A few local officials will ditch their cars and take a bus to work Thursday, designated National Dump the Pump Day, to encourage people to ride mass transit.
Tampa City Councilman Mike Suarez, who is board chairman for the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority and Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe, who sits on the HART board, will both be riding the bus to work on Thursday morning.
HART officials are hoping others will join them in trying mass transit. Anyone who shows the bus driver a gas receipt on Thursday gets a free one-day bus pass.
“Our goal is to get people who haven’t used HART in the past to leave their cars at home for one day and use public transit instead,” said HART Interim Chief Executive Officer Katharine Eagan. “When people see how much money they can save and that it’s safe, convenient and a great way to travel to work, school or to get to medical appointments, they often continue to use transit.”
Suarez and Sharpe will also be participating in the national conversation sparked by the event, using social media to document their travels with the hashtag #dumpthepump. HART is urging bus riders on Thursday to tweet, post to Instagram or use other favorite platforms to spread the word about mass transit.