Make us your home page
Instagram

Hey bus riders: Need a car ride home from USF and Carrollwood bus stations? There's an app for that

TAMPA — HART and an international transportation company are launching a new ridesharing, app-based service to complement the bus system on Monday.

Like Uber or Lyft, bus riders will be able to use a free smartphone app to summon a driver who will take them up to three miles to or from major bus stations at USF or in Carrollwood. Unlike the online-only services, though, customers can pay cash and request a ride by making a phone call. The service, called HyperLINK, will cost passengers $3 per ride.

"We want to make public transit a go-to option for people instead of a last resort," said Sean Quigley, the project manager for the contractor, Transdev North America.

Even for those who opt out of using it every day, the service will help people who want to avoid walking in the rain or in Florida's heat, he said.

Transdev also provides shuttle service at Tampa International Airport and operates YellowCab in Clearwater.

The company, which developed HyperLINK's app and is operating the service, has been growing within the new mobile-based, on-demand transportation market. It is experimenting with autonomous public transportation options in Europe and has launched a separate app-based ride-hailing service available in cities like Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Denver.

For the local HyperLINK service, HART will pay Transdev $7 per ride in addition to the $3 fare. It is using a two-year Florida Department of Transportation grant worth $200,000 to cover that cost. Eagan estimated that HyperLINK will provide about 100 rides on a typical weekday once it expands to the transit center at Brandon Town Center Mall some time in mid-2017.

Transdev's drivers will go through the same background check as the company's cab drivers and will be paid per ride as a contractor, Quigley said. They will not accept tips.

"This is really the direction we see transportation going," he said. "This is the first program of its kind in the country. Nobody really knows how it's going to go."

The majority of the vehicles will be Dodge Caravans and Ford Transit vans and MV-1s, which can accommodate disabled passengers, Quigley said. Those vehicles will be owned and maintained by Transdev, but HART is considering a switch at a later point to the all-electric Tesla's Model X SUVs, which would be maintained by the manufacturer, said Katharine Eagan, HART's chief executive officer.

"If we don't spread out from what we're already doing we're not going to be meeting the needs for the county," she said.

Contact Alli Knothe at [email protected] Follow @KnotheA.

For more information, visit GoHART.org

Hey bus riders: Need a car ride home from USF and Carrollwood bus stations? There's an app for that 11/11/16 [Last modified: Friday, November 11, 2016 11:39am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Carrollwood fitness center employs scientific protocol to help clients

    Business

    In 2005, Al Roach and Virginia Phillips, husband and wife, opened 20 Minutes to Fitness in Lakewood Ranch, and last month they opened the doors to their new location in Carrollwood.

    Preston Fisher, a personal fitness coach at 20 Minutes To Fitness, stands with an iPad while general manager/owner Angela Begin conducts an equipment demonstration. The iPad is used to track each client's information and progress. I also included one shot of just the equipment. The center recently opened in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  2. Olive Tree branches out to Wesley Chapel

    Business

    WESLEY CHAPEL — When it came time to open a second location of The Olive Tree, owners John and Donna Woelfel, decided that Wesley Chapel was the perfect place.

    The Olive Tree expands its offerings of "ultra premium?€ extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) to a second location in Wesley Chapel. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  3. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  4. New York town approves Legoland proposal

    News

    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]
  5. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate

    By WAVENEY ANN MOORE

    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]