With HART’s MetroRapid System inching closer to completion, I thought I would take a moment to share a few things that have been happening in regards to the construction of the system.
First, and foremost, I’d like to mention again about the buses. As of November 29, 2012, eight out of twelve MetroRapid buses have been delivered. As I mentioned before; these buses are similar to that of the 25XX buses (but with a standard front). The interior is similar to the 10XX buses, but with a different livery for the seating cushions. Additionally, there are a few new features that will be noticeable to HART operators.
HART recently announced that they are putting the new buses on the road in order to test out the transit signal prioritization system that has been put into place along the MetroRapid corridor. Although many bay area intersections are being upgraded to include this system, it plays a very crucial role in the operation of MetroRapid because the MetroRapid buses will have the ability to lengthen green light cycles and shorten red light cycles as need-be. Additionally, this time frame will be used to promote the MetroRapid system and train operators on using the new buses. So be sure to look out for the buses!
If you want to see one of the MetroRapid buses from the operator’s perspective, Yo Bus Driver has a Youtube video that you can watch.
Secondly, HART also recently mentioned that the station canopies for the MetroRapid system are currently being constructed, with the first canopy installed recently at the University Area Transit Center near USF. Unlike the traditional green bus shelters that you’re used to seeing, the new MetroRapid canopies will utilize a sleek, modern design and silver and light green tones. Many canopies will be equipped with ticket vending machines and most (if not all) will be equipped with bike racks and information screens displaying arrival times of the next bus.
If you’ve seen the renderings of all of the elements that are put together for the MetroRapid stations, then you already know how awesome they look!
I hope to be able to get some photos of the MetroRapid buses, as well as other snapshots of the HART system real soon. I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t had the chance to do anything significant for my blog, nor reopen my Tampa Bay Transit site as originally planned. I know that some of my readers may be in a not-so-happy mood because of all of the delays. I do sincerely apologize and hope to get everything back on track with the new year.