The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) recently launched a new rider awareness campaign, Ride with Respect.

The goal of HART’s new Ride with Respect campaign is to promote a positive on-board experience for both operators and customers.

The campaign targets customers, operators and the community and consists of education of the safety and security rules, riding etiquette, operator customer service training and a social media campaign aimed to elevate the transit operator position to the level of first responders—police, fire rescue, etc.

“Every day, more than 300 transit professionals and 34,000 customers share a space on HART buses, vans and streetcars,” said Benjamin Limmer, HART CEO. “We hope launching the Ride with Respect campaign helps maintain a safe, respectful and courteous environment on board our vehicles.”

Central to the Ride with Respect campaign is a series of emotional short vignettes following HART operators throughout their day, displaying family interactions, hobbies, devotions, etc. to help customers and the general public better connect with HART staff.

The first in the Ride with Respect video series is Latisha Jones, a HARTPlus van operator who has driven for HART for seven years. You can search her name on youtube.com to see her video.

“Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1593 is glad to see this community-based campaign, especially featuring ATU Local 1593 Union members/HART professional operators,” said Curtis Howard, ATU International Vice President. “The ATU will continue to partner with HART, Hillsborough County and the rest of the communities we serve. As we do our best to move the residents of Hillsborough County in a safely and timely manner, we need them to treat our operators with respect each and every day.”

ATU Local 1593 thanks the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for assisting HART operators with de-escalation training and would especially like to thank every HART operator for their dedication, commitment and professionalism as they execute 34,000 daily trips for Hillsborough County.

For more information on the Ride with Respect campaign, visit www.goHART.org/RideWithRespect.