I know that I’ve been lagging behind on posting as of late. I’ve been trying to get into a regular schedule, but November and December have been much busier than I thought. Holiday event planning is definitely no easy task, and I’ve been having to help my family out with several different events that took place during the past couple months. Add to that; my computer problems during August and September, and my hiatus from earlier in the year. I know that in the end, I probably let down some of my viewers, and I sincerely apologize for that. I hope that with the new year, I can finally devote some time to make some major updates.
For those of you who celebrate Christmas, I would like to wish you, and your family a very Merry Christmas! I certainly hope that you are able to enjoy this wonderful day, no matter where you are located!
With all this said, I would like to take some time to reflect back on some of the major transit-related developments that occurred in 2012. I have grouped everything by month, and color coded each event as they pertain to the particular focus region that I cover in my blog.
BLUE: Tampa Bay (HART, PSTA, MCAT, SCAT, PCPT, Hernando THEbus, Citrus County Transportation)
GREEN: Orlando Area (LYNX, SunRail)
RED: Hampton Roads, VA (HRT)
TEAL: New York City, NY (NYCMTA)
PURPLE: Paris, France (RATP, STIF, SNCF)
PSTA launches its prototype “Real Time” bus tracker, while moving forward with its Alternative Analysis Plan (which includes plans for an LRT line).
January, 27, 2012: Construction of the first phase of the SunRail Commuter Rail System near Orlando, FL began.
February 5, 2012: HRT began trial bus service to Norfolk International Airport in an effort to attract airport-bound commuters (similar to HART’s Route 30). This program lasted through the end of March of 2012.
February 6, 2012: FDOT reports arise stating that Florida’s once-proposed high speed rail system could have been profitable. The plan was shot down by Governor Rick Scott in 2011, citing cost overruns and taxpayer liability issues.
February 27, 2012: PSTA announces plans to launch FLEX service in Northern Pinellas County.
PSTA is awarded the “Gold Standard” rating by the US Department of Homeland Security.
April 15, 2012: The Tide LRT celebrates one-million riders
June 15, 2012: PSTA launches the full version of its “Real Time” bus tracker.
July 18, 2012: HART received two federal grants that allow for renovation of its aging operations center and construction of a Compressed Natural Gas (or CNG) fueling station on the premises.
August 6, 2012: Construction of HART’s MetroRapid BRT System began.
August 17, 2012: HRT celebrates 1 year of The Tide LRT being in service.
August 26 – 30, 2012: The Republican National Convention is held in Tampa, FL.
PSTA’s annual ridership numbers surpasses 14 million.
October 29/30, 2012: Superstorm Sandy hits the coastline of Atlantic City, NJ and the heart of New York City, crippling various transit services throughout the Big Apple and surrounding areas. Although most transit services are back to normal now (with roughly 80% of the NYC Subway restored within 2 to 3 weeks after the disaster), some subway lines and stations will continue to be inoperable for several more months.
October 20, 2012: The TECOline Streetcar celebrates 10 years in operation.
November 14, 2012: HART received its first of twelve Gillig Low Floor buses to be utilized on the MetroRapid BRT system.
November 30, 2012: HART’s Yukon Ave Transfer Center re-opens after undergoing several months of much needed renovations.
December 4, 2012: HART MetroRapid construction continues with the first station canopy being constructed at the University Area Transit Center.
December 10, 2012: PSTA launches FLEX service in Northern Pinellas County (which they call “Connectors”).
December 17, 2012: Line 12 of the Paris Metro opens its first extension in over 75 years; station Aubervillers – Front Populaire.
December 21, 2012: The last 1963 stock train (the MP 59) is retired from service from Line 4 of the Paris Metro. Many of these trains originally ran on Line 1 and operated on the system for nearly 50 years.
In addition to these milestones and happenings, Florida experienced two tropical systems; Debby and Issac, which interrupted transit services throughout the state. The latter storm even delayed the start of the Republican National Convention that was held in Tampa.
If you feel that there is something in my list that I’ve forgotten, please let me know through the Contact Us page.
I also would like to take a moment and say a HUGE THANK YOU to those serving in our military! Especially those who are serving overseas in the defense of freedom. If you didn’t get a chance to read on my Veterans Day posting from November, you can do so by clicking here.
Finally, this will be my last blog post for the year, as I am trying to tighten up some loose ends here and there, and then planning out my 2013 blogging schedule. Again, I apologize for the many delays that have been evident in my blog and sites. 2012 has not been so kind to me, so hopefully, 2013 will be much, much better.
Wishing you a safe and wonderful holiday season, and a happy and prosperous new year!