THE Bus (Hernando County, Florida)
|Slogan||Whenever you need a ride, THE Bus is there.|
|Founded||October 28, 2002|
|Headquarters||1525 East Jefferson Street Brooksville, FL 34601|
|Service area||Hernando County|
|Service type||bus service, paratransit|
|Destinations||Brooksville, Spring Hill|
|Hubs||Brooksville, Spring Hill|
THE Bus is a cooperative effort of the Hernando County Board of County Commissioners, Metropolitan Planning Organization, City of Brooksville, Florida Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration in serving the people of Hernando County with affordable public transportation.
Prior to the establishment of THE Bus, the only resemblance to public transportation available in Hernando County were a tourist bus company in Brooksville, and a local ParaTransit company, which was privately owned. On October 28, 2002, the Spring Hill Routes started serving the greater Spring Hill area. One week later, November 4, 2002; the Brooksville Purple Route started serving the Brooksville area. The system started with 4 buses in Spring Hill and 1 bus in Brooksville, which shuttled riders between Brooksville and Spring Hill. By the 7th day of operation, ridership surpassed the 3rd year projection of 200 trips per day, with ridership of 219 trips. After 22 months of operation, THE Bus was averaging 425 to 434 trips per day.
On May 3, 2004, Hernando County added the Brooksville Shuttle Bus—Green Route, along with the Pasco-Hernando Community College—North Campus stop. The former Purple Route was moved entirely within the City of Brooksville. Travel time was extended from 6:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M., and the Spring Hill routes were extended from YMCA of Hernando County to Spring Hill Regional Hospital. In addition, they decreased the Brooksville–Spring Hill shuttle travel time from 90 minutes to 60 minutes.
Presently, THE Bus is averaging from 540 to 675 riders per day. The highest ridership since the initiation of the bus system was 882 trips on January 3, 2006.
The cash fare to board the bus is $1.50, however a 60 cent discount is available to medicare card holders, persons with disabilities, and students (with a valid ID).
THE Bus operates 3 fixed bus routes throughout Hernando County: two in Spring Hill and one in Brooksville.
- Spring Hill: Blue and Red
- Brooksville: Purple
As of October 2009 THE Bus has 3 buses in service.
Possible Suspension of Service
Due to the ongoing budget crisis at the local, state, and national levels, as well as low ridership, the Hernando County Board of Commissioners voted in late April, 2009 to cut THE Bus service in half, reducing the frequency of trips (from 60 minutes to 120 minutes). Additionally, the county commission rejected a stimulus proposal that would have called for five new buses. The county will instead look into refurbishing three of their existing buses to lengthen their lifespans. No date for the cutbacks has been determined.
Reduction of Service—October 1, 2009
On June 23, 2009, the Hernando County Board of County Commission approved to move forward with the reduction of service to the fixed route system, THE Bus. These changes included a decrease in the frequency of bus travel along the routes from one hour headways to two hour headways. This was accomplished by reducing the number of operating vehicles from six to three. In addition, the Brooksville Route 3/Purple Route and the Brooksville Shuttle/Green Route were combined into one route, the Brooksville Route 3/Purple Route