Harry Orr was the first Transit Director of Hartline in Tampa and served as director until his retirement in 1985. Previous to his position at Hartline, Harry was the Director of Parking for the City of Tampa. After the Mayor of Tampa told Harry that the City could no longer fund the transit system, Harry spearheaded the formation of the organization and then lead the campaign to pass an ad valorem tax to fund the transit system. After the first failed attempt to pass an ad valorem tax, Harry reorganized the effort and lead a full informational campaign on why Tampa needed
public transportation. The second vote for ad valorem funding passed with 58% of the vote. For all these efforts, Harry is known as one of the founders of the Transit System we now know as Hart.
Harry was also one of the founders of the, then, Florida Transit Association, setting up the first FTA meeting with Wil Barnes of Pinellas to form and organize the Association in 1974. Harry
served as the Association’s second President in 1976 and was active in all the Association’s efforts until his retirement.
Harry Orr was a dedicated and fierce defender of public transportation in the City of Tampa; who worked hard and expected all of his employees to work just as hard to develop and maintain the public transportation system in Tampa. Harry was also an important member of many charity organizations throughout the Tampa community such as his church, Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club, Tampa Merchants Association and Executive Service Club.
The formation of Hart as an independent agency with dedicated local funding is a testament to Harry’s hard work and vision for public transportation in the Tampa area. The Florida Public Transportation Association is pleased to honor Harry F. Orr by inducting him into our Hall of Fame Class of 2008.