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Title: MetroRapid  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Tampa, Florida, Tampa Bay Area, Hillsborough Area Regional Transit
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Hillsborough Area Regional Transit's MetroRapid is a Bus rapid transit system that operates in Tampa, Florida. Currently, there is only one line in operation, the North-South line, with an East-West line in the planning phase. Subsequent lines could open depending on the success of the two initial lines.

History and Planning

HART began preliminary planning for a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in 2004, with studies launched in 2005. What is now known as the MetroRapid North-South Line was selected in 2005 to become the first leg of the system, after initial plans to have BRT run along interstate corridors deteriorated. The Nebraska Ave corridor is HART's busiest bus corridor [2]


Hillsborough County Community Investment Tax funded the design and construction phases of the MetroRapid North-South project. A June 2012 review of the original project estimate of $31 million determined that the project was under budget by $5.7 million. This funding has been reallocated back to Hillsborough County for its infrastructure needs, if desired. CIT funding is only earmarked for capital improvement costs, and cannot be reallocated for operational costs, such as bus routes.

North-South Line

The MetroRapid North-South Line consists of an approximately 17.5 mile route along Fletcher Avenue and Nebraska Avenue, from downtown Tampa to Telecom Park, with 59 stations along the line, 26 for each direction. It uses 12 Low-floor buses, and Transit Signal Priority in order to shorten red lights, and lengthen green lights to make transit faster along the line. At major stations, there are ticket vending machines, in order to speed up the boarding process.

Construction of the North-South line began on August 6, 2012 and was largely completed by March, 2013. A two-week soft opening phase took place between May 28, 2013 and June 7, 2013, by which customers could use MetroRapid for free. The line officially began revenue service on June 10, 2013.


HART has touted MetroRapid service as a "premium service" with the following features:

Sleek new vehicles offer a comfortable ride for passengers and drivers • New, modern station stops • Transit Signal Priority holds green lights and shortens red lights for MetroRapid buses as they approach the intersection. TSP provides a 15 percent travel-time savings, and MetroRapid buses are estimated to travel the 17.5-mile North-South route in under an hour. • Ticket Vending Machines at major stations to speed boarding • Bicycle racks at each station

Operating Schedule

(As of June 10, 2013)

• Weekday, 15-minute service from Marion Transit Center - University Area Transit Center (UATC); 30-minute service from UATC to Hidden River Regional Park-n-Ride


Currently, HART is planning a second line, called the East-West Line. This line is largely unfunded, and HART is seeking federal funding to assist with this portion of the project. Subsequent lines are planned for the Dale Mabry Highway corridor from Lutz to MacDill Air Force Base, New Tampa via Bruce B. Downs Blvd, and the Selmon Expressway corridor between Downtown Tampa and Brandon. These subsequent lines will be dependent on the success of the two initial lines.

Route Name Starting Point Major Transfer Points Terminus Operation and Frequency Direction Projected Start of Service Notes
North-South Line Marion Transit Center - Downtown Tampa University Area Transit Center - USF Area Hidden River Park - New Tampa every 15 Minutes between MTC & UATC & 30 minutes to Hidden River Peak Direction - North/South Opened May 28, 2013. Revenue service began June 10, 2013.
East-West Line Tampa International Airport NetPark Transfer Center - East Tampa Temple Terrace Unknown Peak Direction - East/West Unknown
Brandon Line Brandon via Selmon Expressway Marion Transit Center - Downtown Tampa Unknown Peak Direction - East/West Unknown
New Tampa Line New Tampa via Bruce B Downs Blvd Marion Transit Center - Downtown Tampa Unknown Peak Direction - North/South Unknown
Dale Mabry Hwy Corridor Lutz via Dale Mabry Highway MacDill AFB Unknown Peak Direction - North/South Unknown

Some information regarding proposed MetroRapid routes came from this link

East-West Line

MetroRapid East-West will connect Tampa International Airport, the Westshore Business District and the HART Netpark bus transfer center at Hillsborough Avenue and 56th Street, with connections to the North-South line at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

External links

  • HART BRT project information
  • East-West Line information
  • North-South Line information
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