Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Hillsborough Area Regional Transit

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Slogan  Driven to Serve You
Locale  Tampa, Florida
Motto  Driven to Serve You
Fleet  214
Headquarters  1201 E. 7th Avenue
Service area  Hillsborough County
Founded  1980
Service types  Transit bus, Paratransit
Hillsborough Area Regional Transit r2masstransitmagcomfilesbaseimageMASS20120

Routes  49 (27 local, 13 express, 2 connector, 2 trolley, 2 shuttle, 2 flex)
Hubs  Downtown Tampa, USF Area

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Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (also known as the Hillsborough Transit Authority (HART)) provides public transportation for Hillsborough County, Florida. The agency provides fixed-route local and express bus service, door-to-door paratransit service (HARTplus), flex-route neighborhood connector service (HARTflex), a lightened version of Bus Rapid Transit (MetroRapid), and manages the TECO Line Streetcar System.


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HART has a partnership with the University of South Florida where students can ride HART local, limited express, and flex routes for free if they show the bus operator their USF ID. USF Faculty can use the same services for only 25 cents

Bus routes

HART operates over 30 different local bus routes and 13 express bus routes, serving as far north as the USF area and Carrollwood to as far south as the SouthShore region.

Neighborhood Flex and Trolley Service

HART provides the HART Flex Service consisting of commuter vans that have routes in designated areas. Walk-up service is provided at regular HART stops along the Flex service route, or patrons can reserve a pick-up or drop-off at a location not a HART stop by calling to reserve between 2 and 72 hours in advance. Walk-up service may be limited by the number of reservations. Fare is $1 per way, and an all-day flex pass available for $2. There is no discount available for seniors or disabled as there are on other HART routes. Regular HART 1-Day and 31-Day passes are accepted. The service areas are typically 2.5 miles from a preset route, although at least one Flex area does not have a specific route.

In-Towner Trolley

In addition, HART operates the "In-Towner" trolley service that provide convenient access to popular locations in downtown Tampa. The sole operating line is currently Route 96, which operates Monday through Friday between 6 and 9 AM and between 3 and 6 PM and serves Harbor Island and the business district and the Marion Transit Center. In 2015, HART eliminated the 25 cent fare.

Commuter Express

In 2004, HART revised its express bus route system. The changes included new routes to Brandon and Pasco County, changes to existing routes (such as Route 28X), and the addition of 12 new Gillig BRT buses to the existing HART bus fleet. Almost all of the Commuter Express routes connect to Downtown Tampa.

MetroRapid is HART’s "light" Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service, which launched on May 28, 2013. Between May 28 and June 7, HART provided customers a chance to use MetroRapid for free. This allowed customers to get a feel for the new service, while allowing HART staff to work out any last-minute problems before the start of revenue service. MetroRapid officially began revenue service on June 10, 2013, with a formal ribbon cutting held at the Hidden River Corporate Park grounds in Tampa Palms.

MetroRapid currently consists of one line, the North-South line, which runs from Downtown Tampa to the University Area Transit Center (UATC) via Nebraska and Fletcher Avenues. Selected trips continue along Fletcher Ave from the UATC to Hidden River Corporate Park near Interstate 75.

TECO Line Streetcar System

HART in partnership with Tampa Electric (TECO) operates the TECO Line Streetcar System, which is a classic streetcar rail system between Centro Ybor in Ybor City and the Fort Brooke Parking Garage at Franklin and Whiting Streets, with eleven stops along the way serving Ybor City, the Channel District, and the St. Pete Times Forum/Tampa Convention Center areas. The route runs 11 AM - 10 PM Monday through Thursday, 11 AM - 2 AM Friday and Saturday, and Noon - 8 PM on Sunday. Service is provided every 20 minutes, except between 1 and 2 AM when service is every half-hour. Fare is $2.50 each trip with multiple-trip fare cards and discounted fares available. Regular multiple-day passes as well as the HART/PSTA Passport are also accepted.

Due to decreased funding, the hours and frequency for the TECOline Streetcar are slated to be reduced in November, 2011.

Late-night service

In 2006, HART introduced late-night bus service on nine local bus routes in order to meet the diverse needs of its patrons. Some of these routes now run as late as 1 am as a result in the increase of service. Since 2007, the number of routes running weekday services beyond 8:00pm has increased to 16 routes. Due to recent budget cuts, some routes have had several trips cut, resulting in an earlier end to service. If further cuts are made due to depleting funding avenues, late-night service may be up for further reduction or elimination in 2013.

  • Route 1 - Florida Ave (runs until 12:37am on weekdays, 11:07pm on Saturdays, and 9:07pm on Sundays)
  • Route 2 - Nebraska Ave (runs until 12:33am on weekdays, 11:40pm on Saturdays, and 10:10pm on Sundays)
  • Route 5 - 40th St (runs through 10:19pm on weekdays. Saturday service ends at 7:30pm and Sunday service ends at 6:30pm)
  • Route 6 - 56th St (runs until 12:35am on weekdays and 9:35pm on weekends)
  • Route 8 - Progress Village/Brandon (runs until 10:00pm on weekdays, and 9:50pm on weekends)
  • Route 12 - 22nd St (runs until 1am on weekdays and 10:30pm on weekends)
  • Route 18 - 30th St (final northbound weekday trip leaves Marion Transit Center at 8:30pm. The final weekday southbound trip leaves Livingston Ave at 9:40pm. Weekend services end at 8:00pm)
  • Route 19 - Port Tampa (runs until 1:20am on weekends and 10:30pm on weekends)
  • Route 30 - Town n' Country/Airport Runs until 1:15am on weekdays and 11:15pm on weekends).
  • Route 32 - MLK Blvd (runs until 1am on weekdays and 11pm on weekends)
  • Route 33 - Fletcher Ave (runs until 11pm on weekdays, 10pm on Saturdays, and 8pm on Sundays)
  • Route 34 - Hillsborough Ave (runs until 1am on weekdays, 10:30pm on Saturdays, and 9:50pm on Sundays)
  • Route 36 - Dale Mabry/Himes Ave (runs until 10:30pm on weekdays and 9:00pm on weekends)
  • Route 39 - Busch Blvd (runs through 10:30pm on weekdays and Saturdays and through 9pm on Sundays)
  • Route 45 - UATC/WestShore (runs through 10pm on weekdays and 8pm on weekends)
  • Route 57 - UATC/Temple Terrace/NetPark (runs until 10:30pm on weekdays)
  • Note: Routes 2, 12, and 18 have their last southbound trip terminate at Columbus Drive. Route 6 has its last southbound trip terminate at the HART Operations Facility.
  • Holiday service

    As of November 11, 2012; HART operates Sunday-Level service on the following holidays:

  • New Year's Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Saturday-Level service will remain for the following holidays:

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday)
  • Christmas Eve
  • Day after Christmas [December 26 (depending what day of the year that Christmas falls on. Since Christmas falls on a Tuesday in 2012, HART will operate normal service on December 26, 2012)]
  • The TECO Line Streetcar system operates on a normal schedule (Monday - Thursday 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM; Friday 11:00 AM – 2:00 AM; Saturday 11:00 AM – 2:00 AM; Sunday 12:00 Noon - 8:00 PM) every day of the year, except the route does not run on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day.

    Bus Terminals/Transit Centers

    HART operates its bus system similar to a hub and spoke model. The main hub for HART is the Marion Transit Center in Downtown Tampa, serving nearly 30 local and express routes (including PSTA's 100X and 300X). The center was constructed in 2001, replacing the obsolete Northern Terminal, which sat underneath the I-275 viaduct. The Marion Transit Center includes a customer service center, office space, bus driver lounge, restrooms, bus shelters, and an array of public art displays and flanks the northern end of the Marion Street Transitway, which was constructed in 1989 as a "fare free" zone (though the designation was eliminated in 2008). Serving Routes 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 6LTD, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 18, 19, 30, 20X, 22X, 26X, 27LX, 28X, 47LX, 51X, 61LX, 100X, 200X, 300X, the In-Town Trolley, and the MetroRapid North-South Line.

    Other major bus terminals include:

  • University Area Transit Center: 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. Prior to the UATC's construction, HART spent several years juggling around several different locations as a transfer point in the University area, including University Mall. However, the University Mall plan failed to materialize due to financial problems and community opposition. [2] [3] [4].. Serving Routes 1, 2, 5, 6, 9, 12, 18, 33, 45, 57, and the MetroRapid North-South Line.
  • NetPark Transfer Center: Located in east Tampa (off 56th Street and Hillsborough Ave), this facility is a transfer point for 9 local routes and includes restrooms, phones, and vending machines and will serve as a stop for HART's MetroRapid system. Serving Routes 6, 15, 32, 34, 37, 39, 41, and 57.
  • West Tampa Transfer Center: Located right across the street from Raymond James Stadium, this facility is the transfer point for 5 local routes and a future station for HART's MetroRapid system. Amenities include restrooms, vending machines, and phones. Serving Routes 7, 32, 36, 41, and 45.
  • Northwest Transfer Center: 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 [5]. 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. Serving Routes 16, 30, 34, 39, 61LX, and Town-N-Country FLEX service.
  • Secondary Bus Terminals

  • WestShore Plaza - WestShore Business District: Routes 15, 45, and South Tampa FLEX.
  • Britton Plaza - South Tampa/Interbay: Routes 4, 19, 36, 100X, and South Tampa FLEX.
  • SouthShore Regional Service Center - SouthShore/Ruskin: Routes 47LX and SouthShore FLEX.
  • University Mall - University Area: Routes 12, 33, and 45
  • Westfield Brandon - Brandon: Routes 8, 31, 53LX, 37, and 46
  • Yukon Transfer Center - Sulphur Springs: Routes 1, 9, 14, 16, and 39
  • The Marion Street Transitway

    Constructed in the 1980s, the Marion Street Transitway provides a line of bus shelters along the street to allow patrons to easily board and deboard buses within Downtown Tampa. The transitway runs from the Marion Transit Center to Whiting Street and was originally a "fare-free" zone until 2008. All of the shelters along the transitway were equipped with departure time signage at one time, 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 will eventually be removed as well, being replaced with new technology.


    In 2009, the Florida Public Transit Association awarded HART with the "Outstanding System" award. The award was granted to HART based on numerous system improvements and growing ridership over the past three years. The FPTA also awarded HART in several other categories including marketing, safety, and Mechanic of the Year. [6]

    On May 27, 2010, HART announced that they have been awarded the 2010 "Most Outstanding Mid-sized Public Transportation System Achievement" Award. The award touts HART's achievements in ridership growth, financial management, environmental sustainability, workforce development, and community relations. The American Public Transportation Association honors one public transportation system in North America in three size categories every year. Systems are judged on their performance over a 3-year period. [7]

    Budget cuts and system reorganization (2007 through 2011)

    Like many local agencies throughout Florida, HART was forced in 2007 to cut its budget by $1.7 million. As a result of this, HARTflex service was canceled and numerous routes saw drawbacks in service. Limited Express Route 52 and Trolley Route 98 were eliminated due to low ridership.

    During the 2009/2010 fiscal year, HART slashed another $3 million from its budget in order to compensate for additional property tax revenue losses. This move was achieved by trimming service in Town-N-Country and North Tampa, as well as cutting underutilized trips on numerous routes [8].

    To counteract plummeting property tax revenues, HART proposed to switch to a sales tax-based system which many other transit agencies in Florida already use. However, this proposal requires voter approval and the chances of such a move passing during the nationwide recession is extremely low. HART and Hillsborough County attempted to pass such a measure during the 2010 election season, but it failed by a 58/42% margin [9].

    Despite drawbacks caused by state and county mandated budget cuts and the global recession, HART is striving to improve transit service in the future by managing existing service while only cutting under-performing service and gradually raising fares. HART's 2008 Community Report outlined several key changes, such as the introduction of HARTflex service and the upcoming MetroRapid system.

    Since 2010, a majority of HART's routes have been realigned to better serve patrons throughout the county. These changes included eliminating inefficient segments and trips, realigning travel times, and adding services that would better serve patrons in the long term. Several under-performing routes (such as Neighborhood Connector routes 87, 88, and 89) were eliminated in favor of neighboring transit routes, HARTflex service, or (in the case of Route 59LX) by improved services (Route 61LX). HART also began testing a limited stop route, Route 6LTD, to replace Route 23X.

    Unfortunately, if further budget cuts are imposed, HART will have no other choice but to drastically raise fares and slash services across the board.


    HART has the following projects planned to begin service within the next five years.

    West Shore Multi-Modal Center

    HART and the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority have been discussing plans to build a transfer center at Tampa International Airport since 2008. Originally, the facility was to be located at the corner of O'Brien and Spruce streets [10] but was dropped in 2011 in favor of a site closer to the TIA terminal. [11] Plans for any type of transfer center on TIA property collapsed in 2012 following the impact of global economic downturn and the consolidation of the airline industry on TIA's broad terminal expansion plans. In March, 2013, plans were unveiled for a possible Multi-Modal center along Interstate 275 in the WestShore Business District that could cater to multiple bus connections, light rail or commuter rail lines, and a People Mover system connecting the airport. This plan is heavily dependent on whether public transit in both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties are able to further expand. This in-turn, would be dependent on future funding situations [12][13].

    Intelligent Transportation Systems

    According to HART's 2008 Community Report, efforts are currently underway to construct an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS). Elements of this project include installing surveillance cameras and audio monitoring equipment, GPS systems, automated annunciator systems, real-time information display signs and other elements to all HART buses and several transfer centers. Such systems will allow patrons in the future to see in real-time, upcoming departures, major intersections, landmarks, and connecting routes. Many of these elements, including GPS, security, and automated annunciator systems were installed during the course of 2008 through 2010.

    Bus fleet reorganization/improvements

    Another improvement to HART's existing bus fleet is the repainting of buses to better match the livery that is already carried by Commuter Express buses. However, instead of the purple and white livery of the express buses, local buses are being repainted in a blue and white scheme (matching the colors of HART's logo). Bus #2015 was the first bus to be painted in the new colors, returning to service in August 2008, upon the receipt of federal stimulus funds in 2009, HART accelerated the repainting process, allowing more buses to sport the new livery.

    In 2008, the agency acquired 12 25-foot Champion/Freightliner T-300 buses (from Dallas Area Rapid Transit) to be used on the fixed-route system while its existing fleet was repainted. These buses were retired in March and April 2010, with the arrival of the 29 40-foot 2010 model (10XX) Gillig Low Floor buses.

    Beginning in August 2009, HART retired its fleet of Gillig Phantom buses, which the agency purchased in 1996 and 1997 to replace Flixible Metro buses purchased during the 1980s. These buses were replaced by 30 2009 model (29XX) year 40-foot (12 m) Gillig Low Floor buses that were purchased with the help of federal stimulus funds. Although seven of the 30-foot (9.1 m) Phantoms were already taken out of service in 2007, HART kept three (#s 602, 608, and 609) in service beyond that time. By mid September, 2009, all of the 30-foot (9.1 m) Gillig Phantom buses were retired, along with most of the 35-foot (11 m) models. The final nine buses that were phased out during the week of September 30, 2009 included #s 703, 708, 711, 713, 717, 720, 723, 725, and 726, with #725 being featured at HART's 30th Anniversary Ceremony on September 30.

    In 2010, HART retired all but two of its 2000 model (20XX) 30 ft Gillig buses after the arrival of the 10XX Gillig fleet. Bus #2005 and #2015 (which were repainted in HART's new livery) will remain active until 2012, due to extended downtime earlier on in 2008/2009. In 2009, bus #2006 was retired due to an accident that permanently put it out of service. During the summer and fall of 2010, the 25XX and 26XX buses were all repainted in HART's blue and white livery. The MetroRapid system will bring forth another fleet of new buses, including the possibility of articulated buses further down the road.

    American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009

    HART is slated to receive just over $15 million from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 that President Barack Obama signed into law in February 2009. Among the improvements that HART proposed to make: an expansion and upgrade to its operations facility in Ybor City, secure the purchase of 30 forty-foot Gillig Low Floor buses, streetcar extension, and the repainting of HART's existing fleet. ([14])

    Conversion to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)

    In November, 2011, HART was awarded a $2.3 million federal grant to build a CNG fueling station at its operations facility. This will allow all of HART's existing fleet to gradually be replaced by CNG fueled vehicles. Construction is slated to begin sometime in 2012, with completion in 2013 [15].

    Active fleet

  • As of November 2010, all local/express HART buses are in the blue and white livery. Trolley buses are in a similar blue/white livery, and MetroRapid buses (except #1212) are in a green/gray/white livery.
  • Retired fleet

    HART has also used several sub-types which were retired, such as Blue Bird coaches 551-555 and Orion II's 451-453.

    The city of Tampa operated the municipal bus system starting in 1971 until the formation of the Hillsborough County Transit system in 1981. The city took over the bus operation from National City Lines. Just prior to the city takeover, National City Lines operated a rag-tag fleet of 1950s vintage coaches, plus 19 GM New Look TDH-4517 (A.C.) 35-foot buses purchased in 1960 (one bus from the original order of 20 burned down in the mid-1960s), and 10 GM Old Look TDH-3501 (A.C.) buses acquired new in 1967. The fleet also included 19 35-foot GM TDH4512 buses from 1958 and 1959 and 20 or more GM TDH-3612 30-foot buses acquired in the early 1950s. Most of the buses were transferred to the city operation. Then Mayor Dick Greco decided to repaint the fleet in various colors,including orange, pink, blue, yellow, and the original National City Lines pale green. The multi-color scheme was carried over to the Flxible new looks which were ordered in 1974 but the "jellybean" scheme was abandoned when the order for 17 GM RTS buses delivery in 1980. A wite color scheme with a rainbow stripe under the windows was adopted in 1980 and used until the HART take-over and the adoption of a red and orange stripe on a white bus background.

    City of Tampa (Tampa Bus Lines) All-time Roster 1971-1981:

    4500-4501 1949 GMC TDH3612 ex Tampa Transit Lines 2909,2912, originally Mobile City Lines 2909,2912

    4502-4506 1950 GMC TDH3612 ex Tampa Transit Lines 3242,3246,3248,3252,3254. Delivered new Dec. 1950 as part of a 14 bus order.

    4507-4510 1951 GMC TDH3612 ex Tampa Transit Lines 3367-3370, originally Terre Haute City Lines 3367-3370

    4511-4514 1951 GMC TDH3612 ex Tampa Transit Lines 3371-3373,3375. Delivered new on 3/51 as part of a 5 bus order.

    4515-4529 1958 GMC TDH4512 ex Tampa transit Lines 3830-3844. Delivered all 15 new buses between Feb. and Jun. 1958. These were the first new buses delivered to Tampa Transit Lines in 8 years.

    4530-4533 1959 GMC TDH4512 ex Tampa Transit Lines 3845-3848. All 4 buses delivered new in Jun. 1959.

    4534-4553 1960 GMC TDH4517 ex Tampa Transit Lines 4004-4012,4014-4024. Delivered new in 1960 to replace a fleet of Mack buses and were returned to City Transit Lines as the new Flxibles arrived.

    4554-4561 1967 GMC TDH3501 ex Tampa Transit Lines 4138-4147 (except two, numbers unknown. Delivered as part of a 10 bus order in 1967. Previous order for new buses was in 1960 for 20 "new-look" 35-foot (11 m) buses.

    (Tampa Bus Lines reused fleet numbers of retired buses for new purchases)

    4562-4588 1971 Flxible 111DD-D051 (Buses had plastic seats without cushions)

    4536-4548 (2nd) 1973 Flxible 45096-6-1

    4501,4503,4508-4510,4514,4534-4535,4549-4554,4558-4561(2nd),4589-4590 1974 Flxible 45096-6-1

    4591-4593 1974 GMC T6H4523A

    4555-4557 (2nd) 1974? Nicrobus MB-711

    4600-4616 1980 GMC T7H603

    4501,4503,4508-4510,4514,4534-4554,4558-4593,4600-4616 to HART 1983, renumbered 121-129,131-139,141-149,151-159,161-164,221,223-229,231-232,234-239,241-243,245-249,251-254,256-259,251-265,267-269 in numerical order Also three New-Look second hand buses (numbered 097-099) for use in new Commuter Express routes were added to the fleet pending the arrival of the initial batch of 40 ft (12 m). Flxibles.


    Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Wikipedia