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. Bucs talk social issues, protests at team meeting


    TAMPA — Each time Dirk Koetter walks through the door of his office at One Buc Place, he passes by the only jersey framed on his wall.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) wears custom cleats to represent Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) as part of the NFL???‚??„?s "My Cause, My Cleats Campaign" before the start of a football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif., on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016.
  2. UPS relocates express operations from St. Pete-Clearwater to TIA


    TAMPA — United Parcel Service Inc. is switching airports for its express air operations. Beginning in October, UPS will relocate from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Tampa International Airport.

    Beginning in October, UPS will move from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Tampa International Airport. [Associated Press file photo]

  3. St. Petersburg man shot in arm during home invasion robbery


    ST. PETERSBURG — One man was arrested on charges he shot another man in the arm while attempting to rob a home in what St. Petersburg police are calling a drug-related incident.

    John Alam, 25, faces charges of home invasion robbery, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a felon after deputies said he tried to rob a home Wednesday morning and ended up shooting someone. [Courtesy of Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Bob Buckhorn, a mayor who knows what he wants, surveys constituents on what they want


    TAMPA — Focus has not been a problem — or really, even a question — during the six-plus years that Mayor Bob Buckhorn has been in office.

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn keeps a digital countdown clock in his office showing the days, hours. minutes and seconds until he is term-limited out of office on April 1, 2019. As of Wednesday, he had 584 days to go. [City of Tampa]