Doing more with less. That’s essentially the theme espoused by Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority CEO Katharine Egan since taking over the financially troubled agency nearly three years ago, but it’s definitely the case now as HART unveils its “Mission Max” schedule Sunday morning.
Since the demise of the Go Hillsborough initiative last year, transit officials and Tampa Bay-area lawmakers have pinned their hopes on a transportation study overseen by the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART). On Friday, organizers behind the study — which was paid for by the Florida Department of Transportation — released their top five recommended projects. The number one ranked option is a light-rail system from Wesley Chapel to the University of South Florida Tampa campus and on to St. Petersburg.
Another sign of a return to normalcy iin the Tampa Bay region post Hurricane Irma’s arrival as a Category 1 storm: The two largest public transit agencies, the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit agency (HART) and the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), have returned to regular operations.
(UPDATED) The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) says they will be up and running at full service on Thursday, three days after Hurricane Irma blasted through the Tampa Bay area.
UPDATED With Hurricane Irma aiming towards all of Florida this weekend, both the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) and the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) will be suspending public transit services this weekend. Hart is shutting down completely on Saturday and Sunday. PSTA says their last bus will go out at 5 P.M. on Saturday and tentatively will resume normal operations on Monday afternoon. HART’s shutdown includes suspending the TECO Line Streetcar System.
There are no easy answers to improve transit in the Tampa Bay area, at least for now. But that could change soon as officials behind a much-hyped regional transit feasibility study — set for completion early next week — will begin the first of three community workshops in Pasco and Hillsborough counties to gather community input.
Ignoring pleas by the public to not cut specific bus routes, including from the blind and disabled community, the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Agency (HART) Monday approved a plan that could cut nearly 20 percent of its routes. Called “Mission Max,” the plan goes into effect in October.