At the June 1st board meeting, HART approved the proposed service changes (posted earlier) for the course of 2009. Among the changes, Route 87 in Southshore will be converted into a flex route, spawning the HARTflex minibus system that has been planned since 2006. Also, a series of route reductions will go into effect due to lower ridership on these routes, as well as to save HART thousands of dollars that will be lost due to the reduction in property taxes approved by voters in 2006.
Currently, HART is voicing its rail plans through a series of meetings that are taking place throughout Hillsborough County. The goal of these meetings is to spread public awareness about the need for a light rail system in Tampa Bay and to lobby the federal government for financial assistance for the planned project. HART’s goal is to obtain such federal funds through the “New Starts” program.