If you take public transportation in Hillsborough County, you may have noticed some big changes to your commute.
Instead of 42 bus routes, there are now just 34.
Many bus routes now have orange covers over them, saying "This stop will no longer be serviced effective October 8, 2017."
The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority calls it "Mission Max." The new service rolled out Sunday, October 8, 2017.
Some of the benefits include:
- • Shorter Trip Times
- • Higher Frequencies on High-Demand Routes
- • Better Connections
- • Extended Morning, Evening or Weekend Service on Select Routes
HART redesigned the transit system after they collected customer satisfaction surveys in 2015 and 2016. With that feedback, the company focused on improvement, based on input from the public.
To see if your commute will change you can click here.
Carmelo Gonzalez had no idea the changes were going into effect this weekend, we found him waiting almost an hour on an empty bus stop on Fowler Avenue.
“Now, I got to take a different route. I'm going to be even later to get to work,” says Gonzalez.
Gonzalez uses the 45. The old route went through Fowler Avenue but the new line doesn’t.
Officials with HART claim cutting out these side streets will mean a faster trip.
But Gonzales disagrees, saying he now has to walk more.
“They make it harder. They make it harder for the people,” he says.
On HART’s FAQ page, it says nearly 80% of people said they would rather have service every 10-20 minutes. Even if they had to travel further to get to their stop.
A few blocks down from Fowler, we found Katrina McDaniel trying to find her new stop on the 33.
Her hour-long trip to work, now takes 90 minutes.
“I have about a half mile so or left. In total, it was a mile and a half,” says McDaniel. “It’s going to be a nightmare I think. Especially for the first couple of weeks. People are going to be discombobulated.”
These changes will save HART about 6 million dollars. Transit officials said the shake-up should improve service for about 80-percent of riders.
The routes that disappeared had low ridership.
Hart is offering free bus rides Sunday and Monday on every bus expect HART plus.
For information on why routes changed: