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After public outcry, HART management again revises bus route changes

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Riders have had their say; now the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit authority is making more changes in the county’s redesigned bus service.

With limited public resources, the HART leadership team announced earlier this year they would redesign its bus network, cutting service from low-performing routes and transition to providing more service in areas with higher demand.

Officials then turned to the public, taking input from riders over the past few months, before the recent unveiling of a new network.

Inevitably, those changes resulted in winners and losers, and those unhappy with some of the proposed transit cuts spoke out at the first public hearing that HART held on the new routes last week.

That led to an overflow crowd of 150 people, who crammed into HART’s third-floor board meeting, ready to voice their opinions on the new routes.

HART management now says that they have loud and clear from their riders, and after reviewing those public comments, have made some revisions to the redesigned network map. They caution, though, that they cannot accommodate all the requested changes.

Those revisions to the original redesigned network can now be found on the agency’s website.

The HART board of directors will vote on the final plan for the redesigned bus network plan at their next board meeting, scheduled for Monday at 9 a.m. If approved, the proposal would be scheduled for implementation Sunday, Oct. 8.

Because another large crowd is expected, that meeting has been moved to the County Center, 615 E. Kennedy Blvd.

 

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Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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