It’s that time again folks, time for the Fall/Winter transit service markup cycle. For Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART), many bus routes will see timepoint and/or running time enhancements that will allow for a smoother, hassle-free ride. Several routes will see frequency increases and/or service span expansions, a few will see routing changes, and one HART Flex route will see the restoration of Saturday service. However, one local bus route will see a decrease in frequency on Sundays. All changes will become effective on Sunday, December 6, 2015, with changes to weekday only and Monday through Saturday routes taking place on Monday, December 7, 2015.
HART Local Bus Routes 2, 5, 7, 12, 15, 30, 32, 33, 34, 37, 39, 45, and 57, as well as Commuter Express Routes 20X, 21LX, 22X, and 61LX, MetroRapid North-South (Route 400), and HART Flex Northdale, will all see scheduling changes that include time point and/or running time changes to further improve efficiency along these routes. You may find that some trips may leave earlier or later than they currently do, and that some time points may have been removed from the schedule. Please consult individual schedules before heading out, as this will lessen the chances of you missing your bus.
The following bus routes will see an increase in frequency.
Route 12: Midday weekday frequency will increase from 30 minutes to 20 minutes, meaning that all trips from the route’s start of service at 4:00am, until 7:00pm, will operate with 20 minute headways.
Route 15: Midday weekday frequency will increase from 60 minutes to 30 minutes, meaning that all trips from the route’s start of service at 5:00am, until 6:00pm, will operate with 30 minute headways. Additionally, weekday service will operate through 10:00pm. These changes will restore trips that were cut since 2007 due to budget cuts.
Route 53LX: Frequency will be increased from current levels at approximately 120 minute headways to approximately 60 minute headways. This will allow for more frequent service, including for those customers traveling to and from St. Joseph’s Hospital South.
The following bus routes will see a decrease in frequency.
Route 33: Sunday frequency will decrease from 45 minute to 60 minute headways. There will also be a minor routing change in the University Area (between Nebraska Ave and 22nd St) to improve efficiency and reliability of the route.
The following routes will see expanded service.
Route 46: New Saturday service. First trip leaves the Marion Transit Center and Westfield Brandon, going to the Dover Park-N-Ride Lot at 6:00am, and the first trip leaving Dover will be at 6:30am. Service will continue through the 7:00pm hour, with the last trip leaving the Marion Transit Center at 7:00pm, and the last trip leaving Dover at 7:30pm.
Route 57: One late evening round trip will be added on weekdays so that the final trip leaves the NetPark Transfer Center at 9:35pm, and the final trip leaves the University Area Transit Center at 10:35pm.
HART Flex Brandon: Saturday service will be restored. This service was cut back in 2012 due to lower than projected ridership and funding constraints. Since then, ridership on the Brandon Flex has increased and Saturday service is once again in demand.
The following routes will see either a change in routing or possibly just minor changes on the route maps (no routing changes).
Route 4: Routing in South Interbay will change to better match Routes 24X and 25LX. Buses will utilize Zemke Ave to achieve this change.
Route 10: Western terminus will be Cypress Point Park. There will be no changes to it’s routing.
Route 28X: Buses will utilize Interstate 4 and the Selmon Connector to connect to downtown Tampa. Current routing has buses using the Selmon Expressway from I-75 until Exit 7 to enter downtown.
Route 41: Routing change in around the West Tampa Transfer Center Area to where buses will travel via MacDill Ave to Tampa Bay Blvd, and then northward on Himes to the Transfer Center. Current routing has buses using MLK Blvd from Habana Ave to Himes. This change will restore a sliver of bus service that was lost back when the HART system was reorganized in 2005, resulting in the eventual elimination of Route 17 – which used to run along MacDill Ave from South Tampa to the former Tampa Bay Center Mall.
Route 51X: Test routing that was conducted during a portion of 2015 will become permanent. Buses will utilize Interstates 4 and 75 on both AM and PM trips. Current PM routing has buses traveling along I-275.
New schedule booklets are available at HART facilities and at designated third-party outlets. New schedules can also be accessed at GoHART.org. Please be patient, as a new system map is not yet available on the website.
As always, I try to make sure that all information in this post is correct. Schedule information is obtained from the transit agencies themselves, so they are ultimately responsible for what goes out to customers. However, if you spot something that I’ve typed that is incorrect, please let me know as soon as possible so that I may make corrections.