Hillsborough County transit officials are backing off a proposal to eliminate the only bus route between the Plant City area and downtown Tampa.
A revised staff recommendation calls for reducing service from two weekday buses to one. Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) spokeswoman Marcia Mejia said the agency took into consideration comments from riders who said they depend on Route 28X to get to and from Tampa.
Paige Ward, a county employee who organized the opposition to the route's elimination, said paring service from two buses to one is an acceptable compromise.
"If we have one bus, we're happy," she said.
Currently, westbound buses leave Mount Zion Assembly of God Church, 3005 Thonotosassa Road, at 6:20 and 6:50 a.m. and arrive in the Marion Transit Center in Tampa at 7:08 a.m. and 7:41 a.m., respectively. Eastbound buses leave the Tampa transit center at 4:40 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. and return to the Plant City area church at 5:30 p.m. and 6:05 p.m., respectively. The 28X buses also stop in Seffner on their way to and from Tampa.
If service is reduced to one daily bus each way, a new schedule would be set based on a ridership survey, Mejia said.
The revised staff recommendation will be presented Monday to a HART finance committee, which will need to sign off on the changes, and to the full board in August, Mejia said. Should service be trimmed to one bus each way per day, the new schedule would be effective in November, she said.
The action on Route 28X is one of several proposals for altered service that will be presented Monday to the finance committee and the full board in August.
In all, the changes will save the bus agency nearly $175,400 per year. The savings will be used to enhance service so buses on Routes 30 and 34 run every 30 minutes.