Plant City Transit Study (2021)

Project Overview

The Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is collaborating with the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) and the City of Plant City to create a Transit Plan for the City of Plant City. This project will focus on the feasibility of re-initiating transit service from Tampa to Plant City through a travel market analysis.


Plant City is one of the fastest growing areas in Hillsborough County with over 40,000 residents and strategically located between Tampa and Lakeland. Currently, there is no bus service in Plant City. 
In the mid-2000s, HART and Plant City operated the Strawberry Connector service to provide circulator trips within Plant City, which ceased operation during 2008. Starting in 2012, HART operated a commuter express service (Route 28X – East County Express) from Tampa to Plant City. Unfortunately, HART had to eliminate that service by 2017 since there was not enough ridership to serve that route.

Alternative Analysis

Through a series of Stakeholder Focus Group Meetings, Public Open House Meetings and Travel Market Analysis, the study team identified various alternatives for circulator routes within Plant City, express bus to Downtown Tampa and a service to Lakeland. These alternatives are presented in a Final Transit Plan Report. 

Click here for the final report

Public Outreach

Presentation to the MPO Committees and Board, HART Board, Plant City Planning Board and City Commission

The highlights of the study have been presented to the MPO Committees, the Planning Board and City Commission for Plant City and the HART Board during November and December. Please view the presentation here.

Public Open House

Scope of the Study

This study will serve as a feasibility study to identify transit service in Plant City. The goals of the study are as follows:

Public Engagement

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Community Involvement

The project relied on public input to define the study area, identify major corridors and activity centers, and to help narrow down the results to a set of viable alternatives. Public meetings were set up in various formats at different stages of the study to promote equitable public engagement.

Virtual Open House

A virtual public open house meeting was held on the 26th August, 2020 as a Go-To-Webinar. 

Public Engagement Survey

A survey following the public open house was distributed to collect public feedback about the transit service.  The results of the survey helped staff to refine the alternatives. 

Stakeholder Focus Group Meeting II

This meeting was held on May 21, 2020. Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, this meeting was scheduled as a Go-To-Webinar to give the Focus Group an opportunity to  join the meeting virtually and discuss about the initial transit recommendations identified by the study team. Following the meeting, there was a survey that was sent out to the participants to further help the study team with the study. 

Stakeholder Focus Group Meeting I

This meeting was conducted on February 19, 2020 at Plant City – City Hall. The purpose of this meeting was to identify the existing corridors and activity centers, the communities of concern and the transit dependent populations and the areas of future growth and emerging destinations. 


A: This study is requested by Plant City to explore the feasibility of operating a new commuter transit service in Plant City to connect to downtown Tampa and also operate a circulator service within downtown Plant City

A: The study area is bounded by Knights Griffin Road to the North, State Road 60 to the South, Brand Forbes Road to the West and County Line Road to the East.

Plant City Transit Master Plan Study Area

A: This study will provide a final transit recommendations report that summarizes the existing conditions, travel market analysis, issues and opportunities, alternatives development and evaluation and planning level cost estimates for the various alternatives studied. 

A: This study is scheduled for completion by the December 2020. This date is subject to extension due to the current pandemic situation.

A: The project related documents will be updated on the website as they become available. The public open house scheduled as a Go-To-Webinar. Please register at the link above. Get updates on this project by clicking on the Sign me up! button above.

Future Steps