Metro Rapid promises faster ride - FOX 13 News

Metro Rapid promises faster ride

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

When Gilberto Rodriguez is done with his work day, he hops on the number two bus to get home.

"Every day, every day after work," said Rodriguez.

And while it certainly gets the job done, Rodriguez says the trip up Nebraska Ave. can be time consuming.

A new "green" solution is on the way for Rodriguez, and the roughly 4,000 other passengers who ride that route daily.

"The green bus is Metro Rapid, the first corridors are Metro Rapid north south," said Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority Chief Operating Officer Katharine Eagan.

Metro Rapid is a new HART bus line that will make its mark by getting from point A to point B faster than other buses.

"It's obviously a bus, but it'll stop not at every stop but at the really high volume stops where most of our folks are coming and going," said Eagan.

If you travel up and down Nebraska Ave, odds are you've seen the new Metro Rapid bus stops. They're bigger and provide more shade than most HART stops.

And if the bus is running late, new technology will help it get back on track.

"The buses are wrapped into a GPS system," said Eagan.

"When it's about two or three minutes down it sends a signal out it says ok as I'm approaching this light I'm still two or three minutes down, it lets the light know and instead of turning red as quickly it will hold the light a little longer on green," he said.

The first Metro Rapid route will run from downtown Tampa, up Nebraska Ave., then down Fletcher Ave. to a regional park and ride just near I-75.

Service will start on the Tuesday after Memorial Day.

The first two weeks will be free. After that, the Metro Rapid will cost the same as other HART buses.

For Rodriguez, that service can't start fast enough.

"It's gonna be great you know, because I'm gonna be home fast," said Rodriguez.

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