TAMPA, Fla. (October 29, 2018) – Earlier this year, Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Agency (HART) selected HCP Associates to conduct a baseline community sentiment study. HART wanted to understand how Hillsborough County residents perceive the organization and the job they are doing as the county’s transit authority.

HCP closely evaluated the organization’s internal documents, along with their vision and mission statements to understand what HART was prioritizing as an organization. The transit industry was researched to understand industry-wide trends and how those trends translated to the Bay Area. The preliminary research was vital in gaining awareness into what the target audience might think they know or feel about HART.

Starting in early 2018, HCP spoke with community leaders to get their thoughts on HART—their level of knowledge, their perceptions, and their recommendations for the future. After conducting interviews through June of 2018, the interview questions were transformed into a multiple-choice online survey. The online survey enabled Hillsborough County residents to give their feedback to HART. As a result, HCP was able to analyze the results and ultimately make recommendations to the transit authority. Topics of emphasis included: communication, community outreach, route accessibility, and funding.

HCP Research Coordinator, Madelin Ghomshe said, “It is evident that Hillsborough County residents value their transit organization. This survey was able to provide deeper insights into how the community sees the organization as well as what they do not know about it; HART is now able to use this information to raise awareness throughout the county of all the great services, initiatives, and innovations they have to offer.”

The survey established a baseline for the organization and it will be repeated. The 2018 data will be a reference point; when the survey is conducted in future years, year-changes will be tracked, noting improvements and opportunities for the transit organization.

HCP’s presentation of their findings is accessible here and the final report can be accessed here.