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HART Proposes Changes To Bus Fares, Services

Come November 2012, HART riders may be in for some changes.

In an attempt to adjust to bus ridership trends and improve the cost-efficiency of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) system, HART is proposing a few bus service and fare changes. Effective Nov. 11, 2012, the proposed changes will address a number of issues including increased operational costs and decreased ad valorem revenues.

“HART proposes changes to bus routes and schedules usually three times each year to keep up ridership trends and improve the efficiency of the system with on-time performance while eliminating unproductive service to reinvest it to meet demand,” says HART Public Information Officer Marcia Mejia.

Likewise, HART reviews its fare structure every two years to determine whether changes should be made. The last fare change took place in November 2008.

The proposed changes for November 2012 include raising the One-Way Cash and 1-Day Unlimited Ride Fares by about 25 cents; for example, the Local & Limited Express fare may cost riders $2 versus the current $1.75, while 1-Day Unlimited HARTFlex services will go from $1.85 to $2. The changes will also affect riders taking advantage of the current 3-Day Unlimited, 31-Day Unlimited, 1-Day 10 Pack Unlimited and ADA Paratransit fares.

In addition to higher rates, bus route and schedule changes may be made as well, including the elimination of express service on President's Day and Columbus Day; service will continue on Memorial Day, the 4th of July and Labor Day, but at Sunday level services instead of the current Saturday level service.

HART is also proposing to discontinue Saturday Brandon Flex services, but is looking to extending the Flex zone to serve Brandon Regional Hospital and portions of Brandon Boulevard.

“Bus route and schedule changes proposed for November 2012 will streamline some routes while boosting service for others, particularly Route 30 (Downtown Tampa/TIA/Town 'N Country) and Route 34 (Hillsborough Avenue),” Mejia says.

HART will seek public comment on the changes through a series of open house-style meetings throughout June. A final public hearing will be held on Tuesday, July 10, at the HART Administrative Office located on Seventh Avenue in Ybor City in Tampa.

To view the proposed changes and dates and times for upcoming community meetings, click here.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Marcia Mejia, HART
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