Approaching Elsa forces Tampa Bay transit agencies to shut down early

The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority will restart service Wednesday at 10 a.m. if weather permits. Pinellas has yet to set a time for resumption.
Chickens walk along the trolley tracks in Ybor City, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021 in Tampa.
Chickens walk along the trolley tracks in Ybor City, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021 in Tampa. [ MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE | Times ]
Published July 6, 2021|Updated July 6, 2021

TAMPA — Hillsborough’s public buses and trolleys will start providing final trips at 5 p.m. to protect employees and riders from Hurricane Elsa, agency officials said Tuesday afternoon.

Increasing wind speeds forced HART officials to move up their suspension of service from a previous target of 8 p.m., said spokeswoman Carson Chambers.

Drivers won’t pick up new riders after 5 p.m. but will take all riders already on board to their final destination, she said.

Across the bay, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority suspended service at 3:30 p.m.

The buses will start rolling again Wednesday at 10 a.m. if the weather conditions allow in Hillsborough. In Pinellas, PSTA officials didn’t have a time listed on their website for service to resume.

Hurricane Irma in 2017 and Tropical Storm Eta last year also forced the Hillsborough agency to suspend service.

HART customers can visit to view updated maps, schedules, and a summary of the service changes. Customers with questions can contact HART Customer Service at 813-254-4278.

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2021 Tampa Bay Times hurricane guide

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NEED TO KNOW: Click here to find your evacuation zone and shelter