These days, it’s important for businesses and government agencies to have a strong bond with the public. After the recent economic downturn, transparency has become a key word when it comes to an entity keeping public trust high. Well here in Tampa, Hillsborough Area Regional Transit has made a commitment to bringing forth more transparency in order to show the public that they are using its limited resources wisely. This move, though I’m sure was done primarily to its own benefit, comes after neighboring Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority was heavily criticized for not being transparent enough in their day-to-day course of business.
When visiting the HART website, http://www.gohart.org, you will now see a “Transparency” link on the left. This link will bring your to a page that clearly states HART’s mission to bring forth more transparency, and provides links to various reports and figures. Under Florida’s Sunshine Law, government agencies are required to publicly provide certain information about how they’re doing, and the public can make public record requests as per the Sunshine Law. In this move, HART has taken extra steps by posting additional financial, contractual, and environmental documentation, as well as re-affirming its commitment to maintaining ethical behavior. A few years ago, HART began doing business with EthicsPoint to provide a direct line to reporting activities that may be seen as unethical and/or illegal.
Additionally, through the “Transparency” portal, the public can easily make public record requests, something that PSTA has also made easier in recent months.