Hillsborough Area Regional Transit

Page Updated on: 07/08/2018
References to HyperLINK have been removed due to the service ending on 07/30/2018. Please visit www.gohart.org, or call (813)-254-4278 for service alternatives.


Introduction

Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) is the public transit district in Hillsborough County, Florida, covering the municipalities of Tampa, Temple Terrace, Carrollwood, Brandon, and Ruskin. HART was established by an act of the Florida Legislature in 1980 and comprises of over 40 fixed-route local and express bus routes, a downtown Tampa trolleybus route (The InTowner), a door-to-door paratransit service (HARTPlus), several flex-route neighborhood connectors (HART Flex), and a lightened version of bus rapid transit (MetroRapid). In addition to these services, HART also manages the TECOline Streetcar Line.



Current Ongoing and Long-Term Route Detours

Sign up for Everbridge (A NEW SERVICE TO HART) to recieve email and text alerts regarding short-term detours. Detours that are less than two weeks in duration are not posted on the HART website.


System Overview

The remainder of this page will go through a general overview of the HART bus system; including the structure by which HART bus routes operate on, transit centers and other major bus transfer points, and practical information such as current fares.

Are you new to the HART bus system? If you answered “YES”, I invite you to watch this neat video that HART put together through City of Tampa Television! HART partnered with members of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla to show everyone how to use the HART bus system! Remember…safety first! I don’t want to see anyone walk the plank!


Transit Network Structure and Transit Centers

Like many transit districts; HART operates on a hub-spoke system by which routes travel out of centralized transfer points. There are currently two full-service transit centers that include a staffed customer service window. These centers also include restrooms, sheltered bus loading bays, and vending machines. In downtown Tampa, the Marion Street Transit Center (MTC) provides seamless connections to 15 local bus routes, 11 express bus routes, the In-Town Trolleybus Line, and the MetroRapid North-South Line. Additionally, the MTC’s northern platform (which serves MetroRapid) also provides transfers to Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority express bus routes 100X and 300X, as well as intercity bus services provided by Megabus and RedCoach. In northeast Tampa, near the University of South Florida, the University Area Transit Center provides seamless connections to 10 local bus routes, one limited express route, and the MetroRapid North-South Line.

In addition to these facilities; HART also has four transfer centers that have sheltered bus loading bays, restrooms, and vending machines. These centers include the East Tampa – or NetPark Transfer Center, the West Tampa Transfer Center, the Northwest Transfer Center, and the Yukon Street Transfer Center. Ticket vending machines (or TVMs) are also available at the West Tampa, Northwest, and Yukon Transfer Centers. There are also several other transfer points located throughout Hillsborough County.


The Marion Street Transit Center (better known as just the Marion Transit Center or MTC) opened in 2001 to replace a not-so-pleasant bus transfer depot located underneath Interstate 275 called the Northern Terminal. Prior to the opening of the MTC, customers had to deal with water leaking from the viaduct overhead whenever it rained. In addition, the Northern Terminal had no restroom facilities, which served as a huge inconvenience for customers. With the Northern Terminal becoming quickly outdated by the mid 1990s, it was clear that HART had to find a new site to build a modern terminal. In the late 1990s, the Florida Department of Transportation announced that the downtown viaduct section of I-275 would be undergoing a major overhaul. As a result, HART eventually chose a site located along Marion and Morgan Streets, just south of Scott Street to build its new downtown bus terminal.

The Marion Transit Center happily sits on the northern end of the Marion Street Transitway, which was constructed during the 1980s. The MTC serves nearly 30 local and express routes (including PSTA’s 100X and 300X) and includes an array of amenities, including; a customer service center, office space, bus driver lounge, restrooms, bus shelters, and an array of public art displays. There is also an on-site “grab-n-go” eatery called MTC2, which is operated in partnership with the MacDonald Training Center. In mid-2009, HART began installing television screens in select parts of the transit center to display real-time departure information.

The MTC serves the following routes: 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 19, 20X, 30, 60LX, 275LX, 360LX, and the MetroRapid North-South Line. Plus PSTA Routes 100X and 300X, and intercity bus services by Megabus and RedCoach.

This bulletin board case displays the various boarding locations within the Marion Transit Center. Local bus routes are confined to the central (Lettered) platforms, while express bus routes drop off and pick up customers at either the East or West Platforms. The North Platform serves MetroRapid, as well as PSTA express routes 100X and 300X, and intercity bus services provided by Megabus. Photo Credit: HARTride 2012.
This bulletin board case displays the various boarding locations within the Marion Transit Center. Local bus routes are confined to the central (Lettered) platforms, while express bus routes drop off and pick up customers at either the East or West Platforms. The North Platform serves MetroRapid, as well as PSTA express routes 100X and 300X, and intercity bus services provided by Megabus and RedCoach. Photo Credit: HARTride 2012.

Current MTC Bus Boarding Locations (As of July, 2018)

Central Platforms – A: Route 30, B: Not In Use, C: Route 6, D: Route 5, E: Route 1, F: Not In Use, G: Route 7, H: Not In Use, I: Route 9, J: Route 8, K: Route 19, L: Route 12, M: Route 275LX North, N: Route 275LX South.

West Platform: 20X (PM Pick-Up), 60LX West, 360LX West.

East Platform: 20X (AM Drop-Off), 60LX East, 360LX East.

North Platform: MetroRapid North-South Line (Route 400), PSTA Route 100X, PSTA Route 300X, Intercity Bus Services provided by Megabus and RedCoach.


Constructed in the 1980s, the Marion Street Transitway provides a line of bus shelters along the street to allow patrons to easily board and de-board buses within Downtown Tampa. The transitway runs from the Marion Transit Center to Whiting Street and was originally a “fare-free” zone until 2008.

Marion St looking northbound.
Marion St looking northbound.

All of the shelters along the transitway have more of a traditional design than a typical bus shelter, slightly reminiscent of old Tampa. These shelters were at one time, equipped with departure time signage, allowing patrons to view when the next bus would arrive. Such technology in the past have malfunctioned and were removed as a result. The remaining “shells” of this signage were gradually removed during the course of 2012. Future plans will revamp the transitway to exclusively serve regional express bus routes – including those tied to the controversial Tampa Bay Express toll lane project.

The bus shelters along Marion St are reminiscent of Tampa's past.
The bus shelters along Marion St are reminiscent of Tampa’s past.

Constructed in the late 1990s and located in the USF area (within the quadrant of 131st Ave, Livingston Ave, N 27th St, and 132nd Ave), the UATC is the transfer point for 12 local bus routes. This facility includes bus shelters, restrooms, and a customer service center.

The UATC serves the following routes: 1, 2, 5, 6, 9, 12, 33, 42, 48, 275LX, and the MetroRapid North-South Line (Route 400).

Current UATC Bus Boarding Locations (As of N/A)

From North to South.

West Platforms: N/A

East Platforms: N/A

27th St Street-Side Stop: Route 275LX, the MetroRapid North-South Line, and the USF Tampa Campus Bull Runner Route D*

*Must be an active USF student or faculty member with a valid USF ID Card to use the Bull Runner. Campus visitors can obtain a visitor pass from USF directly.

N/A: Information is not available right now. I will obtain the new assignments as soon as I can.


The West Tampa Transfer Center closed on October 8, 2017 as part of the MISSION MAX system restructuring. It is not known at this time what the ultimate fate of the WTTC property is, but my thinking is that it will be sold off (if it has not been already).

You can read a blog post that I wrote prior to the facility’s closure with some personal insight.

Special Notes

Events at Raymond James Stadium will many times prompt the detour of area bus routes. During these times, buses will transfer out of a temporary site at MacDill Ave and St. Isabel St.


Located on the corner of Sheldon Road and Waters Ave, the Northwest Transfer Center replaced the makeshift bus depot at Hanley/Waters Plaza. Construction began in the spring of 2007 and was dedicated/opened to patrons July 29, 2008. The new facility is equipped with vending machines, restrooms for both patrons and employees, an adjacent park-n-ride lot for Route 61LX and local bus routes, and eight bus loading bays.

The Northwest Transfer Center serves the following routes: 16, 30, 34, 35, 39, HART Flex Town-N-Country, and the PSTA Oldsmar/Tampa/Countryside Flex Connector.

Current NWTC Bus Boarding Locations (As of October, 2015)

From West to East.

North Side: PSTA Oldsmar/Tampa/Countryside Flex Connector, HART Flex Town-N-Country, Route 16, Route 34.

South Side: (Unused), Route 39, Route 35, Route 30.


Located in east Tampa, on the site of the NetPark Office Center (formerly East Lake Square Mall), off 56th Street and Hillsborough Ave, the NetPark Transfer Center is a transfer point for 9 local routes and includes restrooms, phones, and vending machines. The facility is also slated to become a stop for MetroRapid.

NetPark serves the following routes: 6, 15, 32, 34, 37, 38, and 48.

Current NetPark TC Bus Boarding Locations (As of October, 2015)

Clockwise, beginning from the South.

Main Complex: Routes 37, 38, 34, 15, (Not in Use), 32, and 6 (Route 6 has separate bays for each direction).

Street-Side Stops: Harney Rd – 48.


Situated within Sulphur Springs, the Yukon St Transfer Center was HART’s very first sheltered transfer center, opening to customers back in 1983. This facility was renovated in 2012 to bring everything up to modern standards, including the addition of restrooms.

The Yukon facility serves the following routes: 14, 42, and 45

Current YTC Bus Boarding Locations (As of N/A)

From South to North.

West Platforms: N/A

East Platforms: N/A

N/A: Information is not available right now. I will obtain the new assignments as soon as I can.


With the massive overhaul and expansion of the Tampa International Airport complex, a bus hub canopy and platform were constructed next to the new Rental Car Center. This facility is able to accommodate up to five 40-foot buses at one time (though a sixth bus can squeeze up behind the fifth slot). Customers getting off at the hub to catch a flight can utilize an elevator bank at the northern end of the platform to transfer to SkyConnect trains to the main terminal complex.

The TPA Airport Bus Hub currently serves the following routes: 30, 32, 35, 60LX, 275LX, & PSTA’s Route 300X.

Current TPA Airport Bus Boarding Locations (As of 07/08/2018)

From South to North.

Routes 35*, 60LX*/275LX/300X (shared bay), 32, 30

* Routes 35 & 60LX interline on Sundays.


Britton Plaza in South Tampa serves routes 17, 19, 36, 360LX, HART Flex South Tampa, and PSTA’s Route 100X. This is a singular sheltered platform located at the center of the plaza’s parking lot.

The MacDill Burger King (Kingfisher St) in South Tampa serves routes 20X, 24LX, 25LX, and 360LX. This is a singular sheltered platform located within a parking lot.

The SouthShore Regional Service Center in Ruskin serves HART Flex SouthShore. This is transfer point within a parking lot. There is no designated platform or shelter.

University Mall in the USF area serves route 12. This is a singular sheltered platform located between the former JC Penney building and the Studio Movie Grill building.

Westfield Brandon in Brandon serves routes 8, 31, 37, 46, 60LX, & 360LX. This is a singular sheltered platform located near the mall’s Food Court entrance.

WestShore Plaza in the WestShore Business District serves routes 15 & 45. This a singular sheltered platform with three bus loading bays. A street-side stop for Route 30 is located at the intersection of WestShore Blvd and Gray St, across from Sears.


HART Bus Routes and Flex Zones

The HART bus system comprises of over 40 bus routes, primarily serving the various neighborhoods of Tampa. Service is also offered to the areas of Temple Terrace, Town-N-Country, Carrollwood, Brandon, East Tampa, Ruskin (SouthShore), and the USF area. Express service is provided to the areas of Lutz and Plant City, among other areas. In addition, HART Flex covers five neighborhood zones within Hillsborough County, and MetroRapid provides fast service between downtown Tampa, the USF area, and Tampa Palms.

Full Route Listing | HART Flex Information | MetroRapid Information


The Former In-Towner Trolley

#2704 in Harbour Island.
The In-Towner is HART’s current downtown circulator.

Originally established in the late 1990s as the “Uptown-Downtown Connector”, the In-Towner (Routes 96 & 97) provided easy & convenient trolleybus service between the Marion Transit Center and various Downtown Tampa hotels and venues, with 15-minute frequency during weekday peak hours (Route 96) & 30-minute frequency on Saturdays (Route 97). Due to continually decreasing ridership however, the service was eliminated & downtown Tampa transportation services will be taken over by the Downtowner shuttles, which there is ongoing discussions between the Tampa-Downtown Partnership & HART about the future of that service.


Airport Service

Here's #1303 at the Marion Transit Center, running Route 30. Photo Credit: HARTride 2012.
Route 30 provides one-seat service between Downtown Tampa and Tampa International Airport, as well as Town-N-Country (Northwest Transfer Center). Photo Credit: HARTride 2012.

Local Routes 30, 32, & 35, as well as Limited Express Routes 60LX & 275LX provide 30 to 60 minute service to and from Tampa International Airport’s Rental Car Center Bus Hub (described earlier on this page). PSTA’s Route 300X also serves the hub for those travelling in from Pinellas.

Schedule Information | TIA Info/History Page | TampaAirport.com


Maps of the HART bus system (from HART)

HART Local System Map (effective 07/01/2018, includes HART Flex Routes/Zones, MetroRapid, and the PSTA Oldsmar/Tampa/Countryside Route/Zone into Pinellas County).

HART Downtown Tampa service map (effective 07/01/2018, includes the TECOline Streetcar Line and MetroRapid stops).

The Express System Map is no longer available, as a separate booklet is no longer produced. You can view individual route schedules, or purchase a HART Schedule Book at either the Marion Transit Center or University Area Transit Center (I believe they still cost $2.00).


Span of operating service

Service schedules vary throughout the HART system. While most routes operate 7 days a week, some suburban routes do not have weekend service. Please visit goHART.org to see which days of the week your particular route operates and to see route frequency. I hope to have a route matrix posted here in the  distant future.

Holiday Service Schedule

I usually try to blog about upcoming holiday service schedules approximately 2 weeks prior to the upcoming holiday. Please keep in mind that routes that normally do not operate on weekends will not operate on holidays either, regardless of the day of the week that the holiday falls upon.


Current Fares

Below is the current fare structure for the HART system, effective October 1, 2015.

  • One-Way Cash Fares
    • HART Local, Limited Express, and MetroRapid: $2.00.
      • Discount*: $1.00.
    • Commuter Express: $3.00.
      • Discount*: $1.50.
  • HARTride Passes
    • 1-Day Unlimited Ride Local: $4.00.
      • Discount*: $2.00.
    • 10-pack Local: $37.00.
      • Discount*: $18.50.
    • 1-Day Unlimited Commuter Express: $6.00.
      • Discount*: $3.00.
    • 10-pack Commuter Express: $53.00.
      • Discount*: $26.50.
    • Adult Student 31-Day Unlimited Ride Local: $48.75 (from participating educational institutions).
      • HART provides a Semester Pass for Hillsborough Community College students for $110.00.
    • 31-Day Unlimited Ride Local: $65.00.
      • Discount*: $32.50.
    • 31-Day Unlimited Commuter Express: $95.00.
    • 3-Day Unlimited Ride Visitor Pass: $11.75.
      • Bulk Purchase Discount (200 passes or more): $9.50.
  • Multi-County Passes
    • Intercounty PSTA/HART Monthly Passport: $85.00 – For use on all PSTA and HART Bus, Trolley, and Streetcar Routes.
  • HART Flex Fares
    • One-Way Cash Fare: $1.00.
    • One-Day Pass: $2.00.
  • Regional Fares (Flamingo Card or App)
    • 1-Way Cash Fare: $3.00, with a reduced fare of $1.50*.
    • 1-Day Category: $6.00.
    • 3-Day Category: $18.00.
    • 7-Day Category: $30.00.
    • 31-Day Category: $85.00.
    • The Flamingo Fares project may introduce other fare categories not listed here. You can visit your respective smartphone’s app store to download the smartphone app. The Flamingo Fares Smart Card is coming soon to the general public.

(*)indicates that a HART Discount Permit is required.


Universal Pass Agreements (U-Pass)

Since 2005, HART has partnered with the Tampa Campus of the University of South Florida to provide students with access to public transit in Hillsborough County. Under this partnership, active USF Tampa students can use select HART bus services at no additional cost to them, as long as they show the operator a valid USF ID Card. USF Faculty members can use the HART system with their ID at a reduced cost. The Universal Pass Agreement includes all HART local and limited express bus routes, as well as MetroRapid and HART Flex.

Don’t forget that if you’re a USF Tampa student, you can also take advantage of USF’s Bull Runner campus bus service! As a graduate of USF, I can tell you that the Bull Runner is a very convenient and cost-saving way to get around the USF Tampa Campus and to points of interest nearby!

For those attending classes across the bay, PSTA now has its own U-Pass Agreement with the USF St. Pete Campus. USFSP students and faculty can use all PSTA routes at no additional cost!

Blog Post on the USF Bull Runner | USF Bull Runner Website | PSTA.net


 Take your bike with you!

All HART buses and HARTflex vans are equipped with bike racks, and folding bicycles are permitted onboard all buses and vans. No permit is required, but if you’re a first-time user, you can set up a brief training demonstration by contacting HART at (813)-254-4278. Get the latest information at goHART.org.


 Transportation Alternatives

The Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (or TBARTA) provides alternative transportation solutions to help ease congestion along Bay Area roadways. These services include carpooling/vanpooling services, a bike buddy service, and the Emergency Ride Home program. Visit the TBARTA Commuter Services Website, or call 1-800-998-RIDE for further information. USF Tampa students can also take part in these wonderful services, including Emergency Ride Home!


 Disclaimer

Please keep in mind that information on this page is subject to change, especially things like schedules and fares. I do try my best to keep things as accurate as possible, but sometimes things change without notice. To obtain the latest information, please visit goHART.org, or call (813)-254-4278.

More to come soon!

2 thoughts on “Hillsborough Area Regional Transit

Please let me know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.