A new, technologically advanced, seamless fare collection system is planned thanks to a collaborative partnership first initiated by HART in November 2012. On May 6, HART Chief Financial Officer Jeff Seward presented the Regional Fare Collection Working Group Memorandum of Understanding to the HART Board, who were the first to approve the regional initiative.
“We are very excited about this effort,” Seward said,” as it not only reflects our work with PSTA , but with the entire Tampa Bay Region, and most importantly, will directly benefit those we service with enhanced mobility and payment options.”
“This is a transformational moment for regional cooperation in the Tampa Bay area,” explained Jeff Danner, Board Chair of Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority. “Staff efforts from all agencies involved have been exemplary in setting a new standard for regional collaboration. I am proud to see that we are making good on our pledge to pursue increased interagency cooperation and partnerships especially between PSTA and HART.”
Each of the partnering transit agencies from Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Citrus, and Hernando County, as well as Polk and Manatee Counties will work toward providing a fare collection system that supports regional connectivity in the Tampa Bay area.
HART is seeking state funding on behalf of the Regional Working Group jurisdictions.
Through phased implementation over the next three years the new system will provide seamless and common fare media for its passengers throughout the Tampa Bay region.
The project will provide a much-needed upgrade, with a state-of-the-art system, and an added benefit to the rider throughout the region. For example, HART’s fare collection system is 26 years old. Smart card technology will allow HART to better serve its customers.
During Phase I implementation the system will support HART’s MetroRapid North-South corridor, as well as those serving the inter-jurisdictional routes crossing the Bay to Pinellas County.
TBARTA commended HART for spearheading the initiative, which is consistent with TBARTA’s vision of providing a world class regional transportation network.