April ridership numbers for HART are in: April 2011 bus ridership of 1,170,625 is an 11 percent increase compared to April 2010 bus ridership of 1,055,521.
Older Americans Month is nationally recognized in May, and HART is celebrating by offering free rides to an older American and their friend throughout this entire month. In addition to local bus routes, free rides may be used for HART Flex, available in South County and Brandon. The older American must be age 65 or older, passengers must board together;the ride free program is not for use on HART Plus or the TECO Line Streetcar System.
Older americans (age 65 and older) make up 12 percent of Hillsborough County's total population, according to the most recent census information on population groups by age. To live independent and active lives, older Americans must be able to maintain a mobile lifestyle. Many older Americans equate mobility with driving, yet the process of aging often involves a deterioration of physical and functional skills that can make driving much more difficult, according to the American Public Transportation Association. Public transportation and other enhanced mobility options are important for Older Americans to age successfully. Otherwise, increased isolation prevents older Americans from aging in place, increases health costs, and adds to the burden on adult caregivers.