HART Route Changes to go into effect Sunday, March 29

Changes to the following routes will go into effect on Sunday, March 29, 2009.

Weekdays

Route 1 – Florida Ave.
Increase frequency from 30 minutes to 20 minutes between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Route 2 – Nebraska Ave.

Some departures from Fletcher and Nebraska Ave. stop will be approximately three minutes earlier, with earlier arrival at University Area Transit Center.

Route 8 – Progress Village/Brandon
Increase frequency from 45 minutes to 30 minutes between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Route 30 – Town ‘N Country
Increase frequency from 30 minutes to 15 minutes between Marion Transit Center (downtown Tampa) and Tampa International Airport from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. Service between TIA and Northwest Transfer Center in Town ‘N Country remains on current schedule. Expand late-night service between TIA and the Northwest Transfer Center.

Route 36 – Dale Mabry/Himes Ave.
Increase frequency from 45 minutes to 30 minutes between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Added a new trip northbound leaving MacDill AFB at 8:40 p.m. on weekdays.
Buses will depart MacDill AFB and Mission Bell at either :05 & :35 past the hour or :10 and :40 past the hour.

Route 39 – Busch Blvd.
Increase frequency from 60 minutes to 30 minutes between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Weekends

Route 1 – Florida Ave.
Increase frequency on Sundays from 60 minutes to 30 minutes.

Route 2 – Nebraska Ave.

Added 5:45 a.m. trip northbound on Sundays.

Route 6 – 56th St.
Increase frequency on Saturdays and Sundays from 60 minutes to 30 minutes.

Route 12 – 22nd St.
Increase frequency on Sundays from 60 minutes to 30 minutes.

Route 18 – 30th St.
Begin operating Sunday service between 5:55 a.m. and 9:07 p.m.; same 60-minute frequency as current Saturday schedule..

Route 30 – Town ‘N Country
Increase frequency on Saturdays and Sundays from 60 minutes to 30 minutes on entire route.

Route 45 – UATC/Rome/Westshore Plaza

Southbound trips on Saturday will depart University Area Transit Center 5 minutes later.

South Shore Enhancements

Route 87 – SouthShore Connector &
Route 35LX – Brandon/SouthShore Limited Express
To better serve our customers in the SouthShore area, HART will be changing Route 87 to serve the new HCC campus at Shell Point Rd. and 24th Ave. This change will also affect running times of Route 35LX.

Route 47LX – SouthShore Limited Express
Due to road reconfiguration, traffic circulation for exiting the SouthShore Service Center will be changing. The new configuration will change the circulating pattern of Route 47LX at the service center.

From http://www.gohart.org

Minor changes

Route 45 – UATC/Rome Ave/WestShore Plaza
Some timepoints will be changed.

Don’t let these events spoil your weekend commute

During the next two weekends, there will be a couple of major events happening in the Bay Area that will result in busier highways. But you don’t have to let the consistent traffic jams spoil your weekend. I have some advice on what you can do.

MacDill AirFest 2009 (March 28 and 29): Just like every year before, the MacDill AirFest will surely bring in many visitors from across the Bay Area. This year, the USAF Thunderbirds are back and turnout is expected to be quite modest. Nonetheless, if you plan to make the commute to South Tampa, here are a few things to keep in mind.

*Arrive Early: If you can get to the base gate by 10:00am, then chances are, you’ll get a spot to park on the airstrip. However, I suggest that if you’re able to, try to get to the base no later than 7:30am so that you don’t have to combat super long lines on Dale Mabry, which will clearly expand to other arteries as the day progresses. Gates open at 8am and the final pack of vehicles will be allowed in until 3pm, or whenever the lots become too full to handle anymore traffic. Though the Dale Mabry entrance is the main way in, you can still try to MacDill gate, which will be open to visitors as well. The Bayshore gate, like in years past, will be limited to only base personell.

*Shuttle Bus Service But there is another option if you don’t want to fight the traffic. HART is bringing back the Route 4 Shuttle Service, which will run on both days of the AirFest. Saturday, the service will run from 8am until 2:15pm. The first bus leaves downtown at 8am and arrives at the base at around 8:45am, the final round trip will occur at 1:30pm, arriving at the base at 2:15pm to return to downtown. Because of security concerns, the shuttle service will be suspended until 4pm, in which buses will depart the base (ONLY) until 6pm. Please note that Sunday service begins at 10am, but all other timepoints mentioned apply.

Route 36 will not provide service to the base. Instead the route will only service the segment north of Britton Plaza. A connector shuttle will provide service from the Plaza to the Route 4 via Euclid Ave.

See the map below for details.

View the flyer

St. Pete Grand Prix (Weekend of April 3): It is certainly a good thing that this event does not share the same weekend as the AirFest this year. I believe that may have caused just a bit too much of a headache last year. Nevertheless, if you plan to head out to this event, your main problem will be trying to find a good spot to park. Also be advised that many streets within downtown St. Pete will be closed prior to, during, and the days after the events.
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High Speed Rail could be doomed…..again….

I was truly hoping that the federal stimulus would be able to bring high speed rail, or at least something close to it, to Florida. Unfortunately, this article from the Lakeland Ledger pretty much sums up the gloomy future….

Story Link

In other words, high speed rail in Florida is NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, and not by a long shot. If Florida gets ANY funding towards rail from the stimulus, the best thing that could happen is a shared passenger rail line from Tampa to Orlando, and maybe down to Miami. That’s right, just the same ol’ rail line that is currently used by CSX, which then brings up the liability issue and yada, yada. So in conclusion, we’re back to square one….hoping that Pam Iorio will be able to bring light rail to Tampa to alas, spark passenger rail transit in Florida.