TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s been a hard three weeks for HART bus riders in Seminole Heights. After three serial killings, HART shifted the night time Route 9 bus traffic between Hillsborough Avenue and MLK Boulevard away from 15th Street, where two of the murders occurred seven blocks east, to 22nd Street.
“Safety obviously is our top priority,” said HART spokeswoman Sandra Morrison.
Tuesday, HART had to completely stop bus service through Seminole Heights for most of the day when police blocked off the entire neighborhood from MLK Boulevard to Hillsborough Avenue for a tense and exhaustive house to house search for the serial killer.
Together, those bus restrictions have put a strain on Seminole Heights bus riders who have no other means of transportation.
“Some people are upset they have to walk a little more. Others are really appreciative that we’ve taken these extra measures for their safety,” Morrison said.
Walnique Gano rides HART’s Route 9 daily to get to work and tells 8 on Your Side she doesn’t mind the shift in bus stops.
“It makes me feel safer that they’ve moved the bus stop but it still it gets dark and tonight– knowing he’s still on the street–they haven’t caught this man. I’m still scared,” Gano said.
Another regular rider, 74-year-old Lola Orr has a different approach to guarding her safety while there’s a killer on the loose.
“I make sure I get home before dark,” Orr said.
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