Starting May 15, Tampa residents will be able to travel express to and from Miami and Orlando for as little as $1, from the HART Marion Transit Center (MTC).
By making other connections residents gain access to 120 cities across the USA, dramatically expanding the intermodal system at MTC. That was made possible through a 5-year partnership agreement between HART and Mega Bus.
Megabus.com will pay HART a fee per year for access to the newly expanded MTC Station. The additional revenue does not require any other resources or personnel, and HART plans to reinvest the funds to further enhance MTC.
HART Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Seward was instrumental in bringing Megabus.com to the Marion Transit Center. "MTC has become a busy intermodal hub for Bus Rapid Transit in Tampa," Seward says, "As well as handling incoming buses from St. Petersburg. We always wanted to have an intercity service at the facility as well and Megabus will be providing it."
The partnership is just one more example of how HART staff is focused on attracting new ridership, fueling revenues, and enhancing service through strategic innovation. The HART intermodal approach strives to connect various modes of transportation such as walking, bicycling, and using the TECO Line Streetcar System, Park-n-Ride facilities, and paratransit system.
"The new service will make it possible for more than 142,000 travelers to visit Tampa during the first year alone," said Mike Alvich, vice president of marketing and public relations for Megabus.com/Coach USA. "Customers can travel in approximately the same amount of time it would take to drive themselves, without the stress of being behind the wheel."
The introduction of Megabus routes from downtown Tampa to Orlando and Miami coincides with the recent completion of a new phase of MTC near Morgan and Scott streets. This is all part of the HART vision to ensure a positive, dynamic impact on Downtown Tampa and other neighborhoods it serves. The Metro510 residential complex was built south of the MTC complex in early 2013, for example, and additional development has occurred to the west of MTC with another high rise residential complex scheduled for completion later this year.
These are just a few examples of developments benefiting from access to public transit which spur greater opportunity and growth benefiting businesses, residents, and visitors. Now residents in the MTC neighborhood will have the added advantage of direct access to public transit and Megabus travel opportunities.