Site updates for the week of May 27, 2013

This week, I’ve been making a few updates to the Welcome, About, Projects, and Transit Focus Pages sections of the site. This is mainly to make things more clear on each page, and to prepare for the upcoming migration of the remaining pages of my Tampa Bay portal. Please be patient during this week, and the next few weeks, as there will be a lot of shuffling going on. Thanks!

Here are some posts that I’m working on during the course of the next few weeks.

  • The Infrastructure Funding Debate: After last week’s Interstate 5 bridge collapse in Washington State, I really have to wonder just how far has our federal government come to make a serious investment in our nation’s aging infrastructure. With this incident in mind, it really doesn’t seem that a lot has been done.
  • Transit Staycations – Sarasota, FL: I originally was going to make this post earlier this month, but due to unforseen circumstances, this post will likely be published during the month of June. I’m still not letting the cat out of the bag when it comes to exactly what landmark I’m going to talk about, but I’ll at least mention the name of the city that the landmark is in.
  • 2014 = Regional Transit Vote: With Pinellas County gearing up for a transit referendum vote during the November, 2014 elections, pressure is mounting on elected officials in neighboring Hillsborough County to put a similar measure on the November, 2014 ballot too. I’ll go through why it is so crucial to make the November, 2014 transit vote a Regional Vote for transit improvements in Tampa Bay.
  • Transit Tourism – Norfolk, VA – Part 2: In my second installment of my transit travels through Norfolk, VA, I’ll be going through my experience riding the city’s bus and LRT lines. I’ll also go highlight what’s in store for Hampton Roads Transit.
  • Norfolk Fantasy Subway – Parts 5 and 6: Parts 5 of my Norfolk, VA fantasy subway project will profile subway Lines 7, 8, and 9, while Part 6 will go through LRT (Tramway) Line 1.

Plus; Updates on HART MetroRapid, the New York City Subway, the Paris Metro, and my May Friday Rewind post.

 

Norfolk Fantasy Subway – Part 4

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about my fantasy transport projects, so let me go ahead a provide an update. I’ll first start with the Norfolk fantasy subway system, and then next week, I’ll follow up on the fantasy rail system for Tampa.

In this installment of the Norfolk fantasy subway system, I’m going to profile Line 5. Line 5 is structured similarly to Line 3 in terms of station layout and express service. However, express service is only available south of Norfolk. The segment that is north of the Kimball Terrace/NSU station has trains making stops at all stations, regardless if they are running local or express service. Line 5 has a total of 19 stops and connections to every subway line in the network (including Line 7a) are available, as well as connections to the various fantasy light rail lines T2, T3a, T3b, and T4. There is also a connection to the T1 LRT (which is The Tide LRT Line in real life) at the Kimball Terrace/NSU station.

Line 5 is a steel-wheeled line and uses rolling stock that is similar to the R-142 rolling stock from the New York City Subway. Other steel-wheeled lines use a newer rolling stock that is similar to the R-160A from New York. During the rush hours, trains run in 8 car configurations while during off-peak times, trains tend to run with 6 cars.

To see a Google Map of Line 5, click here.

In my next installment, I’ll go over Line 7, followed by Lines 8 and 9 later in June. In July, I will profile Lines 1, 2, and 6, and then Lines 4 and 10 in August. Along the way, I’ll also be profiling the LRT lines and compare my visions with real-life plans.

Upcoming site updates for June

As the month of June approaches, I would like everyone to know that blog posts will be relatively light. This is because I will spend the month working on building up my New York City portal and finishing the migration of my Tampa Bay content to my WordPress site. There will be many new things posted on my site during the weeks to come, including photos of the HART MetroRapid line and buses. In addition, I will be working on my second installment of my transit adventures in Norfolk and my next edition of Transit Staycations.

Also, for those of you who “liked” my previous Tampa Bay Transit Facebook Page, please head on over to my current Facebook page and press “like”. I will be closing down the old Tampa Bay Transit Facebook page on Saturday, June 1.

HART gets a little more wiggle room to improve schedules

In this tough economic climate, many companies and organizations have had to do more with less. Public transit is definitely no exception, and neither is HART. This past year; HART was faced with a tightened budget, with limited room to make improvements to its current bus system. However, HART managed to keep bus schedules largely intact, with a few changes to increase efficiency on busy routes and remove buses from under-performing routes. There was also a fare increase this past year, which was expected for the most part since HART’s last fare increase was in 2007.

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Tampa Bay Ferry Discussion is Back!

I was originally going to post this topic back on May 12, but due to unforeseen circumstances, this topic was pushed back to this week.

As many of you in the Tampa Bay area may have heard in recent weeks, talk of bringing some form of ferry service to the Tampa Bay area is back in the spotlight. But the question at hand is…how long will this latest plan be on the table before it fizzles out?

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South Ferry Subway Station Update

It’s been almost two months since the New York City MTA reopened the old South Ferry Loop subway station, and customers are very delighted to see the vital transit link restored. During the past several weeks, I’ve watched at least two dozen YouTube videos (some from die-hard transit fans) of the station in action; from the trains screeching around the looped platform, to the gap fillers expanding and contracting. As I mentioned in a previous post, the 100+ year old station reopened to passengers on April 4, 2013, following the destruction of the newer replacement station that was due to SuperStorm Sandy. In this post, I will highlight some of the things that I’ve observed through news reports, other blog postings, and yes…those YouTube videos.

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Fare Evasion – DON’T EVEN TRY IT!

Post updated on 3/27/14

I know that it’s been a while since I’ve posted my monthly Transit Tips segment, so here we go!

Have you ever been aboard a train or bus without paying your fare? Perhaps you’ve jumped a turnstile at a subway station, or have had an expired pass while boarding a bus. While skipping out on required transit fares may sound appealing to some who would rather sneak thorough transit systems than to pay, there are strict penalties for fare evasion. In many countries and transit districts, fare evasion is constituted as theft and therefore entails stiff fines and even jail time. In this post, I will profile all four transit districts that I cover through my Transit Focus Pages, as well as the fare evasion situation in Jakarta, Indonesia. I will also go through how each transit district is combating fare evasion.

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A unified fare collection system is coming soon to the Tampa Bay Area

Back in March, I blogged about the revolutionary new payment system called Ventra, which will be rolling out in Chicago very soon. I also mentioned at the end of the post that several transit districts in the Tampa Bay area were floating ideas to modernize their fare collection systems. Well now, that modernization plan is one step closer to becoming a reality!

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HART service changes/adjustments for May 26, 2013

With the new MetroRapid line scheduled to begin service on Tuesday, May 28, 2013; HART has released a small list of routes that will see adjustments to their weekday schedules. Although these changes will be taking effect on Sunday, May 26, 2013, the weekday changes will not be effective until Tuesday, May 28, 2013, due to the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, May 27, 2013, by which HART will be operating on a Sunday-level schedule. Changes to Route 2 service will take effect on Monday, June 10, 2013, when revenue service begins for MetroRapid.

The purpose of these changes is to allow HART to strengthen busy routes that need more buses in order to maintain efficient service. You’ve probably heard me say in previous posts about how some routes, like 30 and 34, have been lagging behind due to heavier passenger loads during the rush hours, but not enough buses to make up for the increased loads. This in-turn has created inefficiencies in weekday frequency, where frequency should be 30 minutes, but is actually more like 35 to 40 minutes.

This series of changes and adjustments will occur by taking peak weekday buses off of Route 2 and adding them to trips on Routes 16, 34, and 200X. With the arrival of HART MetroRapid, which will offer 15 minute frequency throughout the day, Local Route 2 frequency will be retracted from its current 15/20 minute weekday frequency to 30 minutes all day, 7-days a week (except OWL service, which still has buses running every hour). Along with these changes, you may notice that departure times may change slightly as well in order to improve efficiency.

To view the updated schedules for Routes 2, 16, 34, and 200X, as well as to see a pamphlet about MetroRapid service, click here.

Armed Forces Day 2013 Salute

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Today, I would like to take a moment to give a huge shout out to all those who serve in the US military! I really appreciate all of the hard work that each and every servicemember has done to protect our country from harm. As you very well know, many servicemembers end up giving the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country’s freedom; whether it be during wartime, or peacetime.

I personally know many people who are either currently serving in the military, or who have previously served; whether it is a friend, family member, colleague, classmate, etc. And I know that most everyone here in the US knows at least one person who either is currently serving, or has served in the past.

For those of you who may not be familiar with Armed Forces Day; it was created by the US Department of Defense (by then Defense Secretary Louis Johnson) on August 31, 1949, according to the Department of Defense website.

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