Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

HART's commuter express line can save money

The route:

New Tampa park-and-ride lot to downtown Tampa

HART's route: Route 51x, an express commuter line, heads south on Interstate 75, takes Interstate 4 west and makes several stops downtown.

Miles, estimated travel time: The route travels about 20 miles and is estimated to take 35 minutes to get to the first downtown stop.

Cost: $3 for a one-way ticket or $95 for a 31-day unlimited Express pass. Discounts available.

What I found: Route 51x starts in Wesley Chapel and makes its third and final stop before downtown at the Lowes off of Bruce B. Downs Boulevard at 7:03 a.m.

Several signs pointed me to the park-and-ride area of the lot but I had a difficult time finding the bus stop. I looked around and spotted a group of people dressed in ties and business attire walking toward the side of the building so I followed. The bus route sign is hidden among sheds and pallets.

The bus arrived on time. I climbed aboard, slid $3 into the machine (exact change only) and sat down.

With fewer than a dozen people on board, the atmosphere was friendly. Many of the commuters take the bus every day and have gotten to know each other along the way. I spoke with Shirley Vereen, a senior planning and zoning technician who lives in New Tampa and works at the County Center.

She has been taking the bus for years and listed several reasons: "It saves gas, it saves time, you don't go to work with road rage. You can relax and have less stress," she said.

Traffic congestion just before the Interstate 275 junction slowed us down a bit but we still sailed into the Marion Transit Center at 7:39, just one minute behind schedule.

I took the leisurely half-mile stroll to my office in the Times building on N Ashley Street and was at my desk by 7:50 a.m.

That's 47 minutes start to finish not counting the drive to the Lowes parking lot.

Sure, the commute may have only taken about half the time in my own car, but according to Google Maps' cost calculator, it would have cost nearly four times as much.

Plus, there's that whole road rage thing.

Shelley Rossetter, Times staff writer

For more information on commuter express routes and other HART services, visit gohart.org.

HART's commuter express line can save money 04/27/13 [Last modified: Friday, April 26, 2013 3:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021

    Bucs

    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  2. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  3. Analysis: Manchester attack was exactly what many had long feared

    World

    LONDON — For Britain's security agencies, London always seemed like the likely target. For years, the capital of 8 million with hundreds of thousands of weekly tourists and dozens of transit hubs had prepared for and feared a major terror attack.

  4. Dade City man dies after crashing into county bus, troopers say

    Public Safety

    ZEPHYRHILLS — A 38-year-old man died Tuesday after colliding into the rear of a county bus on U.S. 301, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

  5. Suspicious device at Pinellas Park home was a spent artillery round, police say

    Public Safety

    PINELLAS PARK — Bomb squad investigators determined that a "suspicious device" found at a Pinellas Park home Tuesday afternoon was a spent artillery round, police said.