At the June 26, 2018 Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) regular meeting, Commissioners unanimously approved changes to the red route of TheBus. According to Assistant County Administrator Ron Pianta, the red route has been having difficulties meeting its time points even after a slight modification in 2017. The change is expected to save taxpayers money, as well as improve the timeliness of the service.
The red route will no longer service Deltona Blvd south of Forest Oaks Blvd., which after review over 150 service days, showed that 2-3 riders used the bus per day. The portion of Spring Hill Drive currently serviced by the red route, will be continue to be serviced by the green route. Pianta reported that his office did connect with the riders along the southern Deltona area, and found that they may be entitled to complimentary service according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Those riders have been invited to apply for the service.
The current route’s southern terminus is at the Walmart on Commercial way, and the northern is at the Mariner Crossings shopping center at Northcliffe and Mariner Blvds. Those endpoints will remain the same, however the new route travel north on US Hwy 19 from Walmart, east on Forest Oaks Blvd, to Deltona. Continuing north on Deltona, the bus will then head east on Northcliffe to Mariner, where it will continue to stop at Mariner Crossings.
Forest Oaks Blvd., which previously only received intermittent service during the southbound trip, will now receive regular service in both directions. The exception is the loop of road on which Forest Oaks Villas are located, which will continue to only receive service on the northbound run.
Complete bus routes can be found at: http://www.hernandocounty.us/departments/departments-n-z/transit-thebus/routes-and-schedules
A separate vote was held for the restructuring of the transit fare system. The product, called “Flamingo” will include usage of the “Flamingo card” (much like a reloadable) debit card, and smartphone application that can be loaded electronically. The proposed project will allow also riders to use one payment method on the different transit systems in counties outside of Hernando, including Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough and Sarasota.
There are no changes in regular or reduced one-way fares. Currently, a $0.50 transfer fee is in place, which will be eliminated under the new system. New options will be available, such as 1-day unlimited passes, 31-day passes and seasonal passes.
The new system is expected to be implemented in November 2018.