Route Spotlight – HART Route 36

Route Spotlight

Today, I begin a new periodic blog series called Route Spotlight. This series will profile specific transit routes and highlight the various destinations that they serve. To kick off this series, I am going to profile Hillsborough Area Regional Transit’s Route 36, which they profiled last week as their “Route of the Week“.

Route 36 brochure from 2001, alongside brochures for Routes 7 & 14. Credit: Orion 2003.
Route 36 brochure from 2001, alongside brochures for Routes 7 & 14. Credit: Orion 2003.
Route 36 brochure from 2001, alongside brochures for Routes 7 & 14. Credit: Orion 2003.
Route 36 brochure from 2001, alongside brochures for Routes 7 & 14. Credit: Orion 2003.
Route 36 brochures from 2005 and 2006.
Route 36 brochures from 2005 and 2006.

Route Overview and History

When I first began using public transit in 2006, Route 36 was among the very first routes that I used to get to and from Hillsborough Community College. The route currently runs from almost the southern tip of South Tampa to the heart of Carrollwood, but has seen many changes over the past couple of decades. While I don’t know exactly when the route first began service, the 36 was originally known as the “WestSide Shopper”, because it previously served numerous shopping complexes along northern Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa Bay Center, and WestShore Plaza. The route operated about every 30 minutes on weekdays and hourly on weekends. Originally there was no Sunday service, but like many of HART’s routes over the years, Sunday service was eventually added.

At some point between 2003 and 2005, HART underwent a system-wide reorganization to create more of a grid system with its urban routes and better serve suburban areas of Hillsborough County. This resulted in the 36 being straightened out to operate solely along Dale Mabry Hwy and Himes Ave, with 30 to 45 minute service on weekdays and hourly service on weekends. The WestShore Plaza leg of the route were taken over by Routes 45 and 81, the latter being eliminated shortly after the reorganization and being replaced with Routes 85 and 89, which in-turn were eliminated and replaced by the South Tampa Flex Route. In 2005, weekday service was initiated to MacDill Air Force Base, replacing Route 4 along the southern end of Dale Mabry. Route 4 was then realigned to run along the southern end of MacDill Ave, which saw the elimination of Route 17. With the elimination of Route 85 in 2010, weekend service on the 36 to the base began. At about that time, weekday midday frequency was adjusted from 45 minutes to 30 minutes.

Today, Route 36 operates every 30 minutes during weekdays from about 5:30am until about 10:15pm (final departures are at 9:05pm for Northbound and 9:25pm for Southbound), with hourly service on weekends from 6:10am through 8:30pm (final departures are at 7:10pm for Southbound and 7:35pm for Northbound). Plans are in the works, based on funding levels, to introduce 30 minute frequency on Saturdays and further down the road, 30 minute frequency on Sundays. Long-term plans for the Dale Mabry Hwy corridor will include the implementation of overnight van service and MetroRapid Dale Mabry “BRT lite” service.

Gillig Phantom bus on layover by Britton Plaza. Credit: HARTride 2012.
Gillig Phantom bus #711 on layover by Britton Plaza. Credit: HARTride 2012.
#1009 arriving at the West Tampa Transfer Center.
Gillig Low Floor bus #1009 arriving at the West Tampa Transfer Center.

Key Destinations

Route 36 currently serves the following destinations

Carrollwood Area

Palms of Carrollwood Shopping Center (Fletcher Ave & Dale Mabry Hwy Transfer Point – Transfer here for Route 33 & the Northdale Flex Route)

Lowe’s at Fletcher & Dale Mabry (sits on the site of the former Mission Bell Shopping Center)

Main Street Shopping Center

Carrollwood Center (Publix)

Busch Blvd (Transfer here for Route 39)

Waters Ave (Transfer here for Route 16)

Florida Hospital Carrollwood

West Tampa Area

Hillsborough Ave (Transfer here for Route 34)

Jesuit High School

Al Lopez Park

MLK Blvd (Transfer here for Routes 7, 32, 41, & 45)

West Tampa Transfer Center (Transfer here for Routes 7, 32, 41, & 45)

Raymond James Stadium

Tampa Bay Blvd (Transfer here for Routes 7 & 41)

Columbus Dr (Transfer here for Routes 15 & 45)

Tampa Plaza Shopping Center (Winn Dixie)

Spruce St (Transfer here for Route 45)

Walter’s Crossing Shopping Center (Home Depot, Nordstrom Rack, Target, Whole Foods)

WalMart & Best Buy on Dale Mabry Hwy & I-275

Cypress St (Transfer here for Route 10)

South Tampa Area

Kennedy Blvd (Transfer here for Route 30)

Tampa Commons Office Tower

Trader Joe’s on Swann Ave

Henderson Blvd (Transfer here for Route 19)

Henderson Blvd Shopping Center (TJ Maxx, The Fresh Market)

Publix on Dale Mabry Hwy & Neptune St

Plant High School

Bay to Bay Blvd (Transfer here for Routes 4 & 19)

Britton Plaza Shopping Center (Publix, Burlington, Marshalls, Michaels, Stein Mart – Transfer here for Routes 4, 19, the South Tampa Flex Route, & PSTA Route 100X)

South Dale Plaza (being redeveloped)

Lowe’s on S. Dale Mabry Hwy

Gandy Blvd (Transfer here for PSTA Route 100X)

Publix & Target on Gandy Blvd

Sam’s Club & Home Depot on S. Dale Mabry

Twin Bays Shopping Center

South Interbay Region

Special Note

During special events at Raymond James Stadium, which is across the street from the West Tampa Transfer Center, the transfer center will be closed due to security and traffic restrictions. Buses during these times are redirected to a temporary transfer point on MacDill Ave & St. Isabel St.

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Legalese | Disclosures

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Published by hartride2012tampa

Blogging about public transit in Tampa, FL, Norfolk, VA, and beyond!

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