Last week, Hillsborough Area Regional Transit unveiled updated schedules for its November, 2013 service change/markup cycle. This round of changes will become effective on Sunday, November 17, 2013, and will affect routes 2, 4, 5, 6, 12, 14, 30, 37, 47LX, and 57. Among the biggest changes; the addition of OWL service to several routes on weekdays, and in some cases weekends! I first published these changes in my blog post from May 23, 2013, when I mentioned about HART being able to free up some funds to make these changes happen. These changes would not have happened if HART did not take the time to cut out various unnecessary expenses from its budget.
So first, let me take a few moments to go over the additions to the late night bus roundup. With the November service changes in place; the number of bus routes operating past 8pm on weekdays will increase from 16 to 17 with the addition of Route 5. The number of bus routes operating past 8pm on weekends will remain unchanged because out of the 16 existing routes that run past 8pm on weekdays, 11 of them already run past 8pm on Saturdays, and 9 of them run past 8pm on Sundays, including Routes 2, 6, and 30. Sunday service typically ends around 6 or 7pm in most transit districts, including many HART routes that operate on Sundays (although some routes run up until 9pm).
- Route 2 – Nebraska Ave:
- Since the implementation of the MetroRapid North/South Line, weekday frequency on Route 2 has decreased from 15 minutes during the day to 30 minutes during the day.
- Route 2 will benefit from the following changes:
- An additional southbound trip at 4:25am on weekdays.
- An additional Saturday evening trip in both directions at about 12:05pm. Service previously ended with the 11:00pm trips.
- 2 additional Sunday evening trips in both directions at about 11:40pm. Service previously ended with the 9:00pm trips.
- Due to budgetary constraints; the final southbound trip of the night was truncated to Columbus Ave. Service to the Marion Transit Center during this trip will be restored.
- Route 5 – 40th St/USF:
- Route 5 has become a popular route for USF Tampa students, as the route goes through the heart of the campus. However, the route has been neglected for years, as no substantial improvements to the route have been made until now.
- Route 5 will benefit from the following changes:
- The existing 8:30pm trip in both directions will be shifted to 8:00pm to allow 30-minute frequency to end at 8:00pm.
- Additional evening trips will be added in both directions at 9:00pm, 10:00pm, 11:00pm, and 12:00am.
- Note that the 9:00pm southbound trip is a shift from its previous 9:30pm departure.
- Route 6 – 56th St/USF:
- Enhancements to Route 6 will include running midday service at 20 minute headways. The route previously ran at 30 minute headways.
- Weekend services will be expanded to about 12:00am (departure times vary). This is a huge change from the previous weekend end times that were during the 8:00pm and 9:00pm timeframes.
- Due to budgetary constraints; the final southbound trip of the night was truncated to 21st Ave, just outside of HART’s HQ. Service to the Marion Transit Center during this trip will be restored.
- As you’ll notice from the official schedules. Evening weekend frequency (particularly on Sundays) is a bit inconsistent. I will explain the inconsistency of weekend frequency in a moment.
- Route 30 – Town-N-Country/Airport:
- Weekend service along Route 30 previously ended at 10:00pm for the eastbound direction and 9:30pm for the westbound direction.
- 4 trips will be added in the eastbound direction and 5 trips will be added in the westbound direction to maintain 30-minute headways for the entire span of operating service!
Below are the other changes that HART will be enacting during the week of November 17, 2013.
- Route 4 – Palma Ceia/MacDill AFB
- Minor efficiency tweaks have allowed the first trips of the morning in both directions to operate with a time savings of 3 minutes.
- Route 12 – 22nd St:
- Due to budgetary constraints; the final southbound trip of the night was truncated to Columbus Dr. Service to the Marion Transit Center during this trip will be restored.
- Route 14 – Armenia Ave:
- Saturday service will commence with 60-minute headways from 6:35am until 8:35pm.
- Route 37 – East Brandon:
- Sunday service will commence with 60-minute headways from 6:05am until 7:05pm.
- Route 47LX – SouthShore/Downtown Limited Express:
- Minor timetable changes will be enacted to improve efficiency.
- Route 57 – USF/Temple Terrace/NetPark:
- Saturday service will commence with 60-minute headways, mimicking its weekday schedule.
One thing I’ve noticed was there is a bit of inconsistency with Sunday evening trips on Route 6. At first, I thought that there could be a mistake somewhere. However, when I spoke with HART about this matter, they informed me that with the transition from 30-minute headways to 60-minute headways at night, that some trips may not match up. I do hope that this is only temporary and that Sunday evening trips will be able to be worked out later on.
To view the new schedules; click here. Please keep in mind that once the service changes take effect, that you will be able to access the new schedules through the regular schedule links on goHART.org.