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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This thread will become the new home for general transit-related matters. Specifically topics relating to service changes/detours, fares, existing bus lines, etc. All transit agencies within our forum will be included - HART (including TECOline Streetcar), PSTA, PCPT, Hernando THEbus, and Citrus County Public Transportation. Additionally, discussions about our Intercity services (RedCoach, Greyhound, Megabus) can also be discussed here.

Discussion of potential transit routes based on referenda planning, etc. can be discussed at one of the transit planning threads, as outlined in the Thread Finder.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Will the HART board restructuring pass or fail?

I originally asked this on the old transit thread...

HART Board to decide on Aug 4 meeting as to whether to reorganize per Transportation Policy Leadership Group recommendation.

http://cltampa.com/politicalanimal/...to-vote-on-its-future-next-month#.U81qcLG8pK0

My thoughts on the outcome...it'll fail. I can see Murman, Sharpe, and Beckner voting yes. Davin and Suarez have already expressed their views against the idea and will likely vote no. Jaroch will likely vote no, being the Teabagger she is and also being pals with Sharon Calvert. So it really all comes down to the others...
Less than one week away now. Anyone else have opinions?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Circus Circus

Wow! This is really becoming a circus. Now I know the HART board reorganization is going to fail...

http://tbo.com/news/politics/hillsb...hart-board-that-thinks-like-they-do-20140731/

Also opposing the policy group’s plans is County Commissioner Victor Crist, the one no-vote on Miller’s nomination to the HART board. Crist said he didn’t know Commissioner Sandy Murman planned to put Miller’s name in the mix, so he countered by proposing Sharon Calvert, founder of the Tampa Tea Party, for the open board position. Calvert was one of the leaders of the opposition the last time a sales tax hike was proposed for transportation projects in 2010.

“I had to pull a rabbit out of my hat,” Crist said of his nominating Calvert. “She’s one person who has an interest and understands’’ transportation.
Victor Crist has clearly exposed himself! Sharon has ZERO understanding of how transportation works. She wants ZERO public investment in transit and is buds with Karen Jaroch.
 

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^The shit they will waste time and money on around here is mind boggling.
Because no other transit agency in the history of mankind has allowed musicians to perform on authority property or vehicles...

Most mid to large size transit agencies have an arts program. Lynx has performers at Lynx Central on a regular basis. TIA has performances on the concourse level every so often.
 
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Because no other transit agency in the history of mankind has allowed musicians to perform on authority property or vehicles...

Most mid to large size transit agencies have an arts program. Lynx has performers at Lynx Central on a regular basis. TIA has performances on the concourse level every so often.
Just show me one that prioritizes putting music on their transit ahead of, running that transit at times commuters can actually use the service, running it at times people out for a night on the town can use it (specifically when said transit runs right through the heart of a city's entertainment and tourist districts, and was built specifically to serve these areas), running it at speeds and intervals that are faster than someone can literally walk the same route, properly tying one mode of transit, into other modes.

Just shut it down already. That's what they've always wanted from day one. That's why no significant local money has ever been invested into the streetcar. It was built and extended with almost purely federal money, and it can be argued that the local cost to run it is exceeded by the revenues from the redevelopment near the line since it was built. If 'free' ain't good enough, then what is?
 

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I'm not sure why you're so upset about a Gasparilla Music Festival promotion that HART likely isn't even paying for. The bands weren't even picked by HART... that's all GMF. I half expect you to go on a rant about how Stuff-a-Bus is a waste because those buses are sitting around, being stuffed with presents for underprivileged children instead of being stuffed with people. Events like this are normal in other cities and indeed improve transit ridership by adding entertainment to an otherwise mundane trip. Watch this video and lighten up a bit. :)

To quote what was posted on HART's Facebook page: "The TECO Line Streetcar System and The Gasparilla Music Festival are partnering to launch a new monthly concert series, Streetcar Live powered by The Gasparilla Music Festival. Beginning this Saturday, and following with the 1st Saturday of each month, streetcar riders will be treated to live music from bands handpicked by The Gasparilla Music Festival."

As for mothballing the streetcar, you can't just shut it down. HART would have to reimburse FTA for the $55 million federal contribution, since they "co-signed" on the THS grant. That's practically the entire HART operations budget for an entire year. What needs to happen is the elimination of the insurance payment for the CSX crossing, which is something that HART has been actively pursuing for some time now. That one is mainly dependent on FDOT or Florida legislative action, so it's not exactly a quick fix and takes lots of political muscle to usher through. Once that's out of the way, there would be a couple hundred thousand dollars extra to pump back into the service and/or the In-Town Trolley to make both more useful.
 

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How did HART do for on-time performance in July?

On-time performance improved to 78.77%, which is slightly better than June and nearly 7% above goal. All but three routes performed at or above the board-approved on-time goal of 72%, which is an improvement from June.

HART considers a bus to be on-time if it arrives at a time point between 1 minute early and 5 minutes late.

System averages (local routes only):
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78.77% on-time
3.86% early
17.36% late

Most punctual routes (late 15% of the time or less):
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7%: 400 MetroRapid North-South (Fletcher Ave speed limit decreased to 35MPH, timings not adjusted)
9%: 41 Sligh/Habana
10%: 33 Fletcher
12%: 1 Florida, 34 Hillsborough, 45 Rome/Boulevard
15% 36 Dale Mabry/Himes
(4, 9, 18 and 46 missed the cut with a 16%)

Least punctual routes (late more than 25% of the time):
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29%: 37 Brandon (11% better than June, temporary routing changes coming later this month)
27%: 31 South County/US41 (Riverview traffic, route adjustments planned for December markup)
26%: 5 40th St (delays on McKinley related to Moffitt Ambulatory Center construction), 15 Columbus (Westshore traffic delays tied to Interstate 275 construction)
25%: 96 In-Town Trolley

Routes equipped with helicopter rotors (early more than 5% of the time):
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10%: 9 15th St
9%: 45 Rome
8%: 4 Palma Ceia
7%: 31 South County/US41 (route adjustments planned for December markup)
6%: 8 Palm River/Brandon, 10 Cypress, 32 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The most punctual bus operator had a 94% on-time rate.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
And the HART board has decided...

...to discuss the board reorganization matter further with the county.

The HART Board of Directors voted unanimously to allow HART chairman Councilman Mike Suarez, Interim Chief Executive Officer Katharine Eagan and HART general counsel David Smith to meet with County Administrator Mike Merrill and County Attorney Chip Fletcher to work out legal issues and find a consensus position regarding potential governance, and bring that position back to the HART Board for discussion.
Source: HART Press Release.
 

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My guess is that the board won't change a lot. Truth is the commissioners themselves are better than the people they appoint. Even if the improvement is just in the fact that they are part of public pressure. I will say I agree with Josh Burgin (gasp!) that if we pass the tax we should just do what they do everywhere else and elect the board.
 

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HART ridership for July was on fire. Initial counts put overall ridership up +4.6%, with 1,246,854 riders across Local, Express and Paratransit routes.

Local: +5.0% (1,213,382)
Express: -14% (25,838) (see note below)
Paratransit: +5.9% (11,254)

Re: Express ridership. The huge express dropoff comes almost exclusively from reporting issues with Route 200X. The route keeps getting HARTFlex vans due to vehicle shortages, which are not equipped with fareboxes and APCs. As a result, ridership counts from these vehicles are not included in the July ridership reports, making the express ridership figure look much worse than it really is.

Notable July weekday average increases vs last July:

1 Florida Ave: 4,192 +11.4%
4 Palma Ceia: 413 +7.55%
6 56th St: 4,279 +15.3%
15 Columbus: 1,292 +13.8%
30 Airport/TnC: 2,160 +8.8%
37 Brandon: 1,041 +7.2%
46 Causeway/SR60: 476 +110.6%
400 MetroRapid N-S: 2,336 +22.9%

More detailed information will be available in a week or two.

... If this trend holds up, HART's going to set some major ridership records when the busy season hits at the start of FY2015.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
And the 200X problem, as we know, was only exacerbated by the loss of bus #2416 a few months ago, plus #2502 being out of commission. Those 1500s can't arrive soon enough!
 
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