After coming onboard in 2011, HART’s CFO questioned staff why replacement of the agency’s fareboxes was consistently unfunded in the Capital Improvement Program year after year, when current fareboxes were requiring constant repairs and the technology was outdated. The CFO contacted the other 7 County transit agencies making up the greater Tampa Bay region and convened a Working Group where a regional approach to revenue collection could be utilized to address funding issues and for the first time in Florida, have multiple transit agencies look at having its patrons move between jurisdictions seamlessly with one fare media.
This project “busts” the myth that a collaborative approach to common technology, funding, procurement and inter-governmental relationship management cannot be accomplished due to differences across governmental and geographic boundaries in Florida. Why? Whether autonomous Special Taxing Districts or County departments, public transit providers are typically internally motivated; that is, with historical lack of funding, agencies focus more on internal solutions and agency-centric funding requests, than collaborating with a neighboring agency or agencies. This project is providing a new collaborative model where activities ranging from shared technology, to joint procurements, to addressing climate change and joint legislative agendas, can now be addressed on a regional, cross-jurisdictional level – something never attempted or achieved before in the Tampa Bay area.