HART hopes Teslas will jolt public transit

- If you need a ride, call a Tesla. There's an app for that now in parts of Hillsborough County.

The flashy unveiling of four Tesla SUVs happened Monday outside the Marshall Center at USF. They belong to HART, Hillsborough's mass transit agency, usually known for busses.

"We're getting the finest technology in the world and we're bringing it to Tampa, Florida," said Mark Sharpe, former county commissioner and now head of Innovation Place, an organization promoting transportation and economic interests in the university area.

It's called HART Hyperlink. You get the app on your phone and, like Uber and other ride-sharing services, a vehicle comes to your home or business to pick you up.

It won't always be a Tesla; Hart also has seven Dodge shuttles.  The ride costs $3 and will take you to a bus transportation center within a three-mile radius.

The Teslas were introduced as some fear cuts in federal transportation dollars.

"And part of not letting that happen is communities like ours demonstrating that we're smart with every dollar we receive and that we're innovative and putting technology to work," said U.S. Representative Kathy Castor (D-Tampa).

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