HART offers free rides on Sunday, Monday to ease route changes

Hillsborough's bus agency is offering free trips on Sunday and Monday to ease the transition as riders try to navigate the redesigned network launching this weekend.
A Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Route 30 bus that runs from the Northwest Transfer center in Tampa on Friday, September 28, could no longer be in use once HART launches a new campaign: Mission MAX Modernizing and Aligning for Excellence. HART riders will notice a change in bus routes where some extended and others taken offline starting Oct. 8.
A Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Route 30 bus that runs from the Northwest Transfer center in Tampa on Friday, September 28, could no longer be in use once HART launches a new campaign: Mission MAX Modernizing and Aligning for Excellence. HART riders will notice a change in bus routes where some extended and others taken offline starting Oct. 8.
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TAMPA — Hillsborough's bus agency is offering free trips on Sunday and Monday to ease the transition as riders try to navigate the redesigned network launching this weekend.

The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority has completely restructured its system, cutting about a third of its routes and adding a few new ones. HART says the smaller system — dropping from 41 routes to 34 — should improve service for about 80 percent of riders.

"If they're on one of the major routes, chances are their service will get better or at least stay the same," said Marco Sandusky, HART's director of government and community relations.

But for those who live or work in less populated areas — Ruskin, Town 'N Country and Sun City Center among them — catching a bus is going to be more difficult. In addition to 13 eliminated routes, the West Tampa Transfer Center will no longer be used.

Riders are encouraged to check out maps of the new network before changes go into effect Sunday. Even if their route still exists, stops might have moved or departure times and operating hours might have changed.

HART staff has been on site at many stations the past few months, and riders can pick up maps of the redesigned routes at bus stops or online at gohart.org. They can also use the Google Trip planner to see how the routes will change Sunday.

Contact Caitlin Johnston at [email protected] or (727) 893-8779. Follow @cljohnst.

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