Katharine Eagan, AICP

Sept. 18, 2012
Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) Chief Operating Officer Katharine Eagan, AICP.

Katharine Eagan is the HART chief operating officer, becoming the first female to serve in this capacity. She leads a team of more than 600 employees who carry out the key functions of the agency, including service planning, scheduling, maintenance, information technology and operations for all transportation modes of HART: fixed-route bus, on-demand, paratransit and streetcar.

Eagan started with HART in 2009 as chief of service development, directing service planning and scheduling, as well as marketing and community relations. She used these areas to build ridership, using unique and targeted marketing promotions, and strategic route planning. Bus schedules have become more convenient because of extended night/weekend service, yielding dramatic ridership results. From FY2010 to FY2011, Saturday ridership increased 7.6 percent and Sunday ridership increased 24.4 percent.

Also as chief of service development, Eagan overhauled the process for scheduled service changes. She incrementally restructured and streamlined bus routes, eliminating or reducing unproductive service and reinvesting into areas with potential for bus ridership growth. This foresight averted sudden and drastic service cuts. In addition, this method has been a cost-saving to taxpayers, as well as revenue-generating: Revenue miles and hours have steadily decreased while HART has maintained its transit service footprint throughout Hillsborough County's 1,100 square miles and serving more customers.

In addition, ridership gains have resulted in increased farebox revenue. From FY2010 to FY2011, revenue hours and miles decreased nearly 2 percent, while farebox revenue increased more than 8 percent.

Equally important, Eagan launched the community meeting process ahead of public hearings for service changes and incorporated feedback into final route modifications. As a result, HART has become more responsive to the public's needs, while raising awareness and understanding among customers and stakeholders about the resources and planning required to operate effective and efficient transit service.

As COO, Eagen continues to optimize all facets of bus service and has focused on empowering operators via open forums of communication and dialogue as they are faced with carrying increased numbers of customers. She also continues to focus on reducing operating costs. Her team introduced real-time paratransit scheduling and other policy changes that have absorbed double-digit ridership gains while controlling operational costs. From January 2011 to January 2012: Paratransit ridership and revenue hours increased nearly 10 percent, while hours of van service has remained flat.

Eagan is on the board of the National Association of Women in Construction's Tampa Chapter and is a member of the Women's Transportation Seminar Tampa Bay Chapter.