The Tampa Bay region is making progress toward integrating plans for
high-speed rail, commuter rail, air travel and bus service. But first
it needed to improve its bus and streetcar system and the agency that
coordinates all of it recently won an award from the state for those
Efficiency, effectiveness, customer service, financial
management are just some of the areas of achievement that have earned
Hillsborough Area Regional Transit, known as HART
, the title of Outstanding Transit System by the Florida Public Transportation Association.
Association awarded HART with this honor at its recent annual
conference in Jacksonville. The Outstanding Transit System award
emphasizes achievement in efficiency and effectiveness. As part of the
award process, HART submitted ridership and productivity numbers for
the past three years, showing consistent growth.
demonstrated effective financial control by monitoring all related
financial activities to ensure revenues, costs and cash flow are in
compliance with stated objectives. In the last year, the implementation
of efficiencies in various services and processes led to a savings of
more than $1 million, which HART has been able to direct back into its
In addition, achievements in safety,
operations, customer service, staff development, policy administration
and marketing and community relations were considered.
recipients are chosen by the Association's Organizational Awards
Committee, which is comprised of the Association's executive director,
a representative from the Florida Department of Transportation and a
representative from the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the
University of South Florida.
HART's Travel Training program
provides personalized, one-on-one training to anyone in Hillsborough
County who needs guidance before hopping onboard a bus. Travel Trainer
Mark Sheppard received an honor from the Center for Urban
Transportation Research, when he was presented with the Center's
Research Champion Award.
Sheppard received the award in
appreciation of his assistance and support of transportation research
on the Travel Assistance Device project, a cell-phone enabled device
that helps people with disabilities ride easier by alerting them when
their stop is approaching.Dave Szymanski, a Tampa-based journalist, likes running 5ks, other sports and writing poetry. Comments? Contact 83 Degrees