Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Hop on HART this School Year!

HART serves 20+ colleges throughout Hillsborough County!
Welcome back, students! Another semester is here. If you're planning on using HART this school year, below is a quick reference guide on connecting to HART and the special fares available from your school.

What is HART?

Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) is the public transportation service provider for Hillsborough County. HART serves Hillsborough County's employees, residents and visitors with bus, and van services. HART also operates the 2.7 mile TECO Line Streetcar System, serving the restaurants, attractions and other entertainment venues of Ybor City, the Channel District and downtown Tampa.

Learn how to ride HART here.

HART Adult Student Fare program:

Schools participating in the HART Adult Student Fare program sell HART fare cards to its students for a 25% discount. Students can purchase a 31-Day Local Adult Student Fare Card for only $48.75 (normally $65) at their respective schools by showing their valid student ID. Please note, the adult student discount is not applicable if the pass is purchased at traditional HART sales outlets.

Click here for a listing of participating schools.

What's a fare card worth, if you can't connect to your school?

Luckily, HART has you covered with multiple routes connecting to over 20 colleges in Hillsborough County. Below, you'll find a listing of some of the schools that HART serves with bus, van, and streetcar service.

University of South Florida (USF): 
The following HART routes serve the USF area:
Nine HART routes serve the University Area!
  • MetroRapid North-South - UATC/Fletcher Ave.
  • Route 1 - Florida Ave.
  • Route 5 - 40th St.
  • Route 6 - 56th St.
  • Route 9 - 15th St.
  • Route 12 - 22nd St.
  • Route 33 - Fletcher Ave.
  • Route 42 - U.A.T.C.
  • HART HyperLINK - UATC/Temple Terrace 
Students ride FREE on MetroRapid, HART Local, Limited Express and Flex routes with valid student ID. Faculty and staff ride for just 50¢.

HART HyperLINK, the nation's first transit-operated rideshare service operates in the University area and Temple Terrace. Students within the zone can request a ride to a designated HART stop within the zone for $1.00 per trip, or, ANYWHERE within the zone for $3.00 per trip.

For information on the U-Pass program, click here.

Hillsborough Community College (HCC): 

We have a number of routes serving the HCC campuses around the county:
  • Dale Mabry campus - Route(s) 7, 32, 36, 45
  • Brandon campus - Route 37
  • SouthShore campus - Route(s) 31, HARTFlex South County
  • Ybor City campus - Route(s) 5, 8, 9, 12, the TECO Line Streetcar

HCC Semester Pass: HCC students can purchase the HCC Semester Pass, providing over 4 months of unlimited rides on HART for just $110. That's basically "buy 2 months, get 2 months free"! The Semester Pass can be purchased at all HCC Bookstores.

Students can also purchase a 31-Day Local Adult Student Fare Card for $48.75 at the bookstores of HCC's Dale Mabry, Brandon and Ybor City campuses.
UT students receive a 25% discount on 31-day passes

University of Tampa (UT):

HART serves UT via the following routes:
  • Route 7 - West Tampa/Citrus Park
  • Route 19 - Port Tampa
  • Route 30 - Town 'N Country/Airport
Sanford Brown University:

HART connects to Sanford Brown via HARTFlex South Tampa

Ultimate Medical Academy:

HART connects to the Ultimate Medical Academy via routes 7, 32, 45.

Now that you've purchased your pass, what's the next step?

Plan your school commute with HART

Your best bet is the HART Trip Planner. Simply type in your starting and end points, arrival time/date, hit "get directions," and let the planner do the rest.

Real-time HART arrival information and trip planning is also available with the OneBusAway Tampa app!

You can also call the HARTinfo line at 813-254-4278, or visit us on Facebook and Twitter.

Hopefully, you found this guide helpful, if there is anything else that you think we should include (like your school), let us know in the "comments" section. Have a great semester!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Give the Gift of Independence with the HART Travel Training Program!

Travel Training is available for anyone!
Driving to work, the doctor, school, the supermarket, to visit friends or just to get out and go is something many of us take for granted. 

According to different studies, lack of transit literally hurts many Americans. The 40 percent of American military veterans who live in rural areas report much lower health quality of life scores than urban veterans. The Veterans Administration attributes this in part to poor transit to medical facilities. Lack of transit to after-school sports means that rural kids are 25 percent more likely to be obese. And the future will be grimmer: by 2016, 15 million elderly people will be without access to transportation. Studies have shown that when seniors can no longer drive their cars, they cease participating in society: Visits to friends and family fall by 65 percent; shopping and eating trips fall by 59 percent. This lack of mobility impacts people’s ability to get around and Socializing becomes pretty much impossible. 

For many riders in Hillsborough County, HART means freedom, independence, self-possession. It gives people the ability to get out in the community, meet other people, be involved and to do the things that they enjoy doing.
Giving people a sense of independence is what drives HART Travel Trainer Mark Sheppard and his co-workers. This special group of individuals are passionate about what they do.  Mark has been a Travel Trainer with HART for 14 years.  

The HART Travel Training program has helped many folks in the Tampa bay area learn how to get around on their own and many have regained their much needed freedom but there is one program in particular that the HART Travel Training program helps out with that has made a world of difference for many. On occasion, Mark has the opportunity to assist the Recreation Therapist at the James A. Haley VA Hospital with the Traumatic Brain Injury veterans. These veterans typically only reach this stage of therapy of testing the use of public transit after 4-5 years as a patient at the hospital, many in power chairs. That’s where the HART Travel Trainer helps out. Mark and his team were asked to help with trip planning and participate in the trips to provide their assessment of the veteran’s ability to navigate a public bus system with the Recreation Therapist.

On a specific occasion, a veteran named Chester, from New York City, was scheduled to be assessed on an upcoming bus trip. As before on other occasions, HART Travel Trainers inquire from the therapist some basic information about the veteran. When Mark, heard he was from New York, and that he was a big Yankee’s fan, it was easy to determine where the trip plan would be taking them. It was early March, and Yankees Spring Training takes place in Tampa. In addition, HART had a Transfer Center within walking distance to Steinbrenner Field.

Let's tag along.

Mark, Chester, and the therapist headed to West Tampa Transfer Center. Once there, they crossed Himes Ave, and made their way to the pedestrian bridge over Dale Mabry Hwy. to Steinbrenner Field, where they were able to watch Chester’s favorite team practice.

We recognize people know HART as Hillsborough County’s public transportation system. However, there’s more to HART than buses on the street, or the bus stops and shelters you see in your neighborhood.

Give the gift of mobility with our FREE Travel Training program. ANYONE, regardless of ability, is able to take advantage of the HART Travel Training program.

Schedule a Travel Training session for parents, children, etc. by calling 813-254-4278! 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Change Your Life with Transit in 2018!

Try Transit in 2018!
With the New Year fast approaching, many are looking at doing things differently in 2018. Nationwide, individuals are looking to eat better, reduce stress and save money. Make the most of this goodwill by trying transit in the New Year and get on track to accomplishing all 3 resolutions!
Drum roll please... 

The Top Reasons to Try Transit in 2018

Getting out of the comfort zone of your car may seem daunting and scary, so why not make it a 2018 must-do by adding it to the resolution list? Plus, here are some (good) reasons to try transit in 2018:

1. Save, save, save. A second car in Tampa Bay costs a family on average about $700/month, according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). A HART monthly bus pass is $65. That’s $635 in monthly savings! Use APTA’s transit calculator to find out what it costs to drive a personal vehicle versus trying transit.

2. Go green. This is the generation that’s doing it differently! Many residents have made daily changes as part of their personal going green initiative: energy-efficient light bulbs, reusable grocery bags, and low-flow shower heads. Next stop on going green: Ride HART.

Read a book, listen to music, relax and let HART drive!
3. Reduce stress. It’s no secret driving in gridlock traffic is stressful. Kick the car habit, and don’t “stress” about how to get home from work. The Emergency Ride Home program makes it easy to rely on transit by ensuring a ride home in case of an emergency or unplanned situation. Learn more at www.tampabayrideshare.org

4. Reach fitness goals. Regular exercise is a common New Year’s resolution. Taking the bus is an easy way to get in the recommended minimum daily 30 minutes of physical activity, according to the 2005 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Transit users are 3x more likely than non-transit users to meet that recommendation. Why use a treadmill at a smelly gym when you could be going places instead!

5. Everyone else is doing it. HART riders, who make up the more than 12 million in yearly bus trips, can’t be wrong! They are enjoying more safety, less stress and use technology like OneBusAway Tampa and the Google Trip Planner to help them plan their trips.

6. Bike and ride. Each HART bus accommodates two bikes. By combining buses and bikes, commuters can greatly expand their range of travel.

7. Ride and fly. Frequent air travelers can take advantage of new service to Tampa International Airport! Following the launch of Mission MAX, the newly created Route 60LX provides service between Westfield Brandon and Northwest Transfer Center (with stops in Downtown and the Airport). Route 60LX joins route(s) 30 and 32 with service to the Airport. Workers along this route need only to park at the office and hop aboard the nearest stop. Save considerable cash, compared to even the cheapest Uber/Lyft ride!

8. Again, savings, savings, savings. The Commuter Transit Benefit provides individuals a monthly up-to $260 tax benefit towards using public transportation.

Change your life in 2018, start with HART!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Ring in the New Year with the TECO Line Streetcar!

The Tampa skyline will light up Sunday night in celebration of the New Year with thousands watching from a temporary new home at Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park, along the Riverwalk.

The fireworks can be seen from a number of locations along the river, but the "best" viewing spot will be at Cotanchobee Park. While the fireworks won't take place until midnight, the viewing area will open up beginning at 10 p.m.

Looking for more of an "adult" way to ring in the new year? There are a number of other NYE spots with great views of the fireworks.

Jackson's Bistro, The Sail, and Aqua Eve at The Florida Aquarium are just a sample of NYE parties taking place along the Riverwalk, with DJs/live music, food, and adult beverages.

Regardless where you celebrate in Downtown, the TECO Line Streetcar System is your best bet to avoid expected traffic and parking issues! Park in Ybor City, and take in the Outback Bowl Parade beginning at 5:30 p.m. Following the end of the parade, you can take the Streetcar to Cotanchobee Park (hop off at HSBC Station or Dick Greco Plaza) and only park once!

The TECO Line Streetcar will be FREE after 7 p.m.
The Streetcar will be FREE after 7 p.m. and operate until 1 a.m. (NYE fireworks display scheduled to begin at Midnight).

Click here for a map of the Downtown network of services, including streetcar, and HART local service.

Should you plan on driving to the festivities...

American Automobile Association (AAA) offers a complimentary "Tow-to-Go" service for those that might have had too much holiday "cheer" this year. The service is available to everyone, meaning you don't have to be a AAA member. Call 1-855-286-9246 (you might want to save this number in your phone now) and a tow truck will come out and tow you and your car home safely - for FREE. Click here for more information on the program.

Whether you're enjoying your New Year's Eve with us or not, please be SAFE!

New Year's Eve Service:

HART is operating on a Sunday schedule for New Year's Eve. The TECO Line Streetcar will operate from Noon - 1:00 a.m. HART Customer Service Centers and HART offices will be closed.

HART Customer Service will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached at (813) 254-4278.

New Year's Day Service:

HART is operating on a Sunday schedule for New Year's Day. The TECO Line Streetcar System will operate a normal Monday service level: Noon - 10 p.m. HART Customer Service Centers and HART offices will be closed.

HART Customer Service will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached at (813) 254-4278.

Click here for a full rundown on the HART Holiday Service schedule. 

Safe travels in 2018!

Friday, December 8, 2017

FREE Holiday Shuttle Service for Light The Heights!

Support the Seminole Heights community on Sunday!
The holidays are a special time of the year, where magic exists in the hope of the new year, and the compassion and selflessness of the giving season.

The last few months have been quite difficult for the Seminole Heights area. However, with the help of the Tampa Bay community, we can help the Heights come back even stronger!

The Heights Urban Core Chamber is teaming up with local businesses and HART to Light the Heights on December 10th!

The event kicks off Sunday, with a motorcycle ride coordinated by Members of Monica Hoffa's family. The ride will roar through Seminole Heights, into Southeast Seminole Heights, to visit the four memorial sites. It will start in Lutz and will regroup at the Tampa Greyhound Track, before rolling down Nebraska Avenue.

Local restaurants, bars, stores, etc. will offer specials throughout the day. Once the sun goes to rest, you can enjoy the lights of Seminole Heights!

HART Holiday Shuttle Route
To show our support for the Seminole Heights community, we will be operating a FREE Holiday-themed Shuttle (with Santa) on Sunday from 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m, with service every 30 minutes. The holiday-themed In-Tower will circulate along a route with 18 stops at participating Seminole Heights' businesses.

Light the Heights is a great opportunity to Shop Local!

With the FREE shuttle in place, event officials highly recommend parking in designated lots and taking the shuttle between businesses throughout the day. Help reduce congestion in the area, and your stress level!

Join us on Sunday, as we come together to Light The Heights!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

HART and Rumba 106.5 Team Up to "Stuff-a-Bus"

Help us Stuff-a-Bus December 11-15!
HART and local radio station Rumba 106.5 are partnering to Stuff-a-Bus for families that have relocated to Hillsborough County from Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.

A holiday-themed In-Towner will be staged for donations at the iHeart Media radio station next week (December 11-15).

Donations will be collected Monday - Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. We are looking for new, unwrapped, clothing, non-perishable foods, small household items, and toys.

This year, we hope to “Stuff” several buses with items that will benefit the people of Puerto Rico, who have been displaced by Hurricane Maria and have resettled in the Tampa Bay area. We are working with the Missions of Miracles Foundation, an organization "dedicated to assisting families and their pets when tragedy, emergency, or natural disaster occur." Missions of Miracles will help distribute the collected donations throughout the county.

There will be a live broadcast from the donation site with Rumba on-air personality Angel Johnny on December 15, from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

'Tis the season! Stop by iHeart Media (4002 W. Gandy Blvd. Tampa, FL, 33611) next week to help us Stuff-a-Bus for new members of our community!

Monday, December 4, 2017

HART Announces Selection of Jeffrey Seward as Interim CEO

Today the HART Board of Directors appointed Jeffrey Seward to serve as Interim Chief Executive Officer, effective December 4, while the Board conducts a national search for a permanent replacement.

The Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve Seward, a 6-year HART employee who currently serves as Chief Financial Officer, to succeed Katharine Eagan who recently announced her departure after nearly eight years of service, to be CEO of the Port Authority of Allegheny County, Pa. Her last day at HART will be January 5.

A graduate of Columbia College, Seward also holds a Master of Public Administration degree from California Lutheran University. Prior to joining HART, he made valuable contributions while working as the Chief Financial Planning Officer for Sarasota County. As Chief Financial Planning Officer, he was responsible for the management and execution of the County's billion dollar annual budget, managing to build reserves to the point where very few services were required to be cut during the height of the recession. He also was instrumental in the financing strategy and planning for a $32 million major league baseball facility, which led to the Baltimore Orioles' making Sarasota its new spring training home.

"Jeff is a highly respected individual with the experience necessary to manage an agency as complex as HART," said HART Board Chair Commissioner Lesley "Les" Miller. "His 31 years of  experience in local government, private-sector and military experience makes him the perfect fit, and his already strong knowledge of HART and plans for the future of the agency will help ensure a smooth transition period for the agency. We are grateful for Jeff's strong commitment to HART."

Seward originally joined HART in 2011 as Chief Financial Officer, where he is responsible for account & financial reporting, budget, cash management, internal audit, procurement, contracts administration, grants & planning, environmental management sustainability and project management.   

Seward has distinguished himself as a dynamic and results-driven CFO who has consistently developed balanced budgets, developed strong financial policies,  ISO 14001:2004 certification for its Environmental Sustainability and Management System (ESMS), established project management, joint procurements with PSTA, negotiated deals with MegaBus and Red Coach. Also, spearheaded the Regional Fare Collection System which will allow riders to travel throughout the greater Tampa Bay area using a single fare processing system.   

Driven by a profound commitment to public service, Seward was named 2014 CFO of the Year in the Tampa Bay Business Journal's government agency category. Seward speaks nationally and internationally on the agency's sustainability and carbon reduction initiatives to reduce the agency's impact on global warming. He was recently a guest speaker at the Annual Climate Change: Impacts and Responses conference at Anglia-Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK.

He and his wife Theresa have four children; Noah 17, Tyler 23, Jordan 24, and Zachary 27.