Photo courtesy HART
Starting Thursday, Tampa, Fla. residents will be able to travel express using Megabus.com to and from Miami and Orlando for as little as $1, from the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) Marion Transit Center (MTC).
By making other connections, residents gain access to 120 cities across the U.S., significantly expanding the intermodal system at MTC. That was made possible through a five-year partnership agreement between HART and Megabus.com.
Megabus.com will pay HART a fee per year for access to the newly expanded MTC. The additional revenue does not require any other resources or personnel, according to HART. HART plans to reinvest the funds to further enhance MTC.
Jeff Seward, HART’s Chief Financial Officer, was instrumental in bringing Megabus.com to the Marion Transit Center. "MTC has become a busy intermodal hub for bus rapid transit in Tampa, as well as handling incoming buses from St. Petersburg,” Seward says. “We always wanted to have an intercity service at the facility as well and Megabus will be providing it."
The partnership reflects HART’s focus 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, VP 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.com routes from downtown Tampa to Orlando and Miami coincides with the recent completion of a new phase of MTC near Morgan and Scott streets.