Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Transit board proposes raising bus fares in Hillsborough

This story has been edited to make clear that the proposed fare increase would not take effect until November 2013.

TAMPA — The county's transit agency is proposing across-the-board bus fare increases to offset higher operating costs next year.

Among other changes, one-way fares and day passes would each go up 25 cents, to $2 and $4, respectively, if approved by the agency's governing board in September. About 1 million bus passengers a month would be affected, including paratransit, express and discount riders.

The boost is among several strategies outlined in the Hills­borough Area Regional Transit Authority's proposed 2012-13 fiscal operating budget to offset expected increases in health care and diesel fuel next year. The rate hike would take effect in November 2013.

Also under the spending plan, the property tax rate would climb to 50 cents per $1,000 of taxable value from about 47 cents two years ago. The average homeowner in Hillsborough with a house valued at $93,748 would pay just over $2 more in property taxes, said Katharine Eagan, HART's chief of service development.

The proposed budget, unveiled Monday at a meeting of the board's Finance, Governance, and Administration Committee, next goes to the full HART board, which will review the plan over the next four months before taking a final vote.

If approved, the increase would bring HART's fares in line with those of Pinellas County's transit agency.

It would come as more people turn to buses for transportation. HART's April ridership grew 11 percent to nearly 1.2 million passengers compared with the same month a year ago.

But the fare hike could slow at least some of that growth. Although revenue is expected to jump by an estimated $500,000 from the fare increases, HART ridership would fall by about 2 percent, Eagan said.

Gloria Mills, president of Hillsborough Advocates for Improved Transit, notes that many bus riders are already struggling.

"Understand that a lot of people are on fixed incomes and nobody else's paychecks are going up, so unfortunately, the people using the bus have no other means to pay for transportation and they're not going to like the fare increase," Mills said.

"People will have to tighten their belts. That's the reality."

Transit board proposes raising bus fares in Hillsborough 05/16/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 17, 2011 2:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bill Clinton coming to Miami Beach on Saturday for mayors' convention


    From our friends at the Miami Herald:

    Former President Bill Clinton gives the opening address to kick off a meeting of International Aid Groups at the InterAction Forum 2017 at the Washington Convention Center on June 20.
  2. Obama's secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin's election assault


    WASHINGTON — Early last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried "eyes only" instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Barack Obama shake hands at the COP21 UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris, France, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. [Mikhail Klimentyev | Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP]
  3. GOP's challenge: Finding votes for Senate health care bill (w/video)


    WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has finally unwrapped his plan for dismantling President Barack Obama's health care law. Now comes his next challenge — persuading enough Republicans to back the measure and avert a defeat that could be shattering for President Donald Trump and the GOP.

    Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks to reporters at the Capitol after Republicans released their long-awaited bill to scuttle much of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 22, 2017. He is one of four GOP senators to say they are opposed it but are open to negotiations, which could put the measure in immediate jeopardy. [Associated Press]
  4. Trigaux: Halfway through 2017, a closer look at six drivers of the Tampa Bay economy


    We're nearly halfway through 2017 already, a perfect time to step back from the daily grind of business and ask: How's Tampa Bay's economy doing?

    Is there one theme or idea that captures the Tampa Bay brand? Not really but here's one possibility. The fun-loving annual Gasparilla "Invasion" of Tampa is captured in this photo of 
The Jose Gasparilla loaded with pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla on its way this past January to the Tampa Convention Center. In the future a vibrant downtown Tampa or St. Petersburg may be the better theme. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  5. Harmeling first woman to receive lifetime honor at Sneaker Soiree in Tampa

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — For the last quarter-century, she has combined passion and meticulousness to keep the Gasparilla Distance Classic humming and evolving. Indefatigable and detailed, Susan Harmeling braces for every race-weekend contingency.

    Susan Harmeling gives a speech after accepting an award  during the annual Sneaker Soiree, at TPepin's Hospitality Centre, Thursday, June 22, 2017.