Category Archives: Public Meetings/Hearings/Open Houses

HART Network Restructuring – Part 3

With the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) Board of Directors approving the massive network restructuring on August 7, 2017, the changes listed in this post will become effective on October 8, 2017. Over the next two months, I will be updating the various pages that I have published on the HART system to reflect the new network. Such changes will include a new route list, bus fleet roster, and transfer center information.


HART Public Hearing Video

If you weren’t able to attend the July 26, 2017 public hearing, you can watch it in its entirety below:


HART Board Meeting Video

I will have a link to the HART August 7, 2017 board meeting available here as soon as it is posted.


A breakdown of the Routes

Virtually every HART bus route was put up for review as to whether anything should be changed. While a few routes were spared from dramatic reductions, modifications, or an out-right elimination, many others aren’t faring as well – especially routes that serve lower ridership corridors.

The following links reflect the FINAL structure of the HART network as approved on August 7, 2017.

Overview of Changes

System Map Reflecting Changes

Interactive Map (times listed are for planning purposes only. Schedules will be laid out over the next two months and should be available by the first week of October).

Further info can be found on the HART System Restructuring/Transit Development Plan page.

  • Route 1
    • Route will no longer serve the vicinity north of Fletcher Ave. Buses will instead travel along Fletcher Ave (pre-MetroRapid alignment).
    • University North service would be taken over by Route 42 and HyperLINK service.
    • Weekday frequency will increase to 15 minute headways.
    • Further changes to the routing will be made in respects to Downtown Tampa circulation (see the “Downtown Tampa Circulation” section).
  • Route 2
    • Route 2 will be eliminated and replaced with optimized MetroRapid service.
    • Many stops will be consolidated with existing MetroRapid stops, while some stops become new MetroRapid stops.
  • Route 4
    • Route 4 will be eliminated entirely with no replacement service due to ultra low ridership.
    • Alternatives available include:
      • Route 360LX for MacDill AFB/South Interbay
      • HART Flex for Palma Ceia
      • Routes 14 & 19 for Hyde Park
      • HART Flex South Tampa will eventually expand to portions of South Tampa currently served by Route 4, but it is unclear as to when this will be done.
  • Route 5
    • Service from USF will be removed, with buses running along Fowler Ave and 30th St to the University Area Transit Center.
    • The USF Bull Runner Shuttle & HyperLINK would provide service into the USF Tampa Campus.
  • Route 6
    • Service from USF will be removed, with buses running along 56th St and Fletcher Ave to the University Area Transit Center.
    • The USF Bull Runner Shuttle & HyperLINK would provide service into the USF Tampa Campus.
  • Route 7
    • Service north of the HCC loop to Citrus Park will be eliminated entirely.
    • West Tampa Transfer Center will close permanently.
    • West Tampa segment will be revised to serve the North Blvd/Columbus Dr portion of current Route 14.
    • Route 11 will eventually replace the Main St segment.
  • Route 8
    • The original restructuring plan called for the removal of the loop in Progress Village, as well as other possible modifications. The loop will be removed due to safety concerns, but all other proposals have been removed.
    • Further changes to the routing will be made in respects to Downtown Tampa circulation (see the “Downtown Tampa Circulation” section).
  • Route 9
    • Route will be merged with Route 18.
    • The portion north of Hillsborough Ave will be eliminated and replaced with the following services:
      • East Tampa will continue to have access to Route 9 along 14th/15th Streets, Route 12 along 22nd St, and Route 5 along 34th St.
      • Sulphur Springs will continue to have access to the revised 9 service along Rowlett Park Blvd, Riverhills Dr, and 30th St. Customers will also be able to access to revised Route 16 along Waters Ave, which will replace a portion of Route 9 through this vicinity.
      • Route 42 will replace the segment of Route 9 between Yukon Transfer Center and University Area Transit Center.
  • Route 10
    • Much of Route 10 will be eliminated and replaced by nearby Route 11 (Cypress St corridor has ultra low ridership).
    • Portions of Route 10 will be taken over by South Tampa Flex.
  • Route 11%
    • New Route 11 will provide replacement service for those residing in West Tampa along Main St.
    • Due to construction along Main St, this route will not be implemented right away. See the notes at the bottom of this section.
  • Route 12%
    • Weekday frequency will increase to 15 minute headways.
  • Route 14
    • Portion south of MLK Blvd will change so that buses remain on Howard Ave/Armenia Ave for the entire length of the route, instead of diverting to Downtown via North Blvd.
    • North Blvd service south of Columbus Dr will be taken over by Routes 7 & 11.
    • Route 1 will provide alternate service for the portion of North Blvd that will be left without transit service.
    • Weekday frequency on the 14 will increase to 30 minute headways and Sunday hourly service will be added.
  • Route 15
    • Orient Rd segment will be removed & the Orient Rd Jail will no longer be served.
  • Route 16
    • Route will no longer serve the Yukon Transfer Center and will remain on Waters Ave, with the eastern terminus looping via 17th St, Sitka St, & Rowlett Park Dr, providing a connection to Routes 9 & 12.
    • Customers wishing to connect to the Yukon Transfer Center can transfer to Route 45 along Waters Ave.
  • Route 17
    • New Route 17 hourly service will take over the Manhattan Ave/Port Tampa portion of Route 19.
  • Route 18
    • Route 18 will be merged with Route 9 and will retain the portion north of Hillsborough Ave.
    • Customers residing south of Hillsborough Ave can access Routes 5 & 12 for alternate service.
  • Route 19
    • Route will be split at Britton Plaza, with the new Route 17 taking over the Manhattan Ave portion. The WestShore Blvd portion will be eliminated entirely due to lower ridership.
    • Routing through Hyde Park will remain mostly intact. However, only Northbound trips will serve Tampa General Hospital.
    • Weekday 30-minute frequency will expand to 10:00pm.
    • Saturday frequency will eventually increase to 30 minute headways, but it is unclear as to when this will occur.
    • Further changes to the routing will be made in respects to Downtown Tampa circulation (see the “Downtown Tampa Circulation” section).
  • Route 20X
    • No changes are being proposed for Route 20X, but running times may change.
  • Route 21LX
  • Route 22X
    • Route 22X will be eliminated and replaced by Route 60LX service. Route 46 would provide service between the Dover Park-N-Ride lot & Westfield Brandon, where customers can connect to the 60LX or 360LX to Downtown.
  • Route 24X
    • Route would be restructured to limited express operation, with new Downtown Tampa stops.
  • Route 25LX
    • Route would be modified with new Downtown Tampa stops.
  • Route 27LX
    • Route 28X will be eliminated entirely with no replacement service due to ultra low ridership.
    • Alternatives available include:
      • Routes 60LX & 360LX will provide alternating Monday through Saturday connections between Downtown Tampa & Brandon. Revised Routes 24LX & 25LX will also have Downtown connections during peak times.
      • Local connections to Westfield Brandon are provided via Routes 8, 31, 37, & 46.
  • Route 28X
    • Route 28X will be eliminated entirely with no replacement service due to ultra low ridership.
    • Customers can utilize TBARTA’s Vanpool Service by visiting the TBARTA Commuter Services website or calling 1-800-998-RIDE.
    • The Burnett Park Lot will become a Vanpool pickup/drop off location and will continue to serve Megabus trips. Other Park-N-Ride lots along the route will close.
  • Route 30
    • Western terminus will be moved to Tampa International Airport, with Route 60LX taking over the Town-N-Country portion.
  • Route 31
    • The original restructuring plan called for the 31 to be converted to an all-day limited express service, as well as other possible modifications. These modifications have been removed entirely due to customer concerns.
  • Route 32&
    • Segment east of NetPark Transfer Center will be taken over by Route 38.
    • Western terminus will extend to Tampa International Airport via Dale Mabry Hwy and International Plaza/Columbus Dr.
    • West Tampa Transfer Center will close permanently.
  • Route 33
    • Route will basically revert to its late 90s routing (before service to Hidden River was eliminated to take over the North Lakeview section of Route 36 during the system restructuring in the early 2000s) to replace the Hidden River section of MetroRapid.
    • University North service would be taken over by Route 42 and HyperLINK service.

      Route 33 as it was during the late 90s
  • Route 34%
    • No immediate changes will be made, but weekday frequency will eventually increase to 15 headways. See the note at the bottom of this section.
  • Route 36
    • Route will be modified to serve Dale Mabry Hwy between Tampa Bay Blvd and Britton Plaza.
    • Service south of Britton Plaza will be taken over by Route 360LX.
    • Buses will loop around the HCC Dale Mabry Campus by travelling Tampa Bay Blvd, Lois Ave, & MLK Blvd. Buses will then proceed northward on Himes Ave and follow the existing alignment to the Fletcher Ave loop.
    • Further changes may be made down the road to re-align the segment between Hillsborough Ave & Busch Blvd to Dale Mabry Hwy instead of Himes Ave.
    • West Tampa Transfer Center will close permanently.
  • Route 37
    • Service to Brandon Regional Hospital will be discontinued, with Route 46 and HyperLINK providing alternate service.
  • Route 38
    • New Route 38 will replace the hourly eastern segment of Route 32.
  • Route 39
    • Service to NetPark will be discontinued, with buses looping at Sligh Ave, 50th St, & Puritan Rd.
    • Yukon Transfer Center will no longer be served.
  • Route 41
    • Route 41 will be eliminated entirely with no replacement due to ultra low ridership.
  • Route 42
    • New Route 42 will serve heavier ridership areas in University North and University West that will suffer loses from the removal of Routes 1, 9, 18, & 33.
  • Route 45
    • Route will be modified as follows:
      • Service south of Waters Ave will remain largely unchanged, with the exception of service on Himes Ave being moved to Dale Mabry Hwy.
      • West Tampa Transfer Center will close permanently.
      • Service north of Waters Ave will replace Route 16 service to Yukon Transfer Center.
      • Service to University Mall will be offered via Route 12.
  • Route 46$$
    • Route will only serve areas in Brandon and Dover. The Causeway Blvd/Downtown segment will be eliminated entirely due to limited ridership and various expansion constraints.
  • Route 47LX
    • Route 47LX will be eliminated entirely with no replacement due to limited ridership.
    • Alternatives available include:
      • Route 31 local service for South County.
      • Routes 24X, 60LX, & 360LX for limited express connections to Downtown.
  • Route 51X
    • Segment along Fowler Ave and 56th St will be added to serve Temple Terrace City Hall.
  • Route 53LX$$$
    • Route 53LX will be eliminated entirely with no replacement due to limited ridership and various expansion constraints.
  • Route 57
    • Route will be eliminated with no replacement service due to low productivity and ridership.
    • Alternatives available include:
      • Route 6 for direct connections between NetPark Transfer Center and the University Area Transit Center.
      • HyperLINK for University North.
      • USF Bull Runner & HyperLINK for the USF Tampa Campus.
  • Route 60LX
    • Monday through Saturday all-day limited express service between Westfield Brandon Mall & Northwest Transfer Center via Downtown Tampa & Tampa International Airport, with buses operating every hour, replacing Route 30 through Town-N-Country & 61LX.
    • Departures from Westfield Brandon will be coordinated with Route 360LX to provide 30-minute headways between Brandon & Downtown.
    • Sunday service will operate hourly in Town-N-Country only (between Northwest Transfer Center & Tampa International Airport). There will be no Downtown or Brandon service.
  • Route 61LX
    • Route will be eliminated and replaced with Route 60LX service. Existing Park-N-Ride lots in Citrus Park & Carrollwood will become vanpool pickup/drop off locations.
  • Route 96 In-Towner^
    • No immediate changes will be made.
  • Route 97 In-Towner^
    • No immediate changes will be made.
  • Route 200X$
    • Route 200X will be eliminated entirely with no replacement service due to ultra low ridership.
    • Customers can utilize TBARTA’s Vanpool Service by visiting the TBARTA Commuter Services website or calling 1-800-998-RIDE.
  • Route 275LX%
    • New Monday through Friday all-day hourly limited express service will run between Tampa International Airport & the University Area Transit Center via Downtown Tampa/Marion Transit Center.
  • Route 360LX
    • Monday through Saturday all-day limited express service between Westfield Brandon Mall & MacDill AFB via Downtown Tampa, with buses operating every hour, replacing Route 22X.
    • Departures from Westfield Brandon will be coordinated with Route 60LX to provide 30-minute headways between Brandon & Downtown.
    • Sunday service will operate hourly in South Tampa only. There will be no Downtown or Brandon service.
  • MetroRapid North-South
    • MetroRapid North-South will absorb Route 2.
    • Existing stops will be kept, with some stops added on from Route 2.
    • Weekday frequency will increase to 12 minute headways during the day with 15-30 minute evening service.
    • Weekend service will be added with 30 minute headways.
  • HART Flex Brandon
    • Zone will be eliminated in favor of HyperLINK service.
  • HART Flex Northdale
    • No immediate changes will be made.
  • HART Flex South County
    • No immediate changes will be made.
  • HART Flex South Tampa
    • Northern boundary will extend to Cypress St to cover ground lost from Route 10. The fixed routing segment will also change.
    • Unclear if WestShore Plaza connection will be retained.
    • Possible expansion is being considered for areas south of Britton Plaza.
  • HART Flex Town-N-Country
    • No immediate changes will be made.
    • Zone will eventually be eliminated in favor of HyperLINK service.

Notes:

      • + Route 51X is undergoing changes that are unrelated to the service restructuring. Further changes may be made down the road to improve efficiency.
      • % Changes are being postponed until FY19.
      • ^ In-Towner Service is slated for elimination sometime in FY19, but may be retained longer due to Governor Scott vetoing funds that would have gone to starting up the Downtown Tampa HyperLINK zone. Alternative funding sources are being explored for the zone.
      • & It is currently unclear how expanded airport service will be structured. HART may have buses loop around the terminal as it currently does with Route 30. Sometime in late 2018, the airport stop will move from the main terminal complex to the new Rental Car Center, where buses will be able to load and unload airport customers, who will be able to connect with the new SkyConnect train to the main terminal.
      • $ Route 200X will eventually be replaced by PSTA’s planned replacement service from Clearwater, but this service is not expected to be up and running until sometime between 2020 and 2024. Contracted service may fill the gap for the interim, but HART currently does not have the resources to fulfill this.
      • $$ Depending on how additional county money is allocated, Route 46 may be retained largely as-is through FY19.
      • $$$ Route 53LX will be restored when additional funding becomes available.
      • * Tampa Bay Express has been re-branded by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) as “Tampa Bay Next”, but the controversial interstate toll lane elements remain as a key element to the plan, which is not sitting well with many in the community.

Permanent Closure of West Tampa Transfer Center

The West Tampa Transfer Center will permanently close as part of the system restructuring.

With the demise of the Tampa Bay Center Mall in the early 2000s, HART began exploring sites for a replacement transfer facility in the West Tampa region. While several sites were originally evaluated, the current location along Himes Ave was eventually chosen.

I’ve personally have never been a fan of the West Tampa Transfer Center. I strongly believe that HART management at the time chose the “cheap way out” in building what could have been a more lucrative, long-term transit hub for the area. The current location of the WTTC is extremely inefficient during events at Raymond James Stadium because the facility sits right across the street from the stadium and must close due to traffic and security limitations. This operation forces buses to load and unload customers along MacDill Ave by MLK Blvd.

Closing the WTTC permanently will allow customers in the area to make street-side transfers while allowing buses to run more efficiently throughout the day.


Downtown Tampa Circulation

#1522 running down Morgan St in downtown Tampa.

As the HART system restructuring progresses, all local bus routes that currently service the Marion St Transitway will be moved off the Transitway to Morgan St, with Route 1 – which doesn’t currently serve the Transitway – making a loop around Tampa St and Florida Ave, but continuing to serve the Marion Transit Center. HART is taking a phased approach to this portion of the restructuring, but it is unclear when each of the movements will occur (some – like Routes 1 and 19 – will occur in October, 2017, but others will occur later).

At some point between 2018 and 2021, HART plans to launch an autonomous shuttle along the Transitway to shuttle customers between the south end of the Transitway and Marion Transit Center. Longer term plans have HART restructuring the Transitway to serve the regional express buses mentioned in the controversial Tampa Bay Express* plan.

There was previously discussion regarding the building of light rail along the Transitway, but from what I’m hearing, that plan has been deemed unfeasible due to limitations brought upon the current Downtown Tampa street grid. If the TECOline Streetcar were to be extended northward, it is likely it will be done so via the Franklin St Mall portion between Whiting St and Kennedy Blvd.

The In-Towner Trolley service will be retained for the meantime (see note at the bottom of this section), but will eventually face elimination in 2019 or 2020, as the current fleet of trolleybuses are approaching the end of their useful lives. Funding is currently being explored for a Downtown Tampa HyperLINK zone and the Tampa Downtown Partnership “Downtowner” Shuttle Service would provide additional alternative circulation in the Downtown area.


HART Resources

For complete information regarding the HART system restructuring, please visit the HART website, where they have a dedicated page with materials for you to look at. The HART Board of Directors will vote on the final restructuring plan at the August 7, 2017 meeting.


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Legalese | Disclosures

HART Network Restructuring – Part 2

I was originally going to publish this post sooner, but the intricacies of pulling off such a dramatic bus network restructuring, as well as concerns from the riding public, forced me to postpone this post until after the July 26, 2017 public hearing.

Throughout the past few months, Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) has been reaching out to as many customers as possible about the planned restructuring and gaining valuable feedback on what customers are needing. While a majority of customers want more frequent and direct bus service to the places that matter to them, others are worried that their bus route could be eliminated altogether.

In my last post, I went through an overview as to why HART is proposing such a restructuring of their bus network. While it is completely understandable that with limited funds, HART can only do so much, it really angers me that many of our elected officials will not allocate additional resources to fund the bus system. Furthermore, it angers me when some of the same elected officials who don’t want to put another dime towards improving bus service think that it’s terrific to allow the state to spend billions of dollars on the controversial Tampa Bay Express* interstate toll lanes, touting the lanes as “the only way” to significantly improve the region’s transit network.


HART Public Hearing Video

If you weren’t able to attend the July 26, 2017 public hearing, you can watch it in its entirety below:


A breakdown of the Routes

Virtually every HART bus route was put up for review as to whether anything should be changed. While a few routes were spared from dramatic reductions, modifications, or an out-right elimination, many others aren’t faring as well – especially routes that serve lower ridership corridors.

View the latest system restructuring map with additional revisions as of July 26, 2017. Further revisions we’re made on July 31, 2017.

Black = No Changes

Green = Frequency Improvements

Blue = Routing Changes

Dark Blue = Routing Changes with Frequency Improvements

Sky Blue: New Route

Magenta = New Route replacing Existing Service

Gold = Merging/Splitting

Orange = Elimination with Replacement Service

 


Red = Elimination without Replacement Service (Alternative Services May Be Available)

  • Route 1
    • Route will no longer serve the vicinity north of Fletcher Ave. Buses will instead travel along Fletcher Ave (pre-MetroRapid alignment).
    • University North service would be taken over by Route 42 and HyperLINK service.
    • Weekday frequency will increase to 15 minute headways.
    • Further changes to the routing will be made in respects to Downtown Tampa circulation (see the “Downtown Tampa Circulation” section).
  • Route 2
    • Route 2 will be eliminated and replaced with optimized MetroRapid service.
    • Many stops will be consolidated with existing MetroRapid stops, while some stops become new MetroRapid stops.
  • Route 4
    • Route 4 will be eliminated entirely with no replacement service due to ultra low ridership.
    • Alternatives available include:
      • Route 360LX for MacDill AFB/South Interbay
      • HART Flex for Palma Ceia
      • Routes 14 & 19 for Hyde Park
      • HART Flex South Tampa will eventually expand to portions of South Tampa currently served by Route 4, but it is unclear as to when this will be done.
  • Route 5
    • Service from USF will be removed, with buses running along Fowler Ave and 30th St to the University Area Transit Center.
    • The USF Bull Runner Shuttle & HyperLINK would provide service into the USF Tampa Campus.
  • Route 6
    • Service from USF will be removed, with buses running along 56th St and Fletcher Ave to the University Area Transit Center.
    • The USF Bull Runner Shuttle & HyperLINK would provide service into the USF Tampa Campus.
  • Route 7
    • Service north of the HCC loop to Citrus Park will be eliminated entirely.
    • West Tampa Transfer Center will close permanently.
    • West Tampa segment will be revised to serve the North Blvd/Columbus Dr portion of current Route 14.
    • Route 11 will eventually replace the Main St segment.
  • Route 8
    • The original restructuring plan called for the removal of the loop in Progress Village, as well as other possible modifications. These modifications have been removed entirely due to customer concerns.
    • Further changes to the routing will be made in respects to Downtown Tampa circulation (see the “Downtown Tampa Circulation” section).
  • Route 9
    • Route will be merged with Route 18.
    • The portion north of Hillsborough Ave will be eliminated and replaced with the following services:
      • East Tampa will continue to have access to Route 9 along 14th/15th Streets, Route 12 along 22nd St, and Route 5 along 34th St.
      • Sulphur Springs will continue to have access to the revised 9 service along Rowlett Park Blvd, Riverhills Dr, and 30th St. Customers will also be able to access to revised Route 16 along Waters Ave, which will replace a portion of Route 9 through this vicinity.
      • Route 42 will replace the segment of Route 9 between Yukon Transfer Center and University Area Transit Center.
  • Route 10
    • Much of Route 10 will be eliminated and replaced by nearby Route 11 (Cypress St corridor has ultra low ridership).
    • Portions of Route 10 will be taken over by South Tampa Flex.
  • Route 11%
    • New Route 11 will provide replacement service for those residing in West Tampa along Main St.
    • Due to construction along Main St, this route will not be implemented right away. See the notes at the bottom of this section.
  • Route 12%
    • Weekday frequency will increase to 15 minute headways.
  • Route 14
    • Portion south of MLK Blvd will change so that buses remain on Howard Ave/Armenia Ave for the entire length of the route, instead of diverting to Downtown via North Blvd.
    • North Blvd service south of Columbus Dr will be taken over by Routes 7 & 11.
    • Route 1 will provide alternate service for the portion of North Blvd that will be left without transit service.
    • Weekday frequency on the 14 will increase to 30 minute headways and Sunday hourly service will be added.
  • Route 15
    • Orient Rd segment will be removed & the Orient Rd Jail will no longer be served.
  • Route 16
    • Route will no longer serve the Yukon Transfer Center and will remain on Waters Ave, with the eastern terminus looping via 17th St, Sitka St, & Rowlett Park Dr, providing a connection to Routes 9 & 12.
    • Customers wishing to connect to the Yukon Transfer Center can transfer to Route 45 along Waters Ave.
  • Route 17
    • New Route 17 hourly service will take over the Manhattan Ave/Port Tampa portion of Route 19.
  • Route 18
    • Route 18 will be merged with Route 9 and will retain the portion north of Hillsborough Ave.
    • Customers residing south of Hillsborough Ave can access Routes 5 & 12 for alternate service.
  • Route 19
    • Route will be split at Britton Plaza, with the new Route 17 taking over the Manhattan Ave portion. The WestShore Blvd portion will be eliminated entirely due to lower ridership.
    • Routing through Hyde Park will remain intact.
    • Weekday 30-minute frequency will expand to 10:00pm.
    • Saturday frequency will eventually increase to 30 minute headways, but it is unclear as to when this will occur.
    • Further changes to the routing will be made in respects to Downtown Tampa circulation (see the “Downtown Tampa Circulation” section).
  • Route 20X
    • No changes are being proposed for Route 20X, but running times may change.
  • Route 21LX
  • Route 22X
    • Route 22X will be eliminated and replaced by Route 60LX service. Route 46 would provide service between the Dover Park-N-Ride lot & Westfield Brandon, where customers can connect to the 60LX or 360LX to Downtown.
  • Route 24X
    • Route would be restructured to limited express operation, with new Downtown Tampa stops.
  • Route 25LX
    • Route would be modified with new Downtown Tampa stops.
  • Route 27LX
    • Route 28X will be eliminated entirely with no replacement service due to ultra low ridership.
    • Alternatives available include:
      • Routes 60LX & 360LX will provide alternating Monday through Saturday connections between Downtown Tampa & Brandon. Revised Routes 24LX & 25LX will also have Downtown connections during peak times.
      • Local connections to Westfield Brandon are provided via Routes 8, 31, 37, & 46.
  • Route 28X
    • Route 28X will be eliminated entirely with no replacement service due to ultra low ridership.
    • Customers can utilize TBARTA’s Vanpool Service by visiting the TBARTA Commuter Services website or calling 1-800-998-RIDE.
    • The Burnett Park Lot will become a Vanpool pickup/drop off location and will continue to serve Megabus trips. Other Park-N-Ride lots along the route will close.
  • Route 30
    • Western terminus will be moved to Tampa International Airport, with Route 60LX taking over the Town-N-Country portion.
  • Route 31
    • The original restructuring plan called for the 31 to be converted to an all-day limited express service, as well as other possible modifications. These modifications have been removed entirely due to customer concerns.
  • Route 32&
    • Segment east of NetPark Transfer Center will be taken over by Route 38.
    • Western terminus will extend to Tampa International Airport via Dale Mabry Hwy and International Plaza/Columbus Dr.
    • West Tampa Transfer Center will close permanently.
  • Route 33
    • Route will basically revert to its late 90s routing (before service to Hidden River was eliminated to take over the North Lakeview section of Route 36 during the system restructuring in the early 2000s) to replace the Hidden River section of MetroRapid.
    • University North service would be taken over by Route 42 and HyperLINK service.

      Route 33 as it was during the late 90s
  • Route 34%
    • No immediate changes will be made, but weekday frequency will eventually increase to 15 headways. See the note at the bottom of this section.
  • Route 36
    • Route will be modified to serve Dale Mabry Hwy between Tampa Bay Blvd and Britton Plaza.
    • Service south of Britton Plaza will be taken over by Route 360LX.
    • Buses will loop around the HCC Dale Mabry Campus by travelling Tampa Bay Blvd, Lois Ave, & MLK Blvd. Buses will then proceed northward on Himes Ave and follow the existing alignment to the Fletcher Ave loop.
    • Further changes may be made down the road to re-align the segment between Hillsborough Ave & Busch Blvd to Dale Mabry Hwy instead of Himes Ave.
    • West Tampa Transfer Center will close permanently.
  • Route 37
    • Service to Brandon Regional Hospital will be discontinued, with Route 46 and HyperLINK providing alternate service.
  • Route 38
    • New Route 38 will replace the hourly eastern segment of Route 32.
  • Route 39
    • Service to NetPark will be discontinued, with buses looping at Sligh Ave, 50th St, & Puritan Rd.
    • Yukon Transfer Center will no longer be served.
  • Route 41
    • Route 41 will be eliminated entirely with no replacement due to ultra low ridership.
  • Route 42
    • New Route 42 will serve heavier ridership areas in University North and University West that will suffer loses from the removal of Routes 1, 9, 18, & 33.
  • Route 45
    • Route will be modified as follows:
      • Service south of Waters Ave will remain largely unchanged, with the exception of service on Himes Ave being moved to Dale Mabry Hwy.
      • West Tampa Transfer Center will close permanently.
      • Service north of Waters Ave will replace Route 16 service to Yukon Transfer Center.
      • Service to University Mall will be offered via Route 12.
  • Route 46$$
    • Route will only serve areas in Brandon and Dover. The Causeway Blvd/Downtown segment will be eliminated entirely due to limited ridership and various expansion constraints.
  • Route 47LX
    • Route 47LX will be eliminated entirely with no replacement due to limited ridership.
    • Alternatives available include:
      • Route 31 local service for South County.
      • Routes 24X, 60LX, & 360LX for limited express connections to Downtown.
  • Route 51X
    • Segment along Fowler Ave and 56th St will be added to serve Temple Terrace City Hall.
    • Route 53LX$$$
      • Route 53LX will be eliminated entirely with no replacement due to limited ridership and various expansion constraints.
    • Route 60LX
      • Monday through Saturday all-day limited express service between Westfield Brandon Mall & Northwest Transfer Center via Downtown Tampa & Tampa International Airport, with buses operating every hour, replacing Route 30 through Town-N-Country & 61LX.
      • Departures from Westfield Brandon will be coordinated with Route 360LX to provide 30-minute headways between Brandon & Downtown.
      • Sunday service will operate hourly in Town-N-Country only (between Northwest Transfer Center & Tampa International Airport). There will be no Downtown or Brandon service.
    • Route 61LX
      • Route will be eliminated and replaced with Route 60LX service. Existing Park-N-Ride lots in Citrus Park & Carrollwood will become vanpool pickup/drop off locations.
    • Route 57
      • Route will be eliminated with no replacement service due to low productivity and ridership.
      • Alternatives available include:
        • Route 6 for direct connections between NetPark Transfer Center and the University Area Transit Center.
        • HyperLINK for University North.
        • USF Bull Runner & HyperLINK for the USF Tampa Campus.
    • Route 96 In-Towner^
      • No immediate changes will be made.
    • Route 97 In-Towner^
      • No immediate changes will be made.
    • Route 200X$
      • Route 200X will be eliminated entirely with no replacement service due to ultra low ridership.
      • Customers can utilize TBARTA’s Vanpool Service by visiting the TBARTA Commuter Services website or calling 1-800-998-RIDE.
    • Route 275LX%
      • New Monday through Friday all-day hourly limited express service will run between Tampa International Airport & the University Area Transit Center via Downtown Tampa/Marion Transit Center.
    • Route 360LX
      • Monday through Saturday all-day limited express service between Westfield Brandon Mall & MacDill AFB via Downtown Tampa, with buses operating every hour, replacing Route 22X.
      • Departures from Westfield Brandon will be coordinated with Route 60LX to provide 30-minute headways between Brandon & Downtown.
      • Sunday service will operate hourly in South Tampa only. There will be no Downtown or Brandon service.
    • MetroRapid North-South
      • MetroRapid North-South will absorb Route 2.
      • Existing stops will be kept, with some stops added on from Route 2.
      • Weekday frequency will increase to 12 minute headways during the day with 15-30 minute evening service.
      • Weekend service will be added with 30 minute headways.
    • HART Flex Brandon
      • Zone will be eliminated in favor of HyperLINK service.
    • HART Flex Northdale
      • No immediate changes will be made.
    • HART Flex South County
      • No immediate changes will be made.
    • HART Flex South Tampa
      • Northern boundary will extend to Cypress St to cover ground lost from Route 10. The fixed routing segment will also change.
      • Unclear if WestShore Plaza connection will be retained.
      • Possible expansion is being considered for areas south of Britton Plaza.
    • HART Flex Town-N-Country
      • No immediate changes will be made.
      • Zone will eventually be eliminated in favor of HyperLINK service.

Notes:

      • + Route 51X is undergoing changes that are unrelated to the service restructuring. Further changes may be made down the road to improve efficiency.
      • % Changes are being postponed until FY19.
      • ^ In-Towner Service is slated for elimination sometime in FY19, but may be retained longer due to Governor Scott vetoing funds that would have gone to starting up the Downtown Tampa HyperLINK zone. Alternative funding sources are being explored for the zone.
      • & It is currently unclear how expanded airport service will be structured. HART may have buses loop around the terminal as it currently does with Route 30. Sometime in late 2018, the airport stop will move from the main terminal complex to the new Rental Car Center, where buses will be able to load and unload airport customers, who will be able to connect with the new SkyConnect train to the main terminal.
      • $ Route 200X will eventually be replaced by PSTA’s planned replacement service from Clearwater, but this service is not expected to be up and running until sometime between 2020 and 2024. Contracted service may fill the gap for the interim, but HART currently does not have the resources to fulfill this.
      • $$ Depending on how additional county money is allocated, Route 46 may be retained largely as-is through FY19.
      • $$$ Route 53LX will be restored when additional funding becomes available.
      • * Tampa Bay Express has been re-branded by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) as “Tampa Bay Next”, but the controversial interstate toll lane elements remain as a key element to the plan, which is not sitting well with many in the community.

Permanent Closure of West Tampa Transfer Center

The West Tampa Transfer Center will permanently close as part of the system restructuring.

With the demise of the Tampa Bay Center Mall in the early 2000s, HART began exploring sites for a replacement transfer facility in the West Tampa region. While several sites were originally evaluated, the current location along Himes Ave was eventually chosen.

I’ve personally have never been a fan of the West Tampa Transfer Center. I strongly believe that HART management at the time chose the “cheap way out” in building what could have been a more lucrative, long-term transit hub for the area. The current location of the WTTC is extremely inefficient during events at Raymond James Stadium because the facility sits right across the street from the stadium and must close due to traffic and security limitations. This operation forces buses to load and unload customers along MacDill Ave by MLK Blvd.

Closing the WTTC permanently will allow customers in the area to make street-side transfers while allowing buses to run more efficiently throughout the day.


Downtown Tampa Circulation

#1522 running down Morgan St in downtown Tampa.

As the HART system restructuring progresses, all local bus routes that currently service the Marion St Transitway will be moved off the Transitway to Morgan St, with Route 1 – which doesn’t currently serve the Transitway – making a loop around Tampa St and Florida Ave, but continuing to serve the Marion Transit Center. HART is taking a phased approach to this portion of the restructuring, but it is unclear when each of the movements will occur (some will occur in October, 2017, but others will occur later).

At some point between 2018 and 2021, HART plans to launch an autonomous shuttle along the Transitway to shuttle customers between the south end of the Transitway and Marion Transit Center. Longer term plans have HART restructuring the Transitway to serve the regional express buses mentioned in the controversial Tampa Bay Express* plan.

There was previously discussion regarding the building of light rail along the Transitway, but from what I’m hearing, that plan has been deemed unfeasible due to limitations brought upon the current Downtown Tampa street grid. If the TECOline Streetcar were to be extended northward, it is likely it will be done so via the Franklin St Mall portion between Whiting St and Kennedy Blvd.

The In-Towner Trolley service will be retained for the meantime (see note at the bottom of this section), but will eventually face elimination in 2019 or 2020, as the current fleet of trolleybuses are approaching the end of their useful lives. Funding is currently being explored for a Downtown Tampa HyperLINK zone and the Tampa Downtown Partnership “Downtowner” Shuttle Service would provide additional alternative circulation in the Downtown area.


HART Resources

For complete information regarding the HART system restructuring, please visit the HART website, where they have a dedicated page with materials for you to look at. The HART Board of Directors will vote on the final restructuring plan at the August 7, 2017 meeting.


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Legalese | Disclosures

HART Network Restructuring – Part 1

You may have heard during the past few months about Hillsborough Area Regional Transit. I’m not talking about the Premium Transit Feasibility Study or OneBusAway; but rather, I’m referring to the planned network restructuring that the agency is currently planning. The massive changes are a part of the normal Transit Development Plan update that HART, and every transit agency throughout the country, is required to perform periodically. Transit Development Plans are put into place to show the public and other government entities throughout the local, state, and federal levels, as to where transit services are now and where they should be in the future. Many factors are taken into consideration when a transit agency performs a TDP update – including demographical changes, funding levels, and vehicle fleet.

HART is currently conducting a system-wide analysis for the first time since the early 2000s and is seeking public feedback on it. The planned changes are aimed at reducing system inefficiencies while improving core service in the more populated sections of Hillsborough County. The re-evaluation comes at a crucial time – when many in the region are still undecided on where our overall transportation network should head towards, overall transit ridership is dropping across the nation due to economic changes and added transportation and work options, a possible reduction in property taxes in 2019, and an uncertain future over federal transit funding due to vastly different priorities between the previous Obama Administration and the current Trump Administration.


What changes are being made?

Much of the HART bus system as it exists today will be radically different. Many low ridership routes will be eliminated in favor of increasing frequency on higher ridership areas. HART Flex services will be reorganized, as will express bus service. HyperLINK services will ultimately get a boost in service, and overall duplication of stops and routes will be reduced. HART is also looking to serve a couple of areas where demand for transit service is high but aren’t being served yet.

You can view all of the planned changes on the HART Website, but I will highlight a few of the most significant changes.

  • Closure of the West Tampa Transfer Center
  • Elimination of Route 2, being replaced by optimized MetroRapid service that will operate on weekends as well.
  • Reorganization of Routes 7 & 30 (including removing Route 30 from the airport loop. Route 30 would eventually serve the new TPA Airport CONRAC facility).
  • Reorganization of Express services.
  • Expansion/Reorganization of HART Flex services.
  • Expansion of HyperLINK services.
  • Implementation of Uber/Lyft Discount Vouchers for late evening and overnight hours (where it is no longer feasible to run regular buses during the late nights with few riders on board).

How can I voice my concerns & questions?

I will be providing my own insight into these changes in Part 2 of this post. However, I want to help get the word out regarding some upcoming public workshops and hearings so that you’ll be in the know.

Public Workshops

Monday, June 19, 2017 (TODAY!!!)
HCC Southshore Campus
551 24th St NE
Ruskin, FL 33570
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
(10:30 presentation)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017
CDC of Tampa
1907 E. Hillsborough Ave #100
Tampa, FL 33610
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
(6:30 presentation)

Thursday, July 6, 2017
Kate Jackson Community Center
821 S. Rome Ave
Tampa, FL 33606
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
(6:30 presentation)

Monday, July 10, 2017
University Area CDC
14013 North 22nd St
Tampa, FL 33613
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
(6:30 presentation)

Additional Outreach Events

Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Marion Transit Center
1211 N. Marion St
Tampa, FL 33602
6:30 am – 8:30 am and 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Wednesday, June 21, 2017
University Area Transit Center
13110 N. 27th St
Tampa, FL 33612
6:30 am – 8:30 am and 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Thursday, June 22, 2017
Northwest Transfer Center
9325 W. Waters Ave
Tampa, FL 33615
6:30 am – 8:30 am and 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Sunday, June 25, 2017
Tampa Outdoor Market – Al Barnes Jr. Park
2902 N 32nd St
Tampa, FL 33605
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Sunday, June 25, 2017
Multicultural Family Day
Water Works Park
1710 N Highland Ave
Tampa, FL 33602
11:00 am – 7:00 pm

Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Marion Transit Center
1211 N. Marion St
Tampa, FL 33602
6:30 am – 8:30 am and 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
University Area Transit Center
13110 N. 27th St
Tampa, FL 33612
6:30 am – 8:30 am and 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Town ‘N Country Public Library
7606 Paula Drive #120
Tampa, FL 33615
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Thursday, June 29, 2017
West Tampa Transfer Center
4201 N Himes Ave
Tampa, FL 33607
6:30 am – 8:30 am and 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Thursday, July 6, 2017
Westfield- Brandon Transfer Center
459 Brandon Town Center Mall
Brandon, FL 33511
6:30 am – 8:30 am and 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Friday, July 7, 2017
netp@rk Transfer Center
5003 N. 56th St
Tampa, FL 33610
6:30 am – 8:30 am and 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Saturday, July 15, 2017
Hillsborough County Neighborhoods Conference
Sheraton Tampa East
10221 Princess Palm Ave
Tampa, FL 33610
8:00 am – 2:30 pm

Saturday, July 15, 2017
Brandon Mall – Back to School Bash
459 Brandon Town Center Mall
Brandon, FL 33511
10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Formal Public Hearing
Final Opportunity for the public to voice their concerns before the HART Board votes on the changes!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017
HART Ybor, 1201 E. 7th Ave
Tampa, FL 33605
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm


Any questions concerning these community meetings and the public hearing may be directed to HART Service Development, 1201 East 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605, or by email at servdev@goHART.org / HARTinfo Line: (813) 254-4278 / TDD: (813) 626-9158

Special Accommodations:
Any person requiring special accommodations to attend or participate, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act,
should contact HART within at least three (3) business days prior to the meeting at (813) 384-6553.


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Legalese | Disclosures

Upcoming Transit Meetings in the Tampa Bay Area

Good Thursday Morning Everyone!

I know I’m a day late with this post, but it’s better late than never. In the Tampa Bay area, there are several crucial meetings coming up during the month of October, one by which requires an RSVP. I’m not sure how many slots are left, so you’d better act fact if you wish to attend.

The first meeting I’d like to mention is the one that requires a registration. This is the Tampa Bay Regional Transportation Summit, which will be held on Thursday, October 10, from 9:30am to 12-noon at the Tampa International Airport Marriott Hotel Ballroom. This summit is being hosted by the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and will feature various speakers, including US Congressman John Mica.

For more information, and to register, click here.

The second meeting that I want to inform everyone about is the upcoming Hillsborough County Transportation Policy Leadership Group meeting. This is another very crucial meeting by which we need to continue to make our voices heard that better transit is needed NOW! This meeting will be held on Monday, October 7, at 6:00pm at Walter L. Sickles High School. The school is located at 7950 Gunn Highway in Tampa. Transit advocacy group Connect Tampa Bay (CTB) will be attending the meeting to show their support for better transit, and I hope that you will be able to join them as well!

For more information, and to RSVP, click here to visit CTB’s Facebook Event Page for the upcoming meeting.

The third meeting being held this month is concerning the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) study to replace the aging northbound span of the Howard Frankland Bridge, which was constructed in 1959 and is structurally deficient. This meeting is also crucial because with the current budget constraints, FDOT very well may just build a four lane bridge with no transit accommodations. We must make our voices heard that the new span must include some sort of a transit corridor, preferably accommodations for a future commuter rail line.

There will actually be two meetings held; one for Hillsborough residents and one for Pinellas residents. Please see the schedule below for details:

  • Pinellas Meeting: Tuesday, October 8 from 5 to 7pm, Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) Operations Center, 3201 Scherer Drive, St. Petersburg, FL 33716
  • Hillsborough Meeting: Thursday, October 10 from 5 to 7pm, Tampa Marriott Westshore, 1001 North Westshore Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33607

For more information, click here.

If you can possibly attend any of these meetings, please do! The future of our transportation system depends on your input!

 

No new funding = no new buses for HART

As I mentioned in my last post, many transit districts are having to re-evaluate their current levels of service, as well as future plans, based on the levels of funding that are available to them. I also mentioned that in the case with HART in Tampa, they currently must rely on property taxes to fund a large chunk of its transit operations, a source that has been dwindling during the past several years. Now there is word that HART will face a very dire dilemma next year if no new funding sources are found.

Continue reading No new funding = no new buses for HART

PSTA moves forward with transit referendum plans

Great news to everyone residing in the Tampa Bay area (particularly Pinellas County)! The PSTA board decided unanimously to move forward with plans to place a penny sales tax increase to help fund transit improvements. The current plan is to have the question on the November, 2014 ballot, however this could change if more time is needed to hash out all the details.

Although I’m very excited that the measure is moving forward, I must stress that the one thing that Pinellas County cannot do is make the same mistakes that Hillsborough County made in 2010. Specifically, I speak of the fact that not enough time was put in to really present a comprehensive plan that would benefit residents throughout the county. For instance, the plan was heavily marketing light rail, when the plan also included expanded local and express bus services, bus rapid transit, and roadway improvements. I also feel that the plan was “rushed” so to speak, because not everyone had a chance to really provide their opinions on the plan prior to the election season. Perhaps if more time was provided (let’s say putting the measure to 2011 instead of 2010), there would have been more time to convince those who typically do not use public transit that the plan would benefit them. On top of that, opposition groups quickly mobilized to associate Hillsborough’s penny tax plan with President Obama’s high speed rail plan, calling the whole issue a nightmare for taxpayers. Unless Pinellas spends the time and resources analyzing all the options available for their transit expansion plan, voters may end up feeling more confused about the Pinellas effort than Hillsborough residents felt about their’s in 2010.

In the coming months there are going to be lots of meetings and discussions on the matter so that residents can have their say.  I am also confident that the with the help of Connect Tampa Bay, the public will be better informed about the Pinellas plan than Hillsborough residents were in 2010. However, I feel that county leaders, PSTA, and others involved with the plan need to use extra caution in respects to economic conditions in the region and throughout the world. 2010 was clearly a bad time to bring up a transit referendum, as the economy was still in very bad shape from the 2008 financial crisis. Although the economy is slowly recovering now, things are still very fragile. Should economic conditions deteriorate again within the next few months, it is possible that the referendum could get called off completely.

If you have any feedback to provide, please feel free to comment!

Warmest Regards,

HARTride 2012.

Please attend PSTA’s upcoming board meeting on January 23, 2013.

Sorry if I’m a bit late in posting this; on Wednesday, January 23, 2013, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) will be holding a board meeting in regards to whether or not the agency should move forward with a sales tax referendum (similar to what Hillsborough County attempted in 2010) to help fund road construction and public transit projects throughout the county. If this measure were to pass; we will be able to see improved roadway corridors, bike lanes and improved pedestrian facilities (such as sidewalks and crosswalks), bus rapid transit services, improved local and express bus services, and eventually a light rail corridor.

The meeting will be held at PSTA’s headquarters, located at 3201 Scherer Drive in St. Petersburg (zip code is 33716) and will begin at 9:00am. A continental breakfast is being offered at 8:00am for those who attend. I strongly encourage you to attend if you possibly can. I know that many of you have busy working schedules and may not be able to attend, especially if you live in neighboring counties. However, we need as many supporters to be present so that the PSTA board can become convinced that moving forward with the referendum is the right thing to do for Pinellas County. Many opponents (such as No Tax for Tracks) will be present as well, so the voice of support must clearly be louder than the voice of the opposition.

For more information about the upcoming meeting, or to get directions, please visit PSTA’s website, or call their InfoLine at (727)-540-1800. To view a PDF of the meeting agenda, click here. If you’re on Facebook, please click here to confirm your attendance. Please note that the Facebook event page is not hosted by PSTA, but rather Connect Tampa Bay.

Please make a difference in Pinellas County’s transit future by attending this meeting.

Warmest Regards,

HARTride 2012

PSTA’s Flex Service Plan Gains Steam

Following on HART’s success of utilizing flex bus routes, PSTA will be hosting three public workshops to gain public input on three proposed northern Pinellas flex bus routes.

For those of you who may not be familiar with flex bus service; routes operate within a “zone” usually comprising of a cluster of neighborhoods. A fleet of minibuses transport passengers from their doorstep to various destinations within their “zone”. These places include schools, supermarkets, post offices, businesses, and more. Since flex routes utilize minibuses, they can easily pick up and drop off passengers who may live within gated communities and other hard-to-reach areas that are otherwise inaccessible by the traditional 30, 35, 40, 45, and 60 foot public transit bus.

To use flex bus services, passengers call a special telephone number to place a reservation. Reservations can be placed within a time frame that is set forth by the public transit authority (usually 2 to 3 hours minimum advance notice is required). Some services may offer what is called “walk-up service”, which means that passengers can walk to a designated bus stop and catch a minibus. However, with the “walk-up service”, destinations are limited and seating is not guaranteed.

PSTA hopes to launch its three flex bus routes later this year, but they want to know what the needs of the communities impacted by the services are before they launch the service. At this time, the exact flex zones are not known, however there will be connections to the PCPT (Pasco) and HART (Hillsborough) systems.

To learn more about PSTA’s proposed flex bus service and the upcoming public workshops, click here.

HART hosts a BRT workshop

By now, you’ve probably heard the buzz about a Bus Rapid Transit (or BRT) system coming to Tampa. Well, HART has reached the next stage of the system finally becoming a reality. The agency has launched a study to implement the first phase of the system, which will run along Nebraska Avenue and Fletcher Avenue. The system will serve two future park-n-ride lots near I-75, the University Area Transit Center, and Downtown Tampa via Fletcher & Nebraska.

For those of you wishing to seek additional information about HART’s BRT system, here’s your chance. HART will be holding an open house on Tuesday, November 18, 2008, between the hours of 4pm & 7pm, at the Seminole Heights Baptist Church (801 E Hillsborough Ave – Tampa, FL 33604). The church is located on the corner of Nebraska Ave & Hillsborough Ave, adjacent to I-275. For additional information about the project and the upcoming open house, click here.