HART Board approves FY 2020 budget, celebrates 40 years of service

Sept. 30, 2019
The FY 2020 budget of $121 is the start of the organization’s TRANSitFORMATION.

 The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) Board of Directors approved the Fiscal Year 2020 budget which takes effect Oct. 1 during the authority’s week-long celebration for its 40 years of service.

The $121.5-million spending plan is comprised of the capital program and operating tactics that focus on HART’s ability to deliver those outcomes.

The FY 2020 budget is the start of the TRANSitFORMATION of HART, focusing on excelling in four key areas:

· Customer Experience: customer-centric initiatives, increasing customer satisfaction

        o Key FY 2020 Projects: Service improvements, bus shelter improvements and expansion, farebox technology upgrades, vehicle safety surveillance modernization and expansion, computer aided dispatch/ automated vehicle locator (CAD/AVL) solution for paratransit

· Community Value: Community sentiment, partnerships

        o Key FY 2020 Projects: Fleet expansion (including the purchase of 10 electric buses, compressed natural gas buses, vans, etc.), Tampa Streetcar Project development and engineering / Phase IV Study, Marion Transit Center facade repair

· Employee Success: Organization realignment, engagement, talent development

        o Key FY 2020 Projects: Marion Transit Center Renovation, replacement of immersion washing system, expanding HART auto body capabilities, administrative policy modernization

· Financial Performance: Financial sustainability, improving service productivity

        o Key FY 2020 Projects: Wheel alignment equipment, vehicle fluid tracking software, diagnostic technologies for vehicle repair, HVAC replacement

"HART is building a culture of excellence," said Benjamin Limmer, HART CEO. "This budget reflects the beginning of that transformation with an over $121 million investment in public transportation in Hillsborough County".

The Adopted FY 2020 budget does not include All for Transportation (AFT) Sales Tax Funding. Once AFT funds become available, HART can amend the FY 2020 budget to reflect the additional funding.

Adopted FY 2020 budget by the numbers:

· 8.9 percent growth in Ad Valorem equals $3,970,378;

· An operating budget of $83,491,758;

· $4,564,016 or 5.8 percent higher than FY 2019 adopted budget;

· A capital budget of $37,961,026; and

· $5,333,853 or 16.3 percent higher than the FY 2019 adopted budget.

Celebrating 40 years of service

HART celebrates 40 years of service on Oct. 3. and to commemorate, HART is hosting events and giveaways throughout the week.

Tampa, Fla., Mayor Jane Castor and Lesley Miller, chair of the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners and HART Board are joining HART CEO Benjamin Limmer Sept. 30 to kick off the week.

HART was created on Oct. 3, 1979, as the Hillsborough Transit Authority, after assuming operations of Tampa Bus Lines. Forty years later, HART is poised to make a wide range of operational improvements aimed at maximizing customer experience, restoring and expanding routes and serving more riders.

On Nov. 6, 2018, Hillsborough County voters made a commitment to public transportation by overwhelmingly voting to pass a 1-cent sales tax for transportation. Throughout the years, HART says it has operated in an efficient manner, moving thousands of residents and visitors daily, while continuously being one of the most underfunded agencies in the nation, according to the authority.