Jean Ann Lawson

Cesar Hernandez
Government Relations Specialist
Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (“HART”)
Tampa, Florida

Favorite Music

Everything from Biggie Smalls’ Juicy to Mozart’s Requiem in D minor.

Challenge

The County had first mile/last mile hurdles in getting Tampa riders to transportation hubs. Public transit options were sparse and unpredictable. Door-to-door private options were too pricey for residents. Congestion spiked as commuters chose to drive, yet parking was also scarce and costly.

Solution

HART launched HyperLINK in 2016, providing ride-sharing within 3 miles of public bus hubs for a flat fee of $3, bookable by app or phone. In April 2017, HART added five gull-winged Tesla Model X, an electric SUV that seats seven, to its fleet of vehicles. The fTeslas, which are operated by TransDev, a private contractor for HART, are equipped to transition to driverless vehicles when HART is ready.

Lessons Learned

There’s no one-size-fits-all. Everything has to be tailored to fit needs of the region, ridership, and local government.

Cesar’s Job

Leads government relations and business development team for HART, which means he drums up resources for innovative projects.

Cesar’s Personal Background

Cesar is old-school Brooklyn, “born on the crime side not the New York Times side.” Troubles in his early 20s prompted a move to the University of South Florida (BS, poli sci). He’s studying now at Brown University for his MBA. After a stint at community organizing, he shifted to legislative work for Tampa city hall until heading to HART.

Startling Fact

He’s a Glee freak or #gleek, quoting chapter and verse of the musical TV show.

Contact Info

HernandezC@GoHART.org

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