (HART Operations and Maintenance, Marion Transit Center, and the Hidden River Park-and-Ride) for both customers and employees.

So there you have it. When you're riding on HART, you're not only saving money, but also the environment. And behind the scenes, your transit system is too!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

HART FY2018 System Redesign: South Tampa and Westshore

The July 26th Public Hearing is less than a week away! Still unsure how the proposed FY2018 system redesign affects your area? Stick with us as we breakdown the changes for South Tampa and the Westshore area.

If you are not aware, HART is undergoing a major system redesign, in which EVERY route will be affected in some way.


Map of the proposed FY2018 system redesign for South Tampa/Westshore

Summary of Changes:

  • Service Additions: 
    • Route 11: Proposed new service from Downtown to Main St., Spruce St. and International Plaza, with new stops.
    • Route 17: Proposed new service would cover part of Route 19 from Britton Plaza Transfer Center to O’Brien/Idaho.
    • Route 60LX: Proposed all-day service would provide hourly service between Brandon Mall, Downtown Tampa. Tampa International Airport, and Northwest Transfer Center.
    • Route 275LX: Proposed all-day service would provide hourly service between University Area Transit Center, Downtown Tampa, and Tampa International Airport. 
    • Route 360LX: Proposed all-day service would provide hourly connections between Westfield Brandon Mall, Downtown Tampa, Britton Plaza and MacDill Air Force Base. Combined with 60LX service, 30 minute LX service would exist from Westfield Brandon to Downtown Tampa.
  • Route 4:
    • Downtown/South Tampa: Route 4 would be removed and replaced by Route 19, from Marion Transit Center to Britton Plaza Transfer Center.
    • South Tampa: Route 4 would be replaced by new all-day limited express route (360LX), which would operate between Britton Plaza to MacDill AFB. redesigned Route 19 would cover portions of Route 4. 
    • South Tampa would also be served by HARTFlex.
  • Route 7:
    • Would now operate between Downtown and HCC-Dale Mabry campus. Connections from HCC to Citrus Park would be provided on Routes 36 and 39.
    • Hyde Park: Route would shift from Howard/Armenia to North Blvd. via
      Columbus Ave. Route 14 would serve Howard/Armenia to Swann Ave.
    • West Tampa Transfer Center: Route would no longer enter the Transfer Center.
  • Route 14:
    • Route would increase frequency to every 30 minutes on weekdays.
    • Hyde Park: Route would run down Howard/Armenia to Swann Ave. North Blvd. stops would be served by Route 7.
    • Route 30/Kennedy Blvd. would provide access to the Marion Transit Center.
    • Overall: Weekday/Weekend service would operate 6 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Sunday service would be added.
  • Route 15:
    • East Tampa: Eastern end of the route would run from Columbus Dr. north to Netp@rk Transfer Center on 50th St., with new stops. Route would no longer serve Orient Road Jail.
     
  • Route 17: Route will utilize Manhattan Ave.
  • Route 19:
    • Downtown: Route would shift from Transitway to Florida Ave./Tampa St.
    • Hyde Park: Route would shift slightly from Cleveland to Swann Ave. after serving Tampa General Hospital.
    • South Tampa: The route would end at Britton Plaza Transfer Center.
  • Route(s) 24LX/25LX:
    • Routes would operate with similar schedule with added stops in Downtown Tampa.
  • Route 30:
    • Downtown: Minor route shift from Transitway to Florida Ave./Tampa St. 
    • Airport: Route would run from downtown/Marion Transit Center to Tampa International Airport. New Route 60LX would provide service to the Northwest Transfer Center.
    • Route 32:
      • West Tampa: Route would no longer use the West Tampa Transfer Center. Transfers would take place on Dale Mabry Hwy.
      • Orient Park: Route would no longer shift onto Broadway.
      • Route would be expanded to operate between Netp@rk Transfer Center and Tampa International Airport. Service from Netp@rk Transfer Center to the Mango Walmart would be provided by the new Route 38.
      • Route 36:
        • South Tampa: Route would provide service to Britton Plaza Transfer Center. New all-day 360LX would serve Britton Plaza to MacDill AFB hourly.
      • Route 45:
        • East Tampa/University Area: Route would serve Yukon Transfer center, and run on 15th St. between Linebaugh Ave. and University Area Transit Center.
        • North Tampa: Route would run on Florida Ave., between Waters and Linebaugh.
        • Carrollwood: Route would shift from Himes Ave. to Dale Mabry Hwy.
        • University Area: HyperLINK service available within the zone.
      • HARTFlex South Tampa:
        • HARTFlex South Tampa is being adjusted north to Cypress to cover part of the current Route 10.
      South Tampa and the Westshore area will see the addition of 5 new routes, including new all-day, limited stop connections to Brandon, MacDill AFB, Tampa International Airport, and the University area.

      Weekday frequency would increase to 30 minutes on route 14, and routes 14 and 19 would expand operating hours.

      The remainder of the changes involve routing. Click here for an interactive map, showing proposed routing and stops. Please note schedules provided on the page are for planning purposes only. October 2017 schedules are currently being developed.

      We have tried our best to minimize any coverage loss and to provide alternatives for eliminated service. Should you find yourself in such a situation, a vanpool may make a great option. Visit TBARTA's website for more information.

      Take an online survey regarding the HART system redesign!
      Please also note, these are proposed changes, that must be approved by the HART Board. A Public Hearing will be held at the HART Administrative Office (1201. E. 7th Ave., Tampa, FL, 33605) on July 26th, from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Public comment will be available at that time.

      In the meantime, visit goHART.org/TDP to see upcoming meetings, take a survey, share comments, and learn more about the HART system redesign process!


      Monday, July 17, 2017

      Taking a Look at How HART is Funded

      HART keeps Hillsborough County on the move!
      Liza used to say "Money makes the world go around". So, while HART keeps Hillsborough County residents on the move, ultimately, the almighty dollar makes the wheels on the bus go around.

      With that said, let's take a look at how HART is funded.

      Let's get something out of the way upfront, as it's almost always brought up in regards to transit funding. Public transportation is NOT a money maker, and does not pay for itself. Even our transportation friends in the private sector are finding profitability challenging.

      Paying your $2.00 HART fare in 2017 only covers roughly 22.5% of the cost of operating that trip! For those commuting on the other side of the Bay, that drops to only 18% or so. This is not just relative to the Tampa Bay area. DART, in Dallas, recovers roughly 15%, while MTA, the New York Subway system, recovers roughly 38%.

      So, if fares only cover 22.5% of the true cost of operations, where does the rest of the funding come from? Here is a breakdown of the HART budget:
      • Fares and Passes Revenue: 22.5%
      • Advertising Income: 1.7%
      • Other Income (MegaBus, RedCoach, Commuter Ads): 0.5%
      • Ad Valorem Tax Revenue: 51.7%
      • Federal Grants: 14.7%
      • State Grants: 7.7%
      • Local Funds: 1.3%
      As you can see, HART is funded from a variety of sources from advertising, to state and federal funding. The largest portion of this is actually via Hillsborough County Ad Valorem/property tax revenue. HART is currently capped at a millage rate of .5000. A millage rate is the amount per $1,000 used to calculate property taxes owed.

      To make this example easy, let's say your home is valued at $100,000. Your portion to HART would be $100,000 / $1,000 (millage rate is per $1,000) x .5000 (millage rate for HART) = $50. So, HART receives $50 from your property taxes.

      In Pinellas, PSTA currently operates on a millage rate of .7500, with 59% of their budget coming from property taxes.

      There has recently been talk about possibly raising the millage rate cap for HART from the current .5000. Let's take a look at what that would mean for Hillsborough home owners.

      First, due to the organization's charter, the HART Board would have to approve the notion of raising the millage, and then the County Commission and city councils of Tampa and Temple Terrace would also have to approve it. Voters would ultimately have the final word, in the form of a county referendum.

      So, going back to the original example, a homeowner with a house valuation of $100,000 with a millage rate equal to PSTA at .7500 (as an example) would see a rise of their property tax of roughly $25 annually.

      What would this mean for HART?

      HART received $38,872,885 in property tax in FY17, from $77,745,771 overall in taxable value of Hillsborough County properties. Based off of those numbers, HART would receive $58,309,328 for the year - an increase of roughly $20 million.

      HART FY2027 Transit Needs Plan
      What could HART do with that funding?

      Additional funding would accelerate the implementation of the HART 10-year "Needs Plan," with the possibility of additional service not currently included in that plan.

      This means more buses and vans, more frequently, covering more territory, to get people to work, play, etc.

      The HART Board discussed raising the millage rate at their meeting on 7/17. Director Kemp requested information on how other peer cities fund transit. HART staff will review data and come back at a later date to brief the Board.

      Stay tuned to our social channels for updates!

      Monday, July 10, 2017

      HART FY2018 System Redesign: Carrollwood and University Area

      We move northward to the Carrollwood and University Area this week, as we continue to breakdown the HART system redesign.

      If you are not aware, HART is undergoing a major system redesign, in which EVERY route will be affected in some way.

      Map of Carrollwood and University Area after proposed system redesign in October 2017.

      Summary of Changes:

      • Service Additions: 
        • Route 275LX: Proposed all-day service would provide hourly service between University Area Transit Center, Downtown Tampa, and Tampa International Airport.
      • Route 1:
        • Route would increase frequency to every 15 minutes weekdays south of Hillsborough Ave.; every 30 minutes north of Hillsborough Ave., with new stops.
        • Downtown: Route would travel on Florida Ave. and Tampa St. to Whiting St., with new stops.
        • University Area: Route would run along Fletcher Ave., with the area north of Fletcher served by HyperLINK.
        • Yukon Transfer Center: Stop at the center would be moved to Florida Ave.
      • Route 2:
        • Route would be removed and replaced by MetroRapid, which would increase frequency to every 12 minutes weekdays; addition of weekend service.
        • Some current Route 2 stops would be added to MetroRapid. 
      • Route 5:
        • University area: Route would run along Fowler Ave., with new stops
        • North of Fowler: Connections would be available through HyperLINK
        • University area: Stops on USF campus would be served by the USF Bull Runner and HyperLINK

      • Route 6: University area/Temple Terrace: Route would run on 56th St. from Netp@rk Transfer Center to Fletcher Ave., with new stops. USF campus stops would be served by USF Bull Runner and HyperLINK (50th St. would be served by Route 39).
      • Route 9:
        • East Tampa: Route would serve 30th St., starting at Hillsborough Ave., with new stops.
        • Route 16 would serve Waters Ave. stops, Route 1 would serve Florida Ave. stops,and Route 45 would serve Linebaugh/15th St.
        • All stops:  Weekend service would begin an hour earlier – at 6 a.m.
      • Route 12: Route would increase frequency to every 15 minutes weekdays 5 a.m.-7 p.m.
      • Route 14:
        • Route would increase frequency to every 30 minutes on weekdays 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
        • Hyde Park: Route would run down Howard/Armenia to Swann (North Blvd. stops would be served by Route 7. Route 30/Kennedy Blvd. would provide access to the Marion Transit Center.)
        • Weekday and Saturday service would start at 6 a.m.
        • Sunday service would be added.
      • Route 16:
        • Route would operate every 30 minutes on weekdays.
        • Sulphur Springs: Route would extend east to Rowlett Park.
        • Sunday service would be added.
        • Saturday service would shift to hourly.
        • Yukon Transfer Center: Route would no longer enter Transfer Center.
      • Route 36: South Tampa: Route would provide service to Britton Plaza Transfer Center and the new all-day express route (360LX) would serve Britton Plaza to MacDill AFB every hour.
      • Route 39:
        • Temple Terrace: Route would be expanded to Harney Road, with new stops • Temple Terrace: Route would split into alternating trips, east of 56th Street:
        1. 50th St./Puritan Rd./Sligh Ave.  2. Davis/Bullard Pkwy.
        • Lowry Park Central: Route would no longer serve Yukon Transfer Center.
        • East Tampa: Service to Netp@rk Transfer Center would be provided by Route 6.
        • David/Bullard Pkwy. portion would run hourly on weekdays and Saturdays.
      • Route 45:
        • East Tampa/University Area: Route would serve Yukon Transfer center, and run on 15th St. between Linebaugh Ave. and University Area Transit Center.
        • North Tampa: Route would run on Florida Ave. between Waters and Linebaugh.
        • Carrollwood: Route would shift from Himes Ave. to Dale Mabry Hwy.University Area: HyperLINK service available within the zone.
      • MetroRapid:
        • Route would increase frequency to every 12 minutes on weekdays; route would combine with Route 2.
        • MetroRapid would now serve some Route 2 stops and operate on the weekend.
      • Route 20X: No changes.

      Overall, Carrollwood and the University Area will see service improvements on Route(s) 1,9,12,14,16,39, and MetroRapid, with the addition of an all-day connection to Tampa International Airport, and Northwest Transfer Center in the 275LX.

      For those concerned about the lack of service north of Fletcher Ave. We have heard you and are currently reviewing coverage alternatives for this area.

      We have tried our best to minimize any coverage loss and to provide alternatives for eliminated service. Should you find yourself in such a situation, a vanpool may make a great option. Visit TBARTA's website for more information.

      Take an online survey regarding the HART system redesign!
      Please also note, these are proposed changes, that must be approved by the HART Board. A Public Hearing will be held at the HART Administrative Office (1201. E. 7th Ave., Tampa, FL, 33605) on July 26th, from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Public comment will be available at that time.

      In the meantime, visit goHART.org/TDP to see upcoming meetings, take a survey, share comments and learn more about the HART system redesign process!