HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority recently reduced routes across the board to improve bus service and prevent missed stops . The changes took effect Sunday and "most routes" are impacted, according to HART.
HART says these were routes with fewer than 15 people on board. Now, some of these routes will run each hour versus multiple times per hour.
While some riders are concerned about being able to catch a bus and find a route, the agency says this will help ensure better reliability bus service.
"No one wants to wait two hours for a bus if you miss it," said Adelee Le Grand, HART CEO, at a June 7 board meeting. "But no one also wants to wait for a bus that's scheduled to come every 30 minutes and it comes every hour or every other hour. That's also a problem and I would say that's probably a greater problem. Because you're now expecting more frequency than you'll ever receive."
This all comes as HART is working to secure federal funding to revamp hundreds of bus shelters across Hillsborough County, helping to protect riders from the sun and rain.
Survey Find Challenges in Transportation, Public Transit
This comes as Hillsborough County went out and surveyed more than 400 people about transportation issues facing the Tampa Bay area. They found that many people don't feel safe riding public transit, riding their bike or walking on sidewalks.
When it comes to walking and biking, the Plan Hillsborough 2021 Nondiscrimination Plan Public Engagement survey had more than 40 people mention the lack of sidewalks to and around schools, as well as the lack of lighting to and from bus stops.
When it comes to driving, others said they simply don't feel safe because of speeders and constant construction.
In terms of public transit, safety continued to be a big concern. Many women, the LGBTQ community, and people with disabilities responded that they didn't feel safe riding the bus.
They mentioned that routes are not well-connected and for many, it's also far too long of a wait at a bus stop. Respondents said they wait sometimes an hour or more on the weekends, which is especially challenging for single parents and mothers.