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HART Realignment May Cut Direct Service To USF Tampa


The Hillsborough Regional Transit Authority, or HART, is set to embark on a major realignment of its countywide bus routes.
That means cutting seven of the system's 41 bus routes. Marco Sandusky, HART's director of government and community relations, said this should improve the frequency of buses on 80 percent of its routes. But it also cuts direct service to the University of South Florida - which has 40,000 people at its Tampa campus.

"By having this service that currently is coming onto the campus - and it's getting bogged down in quite a bit of traffic - by pulling that service and straightening those routes out, we can improve travel times when a customer traveling from the USF campus gets to the University Area Transit Center," he said.

That means anyone wanting to get to that transit center would have to first take existing services, like USF's Bull Runneror HART's Hyperlink, which charges an extra fee.

Sandusky said the ultimate aim of the reorganization  is to go to a grid network, instead of the current hub-and-spoke system that relies on transferring at transit centers.

"What we are aiming to do with this redesign is really to take the limited funding that we have to provide service in a service area that's the size of the state of Rhode Island," he said, "and take the funding that we have and use it in the most efficient way possible, in order to provide the best quality service to customers, and the best value to taxpayers."

HART has not had an increase in its property tax rate since 2012.

A public hearing on the proposal will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday at HART's Ybor City headquarters, 1201 E. 7th Ave. HART's board will take up the proposal at their next meeting on Aug. 7

Credit HART map
HART map

Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.