Category Archives: Route Detours and Service Interruptions

ATLANTA, GA: I-85 viaduct collapse. What you need to know.

aerials i85 fire.mpg_19.43.25.23_1490917971950_2971320_ver1.0_640_360.png
Fire crews apply foam to the collapsed section of I-85 in midtown Atlanta on Thursday, 3/30/17. Photo Credit: WAGA (Fox 5 Atlanta).

On the evening of Thursday, March 30, 2017, an elevated section of I-85 in the metro Atlanta, GA region collapsed due to an intense fire that started underneath (possibly by PVC piping that was being stored). Smoke could be seen for miles while the fire burned and the resulting collapse and closure of the major artery is bound to snarl traffic in Georgia’s most populated city for weeks, if not a couple months.

If you reside in metro Atlanta and normally take I-85 as part of your daily commute, please know that the section of the interstate between the I-75 split in the Brookwood area and GA Hwy 400 in the Peachtree Park/Lindberg area is closed in both directions and will remain closed until the damaged sections are able to be rebuilt. Alternate routes include I-20, I-75, GA Hwy 42, GA Hwy 141, GA Hwy 154, US Hwy 19, US Hwy 41, and US Hwy 78. Please keep these roadways in mind if you are visiting the area as well. If you are simply passing through the Atlanta region, but are not stopping anywhere within the heart of the city, please take the I-285 Beltway. I currently do not recommend GA Hwy 13 (which the Buford Springs Connector is a part of) due to the ongoing investigation and traffic congestion.

During this time, please allow extra travel time and lots of patience. It’s never fun having to take detours because a major highway is closed, but your commute can be far worse if it is not planned out carefully.


Transit Services

If at all possible, please use public transit services during this time, as it will help alleviate congestion along key highways. The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (or MARTA) is implementing increased rail services for today and this weekend. Please be sure to visit MARTA’s website for the latest information, including service changes, interruptions, and detours. You can also follow MARTA on Social Media and download the MARTA On the Go App. Currently, MARTA bus routes 6, 27, 30, 33, and 47 are being impacted by the incident and detours are possible. Please check with MARTA for the latest on these routes and allow extra commute time. Extra staffing will be provided along the MARTA system to assist customers in getting around.

Gwinnett County Transit buses originating in Gwinnett County will detour via I-20 and I-285.


For continuing updates on the I-85 closure, please monitor local media outlets.


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Gasparilla 2017

Side angle of #1506.
Beat the parking and traffic hassles this Gasparilla parade by using HART!

Pirates, and Beads, and Transit…oh my!

Yep, it’s that time again, for the annual Gasparilla Pirate Festival! The Parade of the Pirates brings in hundreds of revelers each year, and along with that…tons and tons of roadway closures. So here’s what you need to know if you plan on attending the parade on Saturday, January 28, starting at 2:00pm.

Roadway Closures and Parking Info

On Friday, January 27, the day before the parade (that is TOMORROW as of the publishing of this post), many area roadways will begin to shut down. A complete list of closures has been provided through local media outlets (for this post, I’ve used the News Channel 8 article) and I strongly suggest that you go through this list so that you’re not caught in unnecessary traffic congestion. Because of the parade route and disbursement of the floats at the end of the parade, the Platt, Brorein, and Kennedy bridges will all be closed. That means your only points of egress into downtown Tampa will be the Cass St bridge, the Selmon Expressway, and I-275. If you don’t need to be in downtown Tampa, please do not enter the area! I cannot stress this enough.

For those traveling to Davis Island and Tampa General Hospital, access will be maintained to the island, but the on/off-ramps to/from Bayshore will all be closed. Please be sure to plan ahead for this, as shuttle service may not be available during the parade.

If you plan to park in one of the parking garages in either Downtown Tampa, Channelside, Hyde Park, or Ybor City, please make sure you remember where you parked. Also, keep in mind that many streets will be closed throughout the area. Please also be sure to bring cash, because some lots may only accept cash as payment. Additionally, please be aware that the City of Tampa prohibits parking on some streets.

Escape the parking and traffic hassles, use transit!

Select HART bus routes and the TECOline Streetcar Line will operate on a modified schedule on Saturday, and some bus routes will be detoured due to road closures. I’ll go through a brief rundown of what to expect if you’re using transit to get to and from the parade. For detailed information – including routes that serve the Downtown Tampa area – please visit the HART website, as information can change between now and the day of the parade.

Routes 7, 8, 14, 19, & 30 will be detoured! Please plan your trip accordingly! Below is a listing of how buses will be detoured, along with respective route maps. OneBusAway WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR THE ROUTES AFFECTED, SO PLEASE REFER TO POSTED SCHEDULES FOR DEPARTURE TIMES!!!

  • Routes 7 & 14 WILL NOT SERVE CASS ST. Instead, both routes will travel along Palm Ave from N. Boulevard and then follow Tampa St/Scott St into downtown (outbound will use Marion St/Henderson Ave/Florida Ave to Palm Ave).
  • Route 8 will be detoured via Nuccio Pkwy & Cass St. The normal route through Channelside and southern Downtown WILL NOT BE SERVED.
  • Routes 19 & 30 will be detoured via Howard/Armenia and I-275. The Platt/Cleveland/Brorien/Davis Island segments of Route 19 & the Kennedy Blvd segment of Route 30 east of Armenia/Howard WILL NOT BE SERVED.
    • Please make alternate arrangements if you are needing to get to/from Tampa General Hospital, as shuttle service may not be available.
    • If you reside in the Town-N-Country area, you can park your car at the Northwest Transfer Center and use Route 30 to connect to the Gasparilla festivities!
  • The TECOline Streetcar will run a modified schedule from 8:00am through 1:30am Sunday morning, and will only serve selected stations during selected times of the day. However, the Dick Greco Plaza, Centro Ybor, and Centennial Park stations will be served all day. The Whiting station will be CLOSED all day. Please read carefully through HART’s blog post for a complete listing of stations that will be closed throughout the day.
  • Feeder bus shuttles will pick up passengers at the Tampa Port Authority Garage, Dick Greco Plaza, Cumberland Ave, Cadrecha Plaza, and Streetcar Society stations to help get customers between various parking venues and the parade route. Service will commence at 9:30am and run through 7:00pm.
  • The In-Towner Saturday Route (Route 97) will operate along its normal route, but will provide frequent service throughout the day. Service will commence at 9:00am and run roughly every 15 to 20 minutes through 7:00pm. Customers may disembark the trolley at stops along Jackson St (inbound to Channelside) or Whiting St (Outbound to Marion Transit Center). OneBusAway tracking will be unavailable.

The Cross-Bay Ferry will NOT OPERATE!!!

For those hoping to hitch a ride on the ferry this Saturday, sorry folks! This is due to US Coast Guard regulations in place during the parade.


And remember, please party responsibly. Don’t drink and drive, and don’t text and drive.


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(Note: All links above have been updated to reflect the new website)

Greater Dayton RTA Service Suspension – What you need to know

Strike Force and Labor Dispute_0.jpg

It’s not too often that I report on transit happenings occurring outside of my coverage areas. However, in extenuating circumstances that could cause long-term impacts upon a transit agency while causing short to mid-term service disruptions – it’s important to know what your options may be if transit services are suddenly not available.

In the Dayton, OH region, many transit customers rely on the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority to provide bus and paratransit services each day. The area’s school district also contracts with the transit agency to provide basic bus service to and from schools. In Florida, most of the respective school districts provide their own busing to transport students to and from school.

During the past several months, a labor dispute has threatened to cripple transit services if left unresolved. Unionized employees have continually alleged that their needs for better pay and benefits have been left ignored by agency management. Despite several efforts to try and negotiate through the situation without incident, those talks have failed.

As of 12-midnight this morning, the unionized GDRTA employees are on strike, leaving regular bus services completely suspended and paratransit services operating at bare minimum levels until further notice. While many have been bracing for the possibility of a widespread service interruption in a worst-case-scenario for some time, other customers were left scrambling for transportation options as of this morning.


How did this happen?

Two key issues by which the unionized GDRTA employees – represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1385 – are demanding that management resolve are pay and medical benefits. Workers state that there has been no pay raise since April 2014 and that they have not been properly compensated for overtime. Additionally, increased costs in health care have prompted the agency to make unpopular changes in their employee’s medical benefits. So far, the two sides have been unable to come to an agreement and the union announced its intent to go on strike in late December of 2016, with January 8th being the “make it, or break it moment”.


What you need to know going forward

There’s no doubt that as the AM rush hour starts to dwindle that many are left stranded, wondering how they’ll get to where they need to go. While the strike is in effect, expect increased traffic as those who have access to a personal vehicle but normally use transit will be on the roads. Additionally, ride sharing and taxi services will be to capacity and a speedy pickup may not be available. While biking, walking, carpooling, and telecommuting may be an option for some, it will not be an option for many others.

For those who rely on paratransit services (also known as Project Mobility), you should contact (937) 425-8300 for further information and scheduling a next-day trip. You can monitor updates through local media outlets and through social media. Frequently Asked Questions are posted to the RTA website.


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(Note: All links above have been updated to reflect the new website)

Route 74 Long-Term Detour – Effective 1/6/16 to TBD. July, 2016 Update.

Service Alert 1

With the October, 2016 Service Changes approved, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) has once again changed the detour routing for Route 74 between Gateway Mall and Pinellas Park. This time however, the changes are permanent, and permanent bus stops have been placed along the corridor. Please be mindful of where the new stops are located, and that Real Time Bus Information will not be available for these stops until PSTA is able to make its next GTFS update. At that point in time, the new stops will be added into the Real Time database and updates will be made to the Real Time Bus Tracking and Arrival Interface, on board digital signs and automated announcements, Google Maps, and OneBusAway. Also bear in mind that the Route 59 stops along MLK St N between Gandy Blvd and 94th Ave N will no longer serve Route 74 buses, as buses have resumed using 94th Ave N in both directions. Please refer to the diagram below for the new routing and stops.


Diagram showing Route 74's new routing and bus stops, as well as existing bus stops. Please click on the image for a larger view.
Diagram showing Route 74’s new routing and bus stops, as well as existing bus stops. Please click on the image for a larger view.

As depicted by the diagram, eastbound Route 74 buses will travel along Gandy Blvd N as they normally do from Pinellas Park. After passing the bus stop by Grand Ave, buses will pass under I-275 and the operator will prepare to turn left onto MLK St N, crossing over 94th Ave N. Buses will then turn left onto MLK St N, followed by another left onto 102nd Ave N. Buses will then turn left onto 16th St N, followed by another left onto 94th Ave N. After crossing over Gandy Blvd, buses will serve the existing stops along 94th Ave N before turning right onto MLK St N towards Gateway Mall. Westbound buses will follow the same pattern, but in the reverse direction – MLK St N going northbound, then left onto 94th Ave N (crossing over Gandy Blvd), then right onto 16th St N, followed by a right onto 102nd Ave N, MLK St N, and Gandy Blvd towards Pinellas Park (crossing over 94th Ave N).

The bus stops along 16th St N, by the Metropointe Business Center and the AGR Florida facility are now in their permanent spots, as well as the stops along 102nd Ave N in front of the Bel Air Apartments. Additionally, new stops have been placed on 94th Ave N immediately west of the westbound Gandy Blvd frontage road – replacing the bus stops that were previously located along the south frontage road by the Windjammer Condominiums.

Any specific information regarding the Route 74 detour, and any upcoming route changes, should be directed to PSTA. You can contact PSTA at 727-540-1900.

Please note that the fifth blog post regarding the October Service Changes is still forthcoming.


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Route 36 Re-alignment – Effective 6/6/16.

Beginning Monday, June 6, 2016, Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) will be implementing a slight re-alignment in the routing of Route 36, which travels from the Interbay Peninsula (South Tampa Area) to Carrollwood. This permanent re-alignment is occurring because the intersection of Gunn Hwy and Linebaugh Ave is being reconfigured in a manner by which vehicles will no longer be permitted to turn left onto eastbound Gunn Hwy from westbound Linebaugh Ave. As a result of the re-alignment, buses will utilize the northbound entry ramp from Busch Blvd to northbound Dale Mabry Hwy, and the southbound exit ramp from southbound Dale Mabry Hwy to Busch Blvd. Busch Blvd turns into Gunn Hwy at the Dale Mabry interchange. Please refer to the HART diagram below for the current and new routing. Any questions or concerns should be directed to HART via the phone listed at the bottom of the flyer, or by visiting www.GoHART.org.

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Route 74 Long-Term Detour – Effective 1/6/16 to TBD – May, 2016 Update

As first reported back in January, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) Route 74 has been on detour in the Gateway area of Pinellas due to construction along Gandy Blvd. In March, changes were made to the route to accommodate the closure of the 16th St N interchange at Gandy Blvd. Since the opening of the 94th Ave N interchange with Gandy Blvd in April, the detour routing has changed once again. Please see the diagram below for the current detour routing.

Route 74 Detour 3A

Please keep in mind that further changes to Route 74 may be made between now and the October, 2016 service change cycle. For the October service changes, significant changes are being planned for Routes 4, 59, and 74, among others. A separate blog post will follow regarding the June and October service changes. Any specific information regarding the Route 74 detour, and any upcoming route changes, should be directed to PSTA. You can contact PSTA at 727-540-1900.

UPDATE: PSTA Route 74 Detour – 1/6/16 to TBD

Service Alert 1

For the past two months, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) has been detouring Route 74 along Gandy Blvd between MLK St N and I-275 due to construction. This past weekend brought upon a change in the detour route, which now have buses in both directions utilizing MLK St N between 94th Ave N and 102nd Ave N, then traveling along 102nd Ave N to 16th St N, and finally 16th St N to Gandy Blvd. The new routing is depicted in the map below, along with approximate locations of the temporary bus stops.

Route 74 Detour Map - Revised 03-13-2016

While this detour is temporary, I have a rather strong feeling that this change could possibly wind up being permanent, depending on how much usage the stops receive. It is to note that along 16th St N between Gandy and 102nd, there are several business parks that are grossly underserved by transit and anyone working in these parks must walk quite a bit to get to any nearby bus stop. Along 102nd Ave N is the Bel Air Apartments, by which anyone residing there would normally walk to the Route 59 stops along MLK St N.

I will be keeping riders posted on any future changes with Route 74, as the changes have not been very well communicated by PSTA.


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The Travel Log by HARTride 2012 Facebook Group is now open!

HART bus service during the 2016 Tampa Bay AirFest

HART AirFest 2016 Transportation Banner 1

It’s that time again…time for the Tampa Bay Air Fest and all of the awesomeness that it brings! This year’s event will be held on Saturday, March 19, 2016 and Sunday, March 20, 2016.

As with previous events, traffic congestion throughout South Tampa will be very heavy, so you will want to leave early and be prepared to brave the crowds…both at the event and while on the road. If you want to avoid the traffic and parking hassles, I strongly encourage you to use transit to get to and from the event. As with many previous events, Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) is partnering with MacDill Air Force Base to provide bus transportation via a modified Route 4. Route 4 normally operates hourly on weekdays only, but will be operating roughly every 15 minutes on both days.

The scene from the 2014 AirFest. Photo Credit: HARTride 2012.

Escape the traffic hassles! Use HART!

Gates will open at 8:00am, but as in years past, you can expect to see cars lining up as early as 7:00am or earlier. Why sit in traffic and worry about if you’ll even get a parking space when you can leave the driving to HART?

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  • Route 4 Shuttle Service
    • The Route 4 Shuttle will operate every 15 minutes depending on traffic, with buses running southbound beginning at 8:00am from the Marion Transit Center in downtown Tampa. Northbound buses will begin running at 9:00am from MacDill AFB. Southbound service will end at 3:00pm, or slightly earlier depending on event capacity. Final northbound buses will begin leaving the base at 5:00pm.
    • Buses will follow the normal Route 4 weekday route on both days, but the segment south of Britton Plaza will be modified due to congestion and some normal bus stops will not be served. This is to help keep buses moving and spacing between buses consistent.
    • Please keep in mind that OneBusAway tracking may not be available for this service.
  • Normal Route 19 Service
    • Route 19 will operate on its normal weekend route and schedule. Some buses may see delays due to base traffic. Since Route 19 interlines with Route 18 on weekends, Route 18 customers should expect delays in their buses arriving as well.
  • Modified Route 36 Service
    • Because of heavy traffic, Route 36 will terminate at Britton Plaza and will only operate its normal route and schedule between Britton Plaza and the transfer point at Fletcher Ave and Dale Mabry Hwy.

For Air Fest 2014, I made a map showing the routing of all three above routes. Please keep in mind that the routing of Route 4 could change as it gets closer to the event. Please review HART’s blog post for any additional info.

Trying to figure out which bus goes where. Photo Credit: HARTride 2012.
Photo Credit: HARTride 2012.

For those driving to the event.

For those of you who wish to drive to Air Fest (or are coming in from another county), there will be something different this year. The Dale Mabry, MacDill Ave, and Tanker Way (Manhattan/Interbay) Gates will all open for inbound traffic to help alleviate the heavy congestion that has plagued South Tampa streets in years past. The Bayshore Blvd gate, as in past years, will only be open to military personnel with a valid ID. There is no cost for parking at the event.

With that said, here’s the main arterial highways that will get you to the AirFest.

  • From Central and South Pinellas County via Gandy Blvd.
    • If you’re coming from the southern Gulf Beaches, south and central St. Pete, and Gulfport, you can use I-275 north to Exit 28 – Gandy Blvd. Travel Gandy Blvd eastbound across the Gandy Bridge until you reach Dale Mabry Hwy (intersection immediately after the Selmon Exwy). Turn right onto Dale Mabry and proceed to the MacDill AFB gate.
    • If you’re coming from Seminole, Largo, and other points within central Pinellas, just follow Gandy Blvd eastbound to Dale Mabry Hwy (intersection immediately after the Selmon Exwy). Turn right onto Dale Mabry and proceed to the MacDill AFB gate.
  • From Northern Pinellas County and Western Pasco/Hernando/Citrus Counties.
    • Those coming from Clearwater, Tarpon Springs, the northern Gulf Beaches and other points north can use either the Courtney Campbell Causeway (SR 60 east) and follow the signs to Kennedy Blvd (SR 60 east). Continue along Kennedy until you reach Dale Mabry Hwy (US 92 west). Turn right onto Dale Mabry and proceed to the MacDill AFB gate.
    • Alternatively, you can use Gandy Blvd eastbound to Dale Mabry Hwy southbound.
  • From Northwest Hillsborough County, Central Pasco/Hernando Counties, and Eastern Citrus County via Dale Mabry Hwy.
    • If coming from West Tampa, Drew Park, Carrollwood, Town-N-Country, Citrus Park, and Lutz, you can simply use Dale Mabry Hwy southbound until you reach the MacDill AFB gate.
    • If coming from central Pasco County and northward, proceed on US 41 south until you reach Dale Mabry Hwy (SR 597) southbound. Fork right onto Dale Mabry and proceed southbound until you reach the MacDill AFB gate.
    • An alternate to the northern portion of Dale Mabry is the Veterans Exwy/Suncoast Pkwy. Use the highway to reach Kennedy Blvd (SR 60) east. Then proceed on Kennedy until you reach Dale Mabry Hwy (US 92 west). Turn right onto Dale Mabry and proceed to the MacDill AFB gate. PLEASE KEEP IN MIND that the Veterans Exwy/Suncoast Pkwy are TOLL ROADS!
  • From Northeast Hillsborough County and Eastern Pasco/Hernando Counties.
    • If coming from the New Tampa and USF areas, you can use I-275 south towards downtown Tampa. Be sure to follow the signs towards St. Petersburg when approaching the I-4 junction. From there, use Exit 41A/B – Dale Mabry Hwy southbound (US 92 west). Turn left onto Dale Mabry and proceed south to the MacDill AFB gate.
    • If coming from eastern Pasco and Hernando counties, use I-75 south to I-275 (Exit 274) south and follow the directions above. After merging onto I-275 south, travel to Exit 41A/B – Dale Mabry Hwy southbound (US 92 west). Turn left onto Dale Mabry and proceed south to the MacDill AFB gate.
    • Alternatively, you can use the I-4/Selmon Connector (I-4 Exit 2) to connect to the Selmon westbound and exit off Gandy Blvd east (Exit 1A). From there, turn right at Dale Mabry Hwy south (very first light as soon as you get off the expressway) and proceed to the MacDill AFB gate. PLEASE KEEP IN MIND that the Selmon Exwy (including the Connector from I-4) are TOLL ROADS.
  • From Eastern Hillsborough County, Polk County, and the Orlando Area via I-4.
    • If travelling along I-4 towards Tampa from East Hillsborough and beyond, simply follow the signs to I-275 south to St. Petersburg. Once on I-275, After merging onto I-275 south, travel to Exit 41A/B – Dale Mabry Hwy southbound (US 92 west). Turn left onto Dale Mabry and proceed south to the MacDill AFB gate.
    • Alternatively, you can use the I-4/Selmon Connector (I-4 Exit 2) to connect to the Selmon westbound and exit off Gandy Blvd east (Exit 1A). From there, turn right at Dale Mabry Hwy south (very first light as soon as you get off the expressway) and proceed to the MacDill AFB gate. PLEASE KEEP IN MIND that the Selmon Exwy (including the Connector from I-4) are TOLL ROADS.
  • From Southern Hillsborough County and Manatee/Sarasota Counties via I-75 and the Selmon Exwy.
    • If coming from South Hillsborough County and points southward, use I-75 north to the Selmon Exwy (Exit 256) and proceed through downtown Tampa to Exit 1A (Gandy Blvd East). From there, turn right at Dale Mabry Hwy south (very first light as soon as you get off the expressway) and proceed to the MacDill AFB gate. PLEASE KEEP IN MIND that the Selmon Exwy is a TOLL ROAD.
    • If you do not wish to use the Selmon, you can use SR 60 (Exit 257 from I-75 north) and proceed through the Channelside District and downtown Tampa to Bayshore Blvd via Channelside Dr and Brorien St. Turn right from Bayshore Blvd to Bay to Bay Blvd, and then left on Dale Mabry Hwy. Proceed south on Dale Mabry until you reach the MacDill AFB gate.
  • From Manatee/Sarasota Counties via I-275 and Gandy Blvd.
    • If you use I-275/Sunshine Skyway from Manatee County, proceed northbound on I-275 to Exit 28 – Gandy Blvd. Travel Gandy Blvd eastbound across the Gandy Bridge until you reach Dale Mabry Hwy (intersection immediately after the Selmon Exwy). Turn right onto Dale Mabry and proceed to the MacDill AFB gate.

For those using bicycles, roller blades, etc.

Although bicycles, roller blades, etc. are acceptable modes of transport to the base, they are not allowed on the flight line (the zone within the gated event area). Bike racks will be provided near the event gates so that you can lock up your bike securely. Those using roller blades, etc. should have a backpack to stow them away in (large tote bags are not allowed at the event).

Be sure to NOT bring anything with you that wouldn't be allowed through an airport security checkpoint.
Be sure to NOT bring anything with you that wouldn’t be allowed through an airport security checkpoint.

Other tips to keep in mind.

  • ARRIVE EARLY! Gates open at 8:00am on both Saturday and Sunday. However, lines of cars will start forming even before 7:00am. If you’re driving from another county, or using the HART bus system, please plan your trip accordingly. For HART Customers, you can use the OneBusAway app for real-time bus arrival times.
  • LIMITED PARKING. While parking is free at the event, there are only so many spaces available. Once all of the designated parking lots are full, base officials will close the Dale Mabry gate to all arriving traffic. This is why it’s strongly encouraged to use the HART bus system and its convenient Route 4 Shuttle Service.
  • PACK ITEMS CAREFULLY. While you definitely want to make sure you have water with you, please be considerate of what you take with you to the event. The event gates, as in years past, will have a tented airport-style security checkpoint. Basically anything that prohibited at the airport will be prohibited at the event (including firearms). Coolers, glass containers, pets (except service dogs), and fireworks are also prohibited.

Any further questions or concerns regarding the AirFest should be directed to MacDill AFB officials. Questions or concerns about transit services should be directed to HART Customer Service. HART can be contacted at 813-254-4278.

Official Air Fest Webpage | Official MacDill AFB Facebook Page.

Enjoy the Air Fest weekend!

HARTride 2012

Gasparilla 2016

Side angle of #1506.
Beat the parking and traffic hassles this Gasparilla parade by using HART!

Pirates, and Beads, and Transit…oh my!

Yep, it’s that time again, for the annual Gasparilla Pirate Festival! The Parade of the Pirates brings in hundreds of revelers each year, and along with that…tons and tons of roadway closures. So here’s what you need to know if you plan on attending the parade on Saturday, January 30, starting at 2:00pm.

Roadway Closures and Parking Info

On Friday, January 29, the day before the parade (that is TODAY as of the publishing of this post), many area roadways will begin to shut down. A complete list of closures has been provided through local media outlets (for this post, I’ve used the ABC Action News article) and I strongly suggest that you go through this list so that you’re not caught in unnecessary traffic congestion. Because of the parade route and disbursement of the floats at the end of the parade, the Platt, Brorein, and Kennedy bridges will all be closed. That means your only points of egress into downtown Tampa will be the Cass St bridge, the Selmon Expressway, and I-275. If you don’t need to be in downtown Tampa, please do not enter the area! I cannot stress this enough.

For those traveling to Davis Island and Tampa General Hospital, access will be maintained to the island, but the on/off-ramps to/from Bayshore will all be closed. Please be sure to plan ahead for this, as shuttle service may not be available during the parade.

If you plan to park in one of the parking garages in either Downtown Tampa, Channelside, Hyde Park, or Ybor City, please make sure you remember where you parked. Also, keep in mind that many streets will be closed throughout the area. Please also be sure to bring cash, because some lots may only accept cash as payment. Additionally, please be aware that the City of Tampa prohibits parking on some streets.

Escape the parking and traffic hassles, use transit!

Select HART bus routes and the TECOline Streetcar Line will operate on a modified schedule on Saturday, and some bus routes will be detoured due to road closures. I’ll go through a brief rundown of what to expect if you’re using transit to get to and from the parade. For detailed information – including routes that serve the Downtown Tampa area – please visit the HART website, as information can change between now and the day of the parade.

Routes 7, 8, 14, 19, & 30 will be detoured! Please plan your trip accordingly! Below is a listing of how buses will be detoured, along with respective route maps. OneBusAway WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR THE ROUTES AFFECTED, SO PLEASE REFER TO POSTED SCHEDULES FOR DEPARTURE TIMES!!!

  • Routes 7 & 14 WILL NOT SERVE CASS ST. Instead, both routes will travel along Palm Ave from N. Boulevard and then follow Tampa St/Scott St into downtown (outbound will use Marion St/Henderson Ave/Florida Ave to Palm Ave).
  • Route 8 will be detoured via Nuccio Pkwy & Cass St. The normal route through Channelside and southern Downtown WILL NOT BE SERVED.
  • Routes 19 & 30 will be detoured via Howard/Armenia and I-275. The Platt/Cleveland/Brorien/Davis Island segments of Route 19 & the Kennedy Blvd segment of Route 30 east of Armenia/Howard WILL NOT BE SERVED.
    • Please make alternate arrangements if you are needing to get to/from Tampa General Hospital, as shuttle service may not be available.
    • If you reside in the Town-N-Country area, you can park your car at the Northwest Transfer Center and use Route 30 to connect to the Gasparilla festivities!
  • The TECOline Streetcar will run a modified schedule from 9:00am through 1:30am Sunday morning, and will only serve selected stations during selected times of the day. However, the Dick Greco Plaza, Centro Ybor, and Centennial Park stations will be served all day. The Whiting station will be CLOSED all day. Please read carefully through HART’s blog post for a complete listing of stations that will be closed throughout the day.
  • Feeder bus shuttles will pick up passengers at the Tampa Port Authority Garage, Dick Greco Plaza, Cumberland Ave, Cadrecha Plaza, and Streetcar Society stations to help get customers between various parking venues and the parade route. Service will commence at 9:30am and run through 7:00pm.
  • The In-Towner will offer trolley service from Dick Greco Plaza to the Marion Transit Center to allow for speedy travel between northern Downtown and the parade route. Service will commence at 9:00am and run roughly every 15 to 20 minutes through 6:00pm.

And remember, please party responsibly. Don’t drink and drive, and don’t text and drive.

PSTA Route 74 Detour – 1/6/16 to TBD

Service Alert 1

PSTA Route 74 Detour

Beginning on Wednesday, January 6, 2016, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) Route 74 will be on a long-term detour in the Gateway area – due to construction activities along Gandy Blvd N (State Rd 694), between I-275 and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St N. Because of the uncertainty in the construction schedule, PSTA does not yet know when the Route 74 will return to normal routing in this area. However, customers (myself included since I board the bus in this vicinity) will find themselves having to walk farther to catch the bus than normal. I strongly advise that you allow extra time to get to and from the bus stop during the entire duration of the detour.

Why is this detour being implemented?

The reason for this detour is because the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is going to close the 16th St N intersection with Gandy Blvd N on Wednesday, January 6, 2016, in order to continue working on the Gandy Freeway project. This project has been in the works since the 1970s, but has only begun construction in the last two years due to a lack of funding. When completed, the project will allow for thru traffic on Gandy to bypass traffic signals between I-275 and 4th St N via an elevated highway. Overpasses will be located at the intersections of 4th St N/Roosevelt Blvd, Dr. MLK  Jr. St N, 94th Ave N, and 16th St N. Local traffic will still be able to access these roadways via a frontage road system.

Will my bus stop be affected?

If you board Route 74 buses from any of the stops along 94th Ave N, from Dr. MLK Jr. St N, to where 94th turns into the South Frontage Rd along Gandy Blvd N, by 16th St N; these stops will NOT BE SERVED DURING THE DURATION OF THE DETOUR!!! Buses will instead be traveling along Gandy Blvd N to Dr. MLK Jr. St N.

For further detail of the stops being affected by this detour, please see the map below:

This map shows where the South Frontage Road access will be closed, as well as Route 74 bus stops that will not be served.
This map shows where the South Frontage Road access will be closed, as well as Route 74 bus stops that will not be served. Click on the map for a larger view.

Where can I catch the bus from?

You will be able to board Route 74 buses from the stops along MLK Jr. St N at 94th Ave N. These stops also serve Route 59.

How can I obtain more information about this detour?

I strongly encourage you to contact PSTA directly with any questions or concerns regarding the detour. You can visit their website at PSTA.net, then select the Rider Alerts link at the bottom. Or, you can call the PSTA InfoLine at (727)-540-1900. If you have a Twitter account, please be sure to follow the latest route detours and other service alerts @PSTAalerts.