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New bus shelter reflects changing dynamics of retirement community

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image County Commissioner Sandra Murman does the honors of cutting the ribbon on the new shelter. Photo Mitch Traphagen

Today, even retirees want to hit some of the bay area’s hot spots, and good luck trying to drive a golf cart to Brandon.

By MITCH TRAPHAGEN

It’s probable that many people think of a retirement community as all-inclusive, a place where people move in and stay put. Replete with activities, Sun City Center makes that sort of thing easy, but the times are changing, as are retirees. Today, even retirees want to hit some of the bay area’s hot spots, and good luck trying to drive a golf cart to Brandon.

HART, the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority has recognized the changing dynamics of the retirement community and last week, unveiled a new covered bus shelter on North Pebble Beach Blvd. in the community, just outside the Community Association complex.

During a dedication ceremony, at which the first bus stopped at the new shelter, the highlight was four women, all residents of the retirement community, who ride the bus every month or so for excursions to the Brandon Mall for lunch, shopping and socializing. Those riders, Dolores Hamm, Elaine Spitzner, Pat Alber and Tina Lockwood, joined officials from the Community Association, the HART board of directors and Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandra Murman in cutting the ribbon for the new shelter.

Over the past few years, HART has tripled the number of covered bus shelters, now numbering 650 out of the system’s 3,200 bus stops. The shelters are designed to protect riders from the Florida sun and rain, making public transportation a more pleasant process.

The Sun City Center shelter came about through the cooperative effort of HART, the county commission and the Community Association. Area resident Anne Madden, present for the dedication, is the sole South Hillsborough-located member of the HART board.

The HART Bus Stop Improvement Program is supported by federal funding, as well as through local impact fees, in addition to partnerships with local businesses and organizations. For more information, visit www.gohart.org.

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