New Facebook Page is in the works

Greetings everyone,

For those of you who have been following me on Facebook. I know it has been quiet. So much so, that I have not had a chance to make any updates. In fact, since I’ve deactivated my personal account, the page sometimes also goes “dead” so to speak. Mainly because I am the only one moderating the page.

In my post titled “Almost There“, my final class before graduation will end July 19, 2012. Commencement is planned for August 4, 2012. After my class is finished, I will be able to put a lot more time into my sites, blog, etc. This also includes planning out a new Facebook page.

During my time away from Facebook, lots of things have changed. Some for the better and some not so much for the better. However, one of the most sweeping changes, particularly to the Facebook Pages, is the implementation of the new “Timeline” format to all Facebook Pages and Groups. Now Facebook originally had plans to implement the new format to all personal accounts too, but after the huge backlash by users, that plan has been halted for another time (I still think it will happen without warning though).

Anyways, with the new format comes an opportunity to completely rebrand my own page, just as I have done with my blog. I will have a new name for the page, as well as more emphasis on my other projects and sites, not just Tampa Bay Transit. Additionally, comes the task of creating a cover photo for the new page. That alone will take some time to plan out.

For those of you who have been following me for a while. I have to apologize again for the inconvenience. I plan to unveil my new Facebook page sometime after August 5, 2012. There will then be a 90-day grace period to allow all of my followers to shift to the new page. After the period is over, the old page will be taken down.

If you have any questions or comments regarding my Facebook page, or anything in general with my blog, please feel free to share them via the contact form.

Warmest Regards,

HARTride 2012

July 4, 2012 Holiday Transit Services

I would like to wish everyone a safe and wonderful July 4th week. Because July 4th falls on a Wednesday this year, some of you may end up taking the entire week off to spend time with friends and family.

If you plan to use public transit to get around on Wednesday, July 4th; HART & PSTA will be operating on a holiday schedule. Please see the bullet points below for the full scoop.

  • Normal Weekday Services
    • TECOline Streetcar (service hours will extend to 11pm to accommodate the fireworks celebration at Channelside Bay Plaza)
    • St. Pete Looper Trolley
    • Clearwater Jolley Trolley
    • MCAT Beach Express
    • Anna Maria Trolley
  • Saturday-Level Services
    • HART Local Bus
    • HARTflex Northdale & Brandon
    • HARTPlus Paratransit
  • Sunday-Level Services
    • PSTA Local Bus
    • Central Ave Trolley
  • No Service at all
    • HART Express/Limited Express Bus
    • HARTflex South Tampa, SouthShore, and Town-N-Country
    • PSTA Express Bus
    • PCPT Transit Services (Pasco)
    • THEbus Transit Services (Hernando)
    • MCAT Transit Services (Manatee)
    • SCAT Transit Services (Sarasota)
    • Longboat Key Trolley

See something I missed or have incorrect? Please use the contact form to let me know!

Warmest Regards,

HARTride 2012

Summer, 2012 service/timepoint adjustments for selected HART bus routes

Summer is definitely in full swing, and that means that HART is ready to roll out its list of service/timepoint adjustments for its summer service re-evaluation.

HART re-evaluates its services three times per year to make sure everything is running smoothly. The most sweeping changes are generally made during the fall cycle in November, with moderate changes made in the spring cycle in March, and minor adjustments made during the summer cycle in July. Now this is not always the case, but this is the general trend that I’ve seen since 2007.

Most of the changes being made for the Summer, 2012 cycle, which takes effect Sunday, July 8, 2012, are relatively minor timepoint changes in order to improve running times on routes that tend to lag behind (like Route 30 for instance), as well as improve one route’s connections with other routes.

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HART to host an open house for MetroRapid East-West Corridor

HART has begun its Preliminary Development & Environmental (or PD&E) study for the second phase of the MetroRapid Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, known for now as the East-West Corridor (a final name for the route is yet to be set).

The second phase will connect Tampa International Airport, the West Tampa Transfer Center, NetPark Transfer Center, and Temple Terrace via Columbus Dr, Himes Ave, MLK Blvd, Nebraska Ave, Hillsborough Ave, and 56th St. Transfers to the MetroRapid North-South Corridor (tentatively called the Green Line) will be available along Nebraska Ave between MLK Blvd and Hillsborough Ave.

HART will be holding an open house on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 between 4:30pm and 7:30pm at the Omar K. Lightfoot Recreation Center, located at 10901 N. 56th Street in Temple Terrace. If you plan to attend, please be sure to allow enough time to get to the recreation center, as Tropical Storm Debby will continue to impact our weather through Saturday.

More information can be found here.

Hurricane Season 2012 is in full swing

Hi everyone,

With much of Florida under rainfall from Tropical Storm Debby, I wanted to dedicate this post to how important it is to be prepared for the Hurricane season and to inform everyone that you do have options if you are not able to evacuate from the Bay Area.

I know that many of us here in Florida may have what is called “Hurricane amnesia” because the state has not seen hurricanes cris-cross the state since 2004 and 2005. It is especially because of this that it is always crucial to be prepared in case a major storm, like Katrina in 2005, heads our way.

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Friday Rewind – Route 19 Late-Night Service

Friday Rewind

I am going to begin a segment called Friday Rewind, where I take a look back at a previous blog post. If anything has changed on the post’s subject, then I will note what has changed since my last posting. My follow-up post on HART bus route 39 actually gave me an idea to go forth with this segment, and why not? It has been nearly five years (yes, five years) since I first began this blog (wow, time goes fast!) and what better way to lead up to the 5 year anniversary than to take a look back and see what has changed since the last post.

I will be doing my Friday Rewind segments on the fourth Friday of each month, so be sure to check back for future posts.

So for my inaugural Friday Rewind post, I will be taking a look back at my post regarding HART’s addition of late-night (or OWL) service to Route 19, which connects downtown Tampa to South Tampa, where I live. Below is a copy of the original post from September 15, 2008.

The other night, I rode the Route 19 from Britton Plaza to almost Port Tampa. I must say, that even for the 10:00 hour, ridership was fairly modest. Seven people onboard (myself included) to be exact. I’m willing to bet that when the bus made its rounds from downtown to Tampa General Hospital, the amount of riders probably exceeded 10. all in all, this is good though. It is this late-night service that has people hopping onboard buses instead of bugging friends and family or scrambling for a taxi. I do hope that other busy routes could utilize better evening service in the future.

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Paris Metro Update for Summer, 2012

Back in 2009, I embarked on a week-long trip to Belgium & France. During my stay in Paris, I became fascinated with the city’s subway system. The system, unlike many here in the US, operates rubber-tyred subway trains. That’s right, the trains run on rubber tires (although each outside tire is reinforced by a steel wheel on the inner axle to allow the train to run if a tire goes flat). One such example is pictured below.

MP 89CC stock train
MP 89CC stock train at Bastille Station – Line 1 – Paris Metro

Pictured here is the MP 89CC rubber-tyred subway train. For those of you who may not be familiar with the naming conventions that the Parisian transit authority (the RATP) uses for their subway fleet, I have a brief description in the next paragraph. Notice in the photo that the train is equipped with rubber tires on the outside of each axle. Behind the tires is a steel wheel, which again helps keep the train on track if a tire goes flat. One of the reasons why the RATP and many other transit agencies use rubber tyred subway trains is because they tend to have a much better grip to the tracks than the traditional steel wheeled trains. This is especially the case on lines where there are steep grades because traditional trains tend to have a harder time braking. The rubber tyred trains on the other hand can stop in a similar nature to that of a car or bus.

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New bus route & transit center coming to Citrus County

It is not common right now for me to report on a transit happening in our northern counties (Pasco, Hernando, or Citrus). However, there was a story on Bay News 9 today that prompted me to make this post.

Now despite the three counties mentioned above being much more rural than Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, all three of them have their own public transit systems. Pasco County operates PCPT or Pasco County Public Transportation, Hernando County runs the Hernando Express Bus or THEbus, and in Citrus County, they operate Citrus County Transportation Services.

Going into Citrus County, the public transit district is very small because the county is largely rural and only encompasses a few small municipalities. However, getting those who may not have their own transportation from point A to point B is crucial. So the county operates a flex van service, similar to HARTflex in Tampa, and one fixed-route bus service called the “Orange Line”.

Today’s news story discusses about plans to add a second fixed bus route by October, as well as construction of a new transit center that should be finished by year’s end. Both of these improvements will provide Citrus County residents with more transit options, even though funding is becoming more and more scarce.

To view the full article, click here.