Tampa, Fla.’s Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) launched a fully accessible first mile/last mile solution in targeted areas of the county, extending the reach of the transit system through the critical first and last legs of each trip. The app-based, on demand service is the first transit agency-operated rideshare program in the nation.

HART HyperLINK is a pilot program, subsidized by the State of Florida, which covers a three-mile radius surrounding four HART-designated transit stops in areas where passengers will benefit from improved access to the transit system. Passengers book the on-demand rides through the HART HyperLINK smartphone app or through a call center. All vehicles are ADA-accessible, and customers can choose to pay the $3 fare with cash or credit card. Two areas — Carrolwood and UATC — started service on Monday, with Brandon Mall and Brandon Hospital available in December.

“Innovative solutions to transit opportunities are helping HART move beyond the bus. Everyone benefits when we connect communities to our system,” said Katharine Eagan, CEO of HART. “We all know how important equal access to public transit is for jobs, schools and recreation. We are optimistic that residents will embrace the immediate benefits that HyperLINK service brings to our region.”

HART HyperLINK seeks to extend its footprint to recruit new riders into the system and help current passengers develop a more predictable journey, giving them another option to connect to public transit. Transdev created the universally available HyperLINK platform and worked with HART to achieve its vision of equal access for all residents.

“This First Mile/Last Mile solution enhances the entire passenger experience to allow people to get where they need to go when they want to go,” said Dick Alexander, executive VP, business development, at Transdev. “This new app and service platform expand the boundaries of a transit network under each client’s brand. It’s a win for passengers. It’s a win for transit agencies. It’s a win for the local economy.”

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