Veterans Day Holiday Transit Schedule

Veterans Day will be on Monday, November 11, 2013. Unlike most Federal holidays, where transit services are typically limited to weekend-level services, most transit districts tend to operate on a typical weekday schedule on Veterans Day, with some districts operating weekday services with modifications.

One exception is HART, which typically runs Saturday-level local bus services on Veterans Day. HART will not run express bus services, MetroRapid, and most HARTflex routes (with the exception of the Northdale route).

Please view the listing below to see what schedule your area’s transit district will be operating on Veterans Day.

Normal Weekday-Level Service:

  • TECOline Streetcar Line
  • PSTA Local, Express, and Trolleybus Routes
  • Hampton Roads Transit – All Modes (see exceptions under the No Service section).
  • MCAT and SCAT bus services

Saturday-Level Service:

  • HART Local Bus Routes
  • HARTflex Northdale Service

No Services:

  • HART Express Routes
  • HART MetroRapid
  • HARTflex (except HARTflex Northdale)
  • HRT Express Routes 918, 919, 922, and 965
  • Northern Tampa Bay Transit Districts (Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus Counties)

If you have any questions regarding holiday transit services, please contact your respective transit district for details. Customer service centers will be open normal hours (unless otherwise specified by the transit district).

Proposed revisions to HART Route 46

Here's #5416 on Davis Island, running the Route 46. Photo Credit: Shawn B.
Champion T-300 bus #5416 on Davis Island, running the Route 46. Photo Credit: Shawn B.

Post Updated on November 11, 2013.

HART’s Route 46 has undergone many changes throughout the years. Back when it was first implemented, the route only served the Port of Tampa/Hookers Point and Davis Island (comprising of two loops on either end). As more service towards Brandon was needed, Route 46 began to extend along Causeway Blvd towards Westfield Brandon Mall. Along with the extension though, service through the Davis Islands was faltering. HART eventually made cutbacks to Davis Island service and for a while, even eliminating midday trips.

This is a transit guide map from the late 1990s. You will clearly notice that many routes have been altered over the years, and some have been completely eliminated. For example, Route 10 used to have limited service to Britton Plaza via WestShore Blvd, and Route 3 has been replaced by Route 46. Scan by Orion 2003.
This is a transit guide map from the late 1990s. Notice how Route 46 used to only serve Davis Island and the Port of Tampa, with loops at either end. Scan by Orion 2003.

With demand increasing, and funds being available again, HART will be restoring midday service to Route 46 during its November, 2013 markup. Additionally, HART is now proposing that the Davis Island segment be eliminated in favor of an eastern extension towards the Dover Park-N-Ride Lot off State Road 60 (currently served by Route 22X). If the latter change goes through, the western terminus of Route 46 would shift to the Marion Transit Center in downtown Tampa.

Why I think the routing change is needed.

Although the Davis Islands does need to continue being served by public transit, I strongly think that the best course of action would be for HART to implement a HARTflex zone throughout the entire island. I don’t think that ridership is strong enough to keep fixed-route buses rolling through the island. However, I also don’t think that the island should be deprived of transit altogether, since transit does provide an alternate form of transportation. Implementing a HARTflex zone would bring balance to the islands, while maintaining basic transit services. Please note that the only exception to the rule is HART Route 19, which provides frequent service to Tampa General Hospital. Any change to Route 46 would likely not have any impact on Route 19.

To illustrate these changes, I’ve created two Google Maps; the first one illustrates the changes being brought forth by HART to Route 46, and the second one illustrates how HART can easily implement HARTflex service to Davis Island to compensate for the loss of Route 46 and maintain basic transit services to the rest of the islands. Now, Google has been undergoing a lot of changes during the past several months, so unfortunately, the new interface isn’t allowing me to embed maps like I used to be able to do. The embed codes that Google Maps uses now are totally different than the ones that were previously used. So for the meantime, I’ve posted links to the respective maps.

AMENDMENT

Here’s the official Route 46 proposal maps from HART.

Credit: HART (from board meeting packets - publicly available).
Credit: HART (from board meeting packets – publicly available).

NOTE: The Petticoat Junction “jog” was not implemented in the final plan.

A CALL TO ACTION! The Florida Department of Transportation is proposing WHAT?

What priorities does the Florida Department of Transportation REALLY have? Photo collage by HARTride 2012.
What priorities does the Florida Department of Transportation REALLY have? Photo collage by HARTride 2012.

Disclaimer: While this posting may have political themes to it, this post is NOT meant to be political. All I am doing is conveying my views on the matter. Therefore, I ask that you please be considerate about what you post. This blog is moderated, and all comments must be approved by the administrator before they’re posted. Thank you.

A few days ago, transit activist group Connect Tampa Bay posted some startling news. A recent presentation by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to Hillsborough County officials did not mention a lick about expanded transit options or improved walk-ability throughout Tampa Bay. Instead, the presentation mentioned things like “smart roads” and driverless vehicles. While such technologies will eventually become the forefront of our ever-changing world, many of the concepts presented will likely not come to fruition for at least 15 to 20 years, if even at that. So why even bother to mention all these  technologies while excluding the things the Tampa Bay Area needs the most right now? Things like improved bus service, rail connections, and more pedestrian facilities?

Politics as usual continues to overrun the needs of the people and their communities.

Here’s my take on the matter; ever since the 2010 elections, politics in Florida have become even more heated, just like things have become up in Washington. In Florida’s case, there seem to be many people (including many politicians, I won’t name specific ones) who have a very anti-transit, pro-Tea Party sentiment against the Tampa Bay region, and will stop at nothing to make sure that the region continues to be nothing more than a retirement community that sits still in the 1950s. Yes, its these politicians that will allow the three larger municipalities;  Miami, Orlando, and Jacksonville, skirt by on their transit plans with little to no objections.

One of the key things that FDOT has really been focusing on, especially after Rick Scott was elected governor in 2010, is the mass-expansion of toll facilities in the state. And the outpouring of support for more toll roads, including managed toll lanes along I-4, I-275, I-75, I-95, and even the Veterans Expressway, has been BEYOND overwhelming! Yet, nothing is being done to tell FDOT, “Hey! We need better transit! What’s more toll roads going to do for us?” FDOT’s recent presentation on DRONES makes this sentiment more apparent; that FDOT would rather spend millions of dollars on building things like “smart roads”, driverless cars, toll facilities, AND keep the rest of us DEPENDENT on automobiles, rather than to come up with innovative transit options that will create a win-win situation for both the state and local communities, and DECREASE our dependence on automobiles.

When you connect all of the pieces of the puzzle together, you find that politics as usual has dictated the course of Florida’s infrastructure. This most recent chain of events began with Governor Scott’s decision to ax high speed rail from the state in 2011, a move that I heavily expected to occur as soon as he assumed office. A few months later, sweeping plans came about to build tons of toll roads and managed lanes throughout the state. Although many of these highways still yet have to break ground, it’s a very scary situation that only exacerbates urban sprawl and creates a very anti-transit and pedestrian UNfriendly environment. Now we have this blatantly anti-transit plan being unveiled by FDOT that only leads me to believe that FDOT is being manipulated by Tea Party politicians in Tallahassee who don’t want to see the Tampa Bay Area succeed in the way that WE want it to.

A CALL TO ACTION!

Since details of the FDOT presentation came to light, Connect Tampa Bay has created a petition on their website. The petition will be sent to Tallahassee to let FDOT and state officials know that WE WILL NOT SETTLE FOR DRONES AND TOLL ROADS! WE NEED TRANSIT OPTIONS IN TAMPA BAY NOW! And that includes the Howard Frankland Bridge replacement!

There will also be a meeting here in Tampa, on Monday, November 4, 2013, at 6pm, at Strawberry Crest High School. This meeting will allow transit supporters a chance to convey their feelings and thoughts about the FDOT presentation to Hillsborough County officials, and to say to FDOT that we will not settle for their plan! Please take a moment to sign the petition from Connect Tampa Bay, and if you can, please also attend the upcoming November 4th meeting! Your voice will make a HUGE difference!

To sign the petition on Connect Tampa Bay’s website, click here.

To view the Facebook event page for the November 4th meeting, click here.

A co-branded livery hits the Paris Metro – Part 3

In my 3rd installment covering the MF 2001 subway railcars in Paris, I am very delighted to report that four of these railcars are now in revenue service operation on Line 9 of Paris Metro!

Mf 2001 train #096 arrives at station Franklin D. Roosevelt along the Paris Metro Line 9. Photo Credit: Minato.
Mf 2001 train #096 arrives at station Franklin D. Roosevelt along the Paris Metro Line 9. Photo Credit: Minato.

For the past few weeks, the RATP has been finishing up final preparations to allow the use of the MF 2001 railcars on Line 9. These preparations included making sure that the new signaling systems would work in sync with the new trains, as well as the ASVA system and automated station announcements on board the trains. On Monday, October 21, 2013, the first four railcars (#s 096, 097, 098, and 099) entered revenue service on Line 9, after spending a couple months running along Line 5.

The pacing of delivery of trains to Line 9 will be somewhat slow, similar to when the MF 2001 trains were first delivered to Line 2 (that process took about three years to do, compared to just two years with Line 5), and is expected to be complete by sometime in 2016. Additionally, it seems that all subsequent trains will follow the same pattern of running revenue service on Line 5 for a short time before entering revenue service on Line 9. I’m not sure if this pattern will eventually change.

The reason for this kind of oddball pattern is likely due to the Boulogne workshop being reconstructed. As I mentioned in my second installment post, the Boulogne workshop reconstruction will not be finished until sometime in 2015, and the Auteuil workshop cannot support heavy maintenance operations for the new MF 2001 trains. As a result, all heavy maintenance operations for now must be done at the Bobigny workshops along Line 5. I would suspect that once the new Boulogne workshop is ready, that train deliveries will speed up.

As the train cascading enters this next unique phase, the RATP is gearing up for the reinforcement of Line 14 by the MP 05 railcars, as well as the northern extension of the line towards the municipality of Saint Ouen. The RATP is also working with the STIF to determine the best course of replenishing railcars along Lines 4, 6, and 11. Let’s just hope that the MP 1989CC railcars aren’t scrapped too early.

WEBSITE MILESTONE: Surpassing the 100 (daily) views mark!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

For the first time since my website’s inception, the number of daily website visits has surpassed the 100 views mark! And not only that, but my website broke this record TWICE in two days straight!

On Monday, October 14, 2013, my site had a total of 103 views! On Tuesday, October, 15, 2013, my site had a total of 101 views! Out of these numbers, there were 72 and 64 viewers recorded as “new visitors” on Monday and Tuesday respectively.

My most popular posts

Among my most popular posts so far this past week:

Which posts have the most OVERALL views?

Among my most viewed posts OVERALL, meaning posts that have the highest overall view count (up to October 16, 2013):

Total number of website visits by month

To add to all this; my monthly view count has soared past the 1,000 mark since August!

Note: Green numbers represent an increase in views over the past month. Red numbers represent a decrease in views over the past month. Purple numbers represent a month by which there was little to no change (+5/-5) in the number of views over the past month.

  • January, 2013: 558
  • February, 2013: 391
  • March, 2013: 859
  • April, 2013: 605
  • May, 2013: 647
  • June, 2013: 651
  • July, 2013: 838
  • August, 2013: 1,118
  • September, 2013: 1,317

And we’re now at mid-October and my view count for this month has already surpassed 850! There’s still a chance that another record could be broken!

What’s the average number of website views per day?

For average views per day, by month, here are those numbers. The same color key from above applies here as well.

  • January, 2013: 18
  • February, 2013: 14
  • March, 2013: 28
  • April, 2013: 20
  • May, 2013: 21
  • June, 2013: 22
  • July, 2013: 27
  • August, 2013: 36
  • September, 2013: 44

And that’s not all folks!

My next WordPress website milestone is fast approaching…10,000 overall views! As of October 16, 2013, the total number of website views has surpassed 9,950!

Now, for those of you who have followed my original blog and website for a long time, my old website actually surpassed the 10,000 mark a long time ago. However, I had a much harder time keeping track of stats because my old website’s visit counters kept resetting and I did not save my old stats from Google’s Blogger service when I transitioned over to WordPress in June of 2012 (I didn’t give that a second thought when I deleted my old Blogger Blog). My best guess is that my actual website/blog visit count is already past the 30,000 overall views mark.

A HUGE THANKS!

I want to thank all of my viewers, contributors, and all who have helped me build and expand my website over the years! I don’t know what I would do without your support! In the coming months, I hope to be able to finish up my three portals (Tampa, Norfolk, and Europe) and then begin my New York City portal!

As always, if you’d like to contribute something to my site, or want to post feedback, please feel free to drop me a line via the Contact page!

CTA Red Line South Reconstruction comes to a close

The Cermak-Chinatown Station along the CTA Red Line (prior to the recent reconstruction project). Photo Credit: Steve Y.
The Cermak-Chinatown Station along the CTA Red Line (prior to the recent reconstruction project). Photo Credit: Steve Y.

The Chicago Transit Authority (or CTA) in Chicago, IL has an extensive elevated rail system that runs from the heart of downtown to points south, west, and north. One of the system’s busiest “El” lines is the Red Line, which carries thousands of commuters to and from the downtown core each day. Red Line service currently operates 24/7!

On May 19, 2013, the CTA closed the entire southern section of the Red Line, south of the Roosevelt Station, for a five month reconstruction project. This project was necessary to replace aging infrastructure, much of which had exceeded the 40 year mark. The outdated rails and components caused trains to travel real slow through the southern section of the Red Line, thus causing increased commute times. It’s never a fun thing to have to ride a slow train to work…so why should it continue to be that way?

A map of how the Red Line operated between May 19, 2013 and October 20, 2013. Map comes from the Chicago CTA.
A map of how the Red Line operated between May 19, 2013 and October 20, 2013. From the Chicago CTA.

Rather than to spend approximately four years of conducting weekend-only work, the Chicago CTA decided that it would be best to conduct a full-scale closure of the Red Line, south of the Roosevelt Station, for the duration of May through October, 2013. During this closure, the southern portion of the Red Line was detoured via the Ashland branch of the Green Line, as shown in the map above. The Garfield Station of the Green Line was temporarily modified to handle the split line operation, as well as accommodate shuttle buses that ran from the Garfield Station down to the 95th/Dan Ryan Station. Additionally, the Green Line ran on a modified schedule during rush hour to make rush hour services more efficient during the Red Line detour.

The benefits of this reconstruction project will be far-reaching to customers; including faster commute times, improved stations, and ADA access to all nine Red Line South stations. The Chicago CTA will also benefit from cost savings of conducting the work over the span of five months with the complete closure, rather than over the course of four years with weekend-only work. Additionally, public art displays will be set up at eight of the nine southern stations to further enhance station appearance. In 2014, the CTA is planning to begin a major overhaul of the 95th/Dan Ryan terminus station that will bring forth even more benefits for customers of the southern Chicago area!

Project Photos and Videos

You can visit the CTA’s Facebook Page to view various photos of the Red Line South Reconstruction Project, from start to finish! You can also watch video updates through the CTAConnections YouTube Channel!

Please note that some of the information included in this blog post came from the Chicago CTA Red Line South Reconstruction Project web page. This page may be modified or removed from the CTA website after October 20, 2013, due to the completion of the project.

Cindyville Fictional Transit System – Part 1

Greetings everyone!

In this installment of my fantasy transit systems series, I’m going to present to you another fictional city that I have a transit system for.

A map of the Cindyville rail system. The Blue and Red Lines are elevated rail lines, The Green and Yellow Lines are People Movers, and the Purple Line is a Commuter Rail Line. By HARTride 2012. ~ Click on the image to take a closer look.
A map of the Cindyville rail system. The Blue and Red Lines are elevated rail lines, The Green and Yellow Lines are People Movers, and the Purple Line is a Commuter Rail Line. By HARTride 2012. ~ Click on the image to take a closer look.

This is the fictional city of Cindyville, by which I had a decent bus system set up for (including schedules and route maps) before my old computer crashed. This map is the rail system that complements the bus lines and allows for fast service around the area.

RAIL LINES AND HISTORY OF THE SYSTEM

The blue and red lines are both elevated rail (like the Chicago El). The Blue Line was built first and opened in 1998 between Patsyville Airport and Cindyville Airport. The Red Line quickly followed, and opened in 2004 between Old Town and 22nd Ave S. The segment between 22nd Ave S and 75th Ave N opened in 2012. Both El lines are fully automated and operate similarly to that of the Paris Metro Line 14.

There is also a People Mover system around the Cindyville Airport, the Yellow Line, though it not yet complete to the south. The first link opened between Terminal 1 and the Transportation Center in 1998, along with the Blue Line El. The Terminal 2 station opened in 2003, and the link to Terminal 4 opened in 2008. Terminal 3 is planned, but will not be built anytime soon.

A second People Mover line, the Westside Connector, was actually the city’s first mode of rail transport, opening in 1987 as a demo line. The connector was nearly demolished in 1993 due to low ridership, but was saved after transit advocates were able to convince the city of Cindyville to extend the line to the Central Station and connect it to the then-proposed Blue Line El. The two original stations along the Westside Connector are 22nd Ave S and Riverwalk (which was originally called Lynnhaven Blvd). The third original station was called Mildred Park and was demolished in 1996 to make way for a 5 block extension to the Cindyville Central Station, which opened along with the Blue Line El in 1998. The Central Station serves as downtown Cindyville’s transit hub, serving various bus routes, the Blue Line El, the Westside Connector, and the Eastside Commuter Rail.

Speaking of which, the Eastside Commuter Rail is denoted in Purple and opened in 2004 as a quick and easy way for commuters in the east suburbs to avoid driving on the interstates. The commuter rail line is modeled after the Music City STAR in Nashville, TN.

SERVICE HOURS

Both the Blue and Red Line El’s run local service only, there is no express service at this time, although some stations along the Blue Line (Ridge Rd, Old Town, Central Station, 75th Ave N, and Patsyville Airport) are structured as four-track, three-platform stations to one day facilitate express service if the Blue Line is extended southward.

The Blue Line El operates 24/7, since it is a vital link between airports.

Weekday frequency is as follows:

  • Weekday peak frequency (4am to 9am, 3pm to 7pm) is 2 to 5 minutes.
  • Weekday midday frequency (9am to 3pm) is every 6 to 10 minutes.
  • Weekday evening frequency (7pm to 10pm) is every 15 minutes.
  • Weekday overnight frequency (10pm to 4am, Mon thru Thurs nights) is every 30 minutes.
  • On Friday nights, from 10pm to 2am (Saturday morning), frequency remains every 15 minutes to allow customers to enjoy city nightlife.

Weekend frequency is as follows:

  • Saturday early morning frequency (2am to 6am) is every 30 minutes.
  • Saturday morning frequency (6am to 9am) is every 15 minutes.
  • Saturday midday frequency (9am to 4pm) is every 20 minutes.
  • Saturday late afternoon/evening/late night frequency (4pm to 2am Sunday morning) is every 15 minutes to allow customers to enjoy city nightlife.
  • Sunday early morning frequency (2am to 6am) is every 30 minutes.
  • Sunday daytime/evening frequency (6am to 10pm) is every 20 minutes.
  • Sunday overnight frequency (10pm to 4am Monday morning) is every 30 minutes.

The Red Line El has more limited hours, since it runs along the eastern downtown beltway (freeway). Service is more like 24/5 (running continuously from 4am Monday until 2am Sunday morning). Beginning, November 3, 2013, service hours will improve along the Red Line, as the city of Cindyville has set aside additional funding for the transit system.

Weekday frequency is as follows:

  • Weekday peak frequency (4am to 9am, 3pm to 7pm) is 2 to 5 minutes.
  • Weekday midday frequency (9am to 3pm) is every 6 to 10 minutes.
  • Weekday evening frequency (7pm to 10pm) is every 15 minutes.
  • Weekday overnight frequency (10pm to 4am, Mon thru Thurs nights) is every 30 minutes.
  • On Friday nights, from 10pm to 2am (Saturday morning), frequency remains every 15 minutes to allow customers to enjoy city nightlife.

Weekend frequency is as follows:

  • Saturday early morning frequency (2am to 6am) is every 30 minutes.
  • Saturday daytime frequency (6am to 6pm) is every 20 minutes.
  • Saturday evening/late night frequency (6pm to 2am Sunday morning) is every 15 minutes to allow customers to enjoy city nightlife.
  • Service stops at 2am Sunday morning, and then resumes at 7am.
  • Sunday frequency is every 20 minutes all day (7am until end of service at 10pm).

Holiday service for both the Red and Blue Lines follow the same schedule/frequency as Sunday service.

This map placard would be seen inside Red and Blue Line trains. By HARTride 2012.
This map placard would be seen inside Red and Blue Line trains. By HARTride 2012.

The Westside Connector and Airport People Movers have varying hours, but frequent departures.

For the Westside Connector APM:

  • Service operates 24/7, including holidays.
  • Trains depart every 90 seconds on weekdays (from 4am Monday to 2am Saturday) and every 2 minutes during weekends and holidays.

For the Cindyville Airport APM:

  • Service operates 24/7, including holidays.
  • Trains depart every 90 seconds between 4am and 10pm, 7 days a week, including holidays.
  • Frequency decreases to every 2 minutes during the overnight (10pm to 4am).

The Eastside Commuter Rail operates Monday through Friday from 4:45am until 9am and from 3:15pm to 9pm. Service frequency varies between every 45 minutes to every hour. There is also additional late-night service on Friday nights (9pm until 12-midnight) to allow customers to enjoy city nightlife.

For those wishing to enjoy nightlife until 2am Saturday morning, and also on Saturday night, a supplemental motorcoach shuttle bus service (Cindyville RailOWL Shuttle) operates along the Eastside Commuter Rail corridor on Saturday mornings, departing the Cindyville Central Station at 12:15am, 12:45am, 1:15am, 1:45am, and 2:15am. Saturday night shuttles depart the Sanderson Station (serving all commuter rail stops) for inbound service every 15 minutes between 6pm and 10pm. Outbound service shuttles depart the Cindyville Central Station every 15 minutes between 9pm and 2:15am.

ROLLING STOCK

The Red Line El uses the CVX-1996 rubber-tyred automated railcars, which are based off the MP 89CA trains from the Paris Metro Line 14. These trains originally were distributed amongst the Blue and Red Lines, but operate solely on the Red Line since it was extended from 22nd Ave S to 75th Ave N in 2012. Trains run in 6-car configurations.

The Blue Line uses the CVX-2006 rubber-tyred automated railcars, which are based off the MP 05 trains from the Paris Metro Line 1. These trains have been in service along the Blue Line since 2011. Trains run in 10-car configurations.

Both the Westside Connector and Cindyville Airport APMs utilize Bombardier Innovia APM 100 cars in 3-car configurations.

Columbus Day Holiday Transit Schedule

Monday, October 14, 2013 is Columbus Day. Unlike most Federal holidays, where transit services are typically limited to weekend-level services, most transit districts tend to operate on a typical weekday schedule on Columbus Day, with some districts operating weekday services with modifications.

In the Tampa Bay Area, all area transit districts (HART, PSTA, MCAT, SCAT, PCPT, and Hernando THEbus) will operate on a normal weekday schedule. This includes the TECOline Streetcar, HART MetroRapid, HART and PSTA flex bus services, and various trolleybus routes throughout the metro area.

In the Hampton Roads Area, all HRT services (bus, LRT, and ferry) will also operate on a normal weekday schedule. However, MAX (Express) routes 918, 919, 922, and 965 will NOT operate.

If you have any questions regarding holiday transit services, please contact your respective transit district for details. Customer service centers will be open normal hours (unless otherwise specified by the transit district).

Record August, 2013 Ridership for HART and PSTA!

Good Monday morning everyone! I have some great news to report, although I am reporting this rather late. As always though, it’s better late than never.

Despite continued reductions in local, state, and federal funding, public transit ridership continues to rise! For Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) and Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), the month of August was definitely no exception.

HART-PSTA ridership Aug 2013

During the month of August; the HART bus system posted total ridership of 1,268,962, and the PSTA bus system posted a total ridership of 1,258,540. These numbers continue to be phenomenal, as more and more people are choosing public transit to get to where they need to go!

On average, daily bus ridership on HART is now at around 49,000, while PSTA’s average daily ridership is now at around 44,000. While these figures are great, please keep in mind that weekend ridership is generally lower than weekday ridership. Typical weekend ridership can be about half the weekday numbers.

HART’s MetroRapid and PSTA’s North County Connector services are leading the way with excellent growth!

August’s ridership numbers can be reinforced by the rise in popularity of two relatively new bus services. In Hillsborough County, HART began its new “lite” version of Bus Rapid Transit, known as MetroRapid, in May of 2013. In Pinellas County, PSTA launched its own version of HARTflex, called the North County Connector, in December of 2012.

HART’s MetroRapid service allowed for new bus service in the Tampa Palms area, including Hidden River Corporate Park, and PSTA’s North County Connector provided for new transit connections in Oldsmar, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, East Lake, and Countryside, as well as connections to HART’s Northwest Transfer Center in Town-N-Country, creating a fourth cross-county connection. Both of these services will eventually assist in the creation of even more local and express bus routes throughout both counties.

Growth on both HART’s MetroRapid North-South Line and PSTA’s North County Connector services have been exceeding initial expectations! In August, HART reported an increase of 24.2% along the MetroRapid corridor, from its revenue service inception in June to August 31. PSTA meanwhile, reported a ridership increase of 21% between July and August alone! These numbers clearly show that both of these services will further enhance the well-being of both districts for many months (and hopefully years) to come!

Of course, I’m not quite finished yet, cause I have even more awesome news! Both HART and PSTA will be enhancing bus services come later this fall, all thanks to cost savings realized by cutting out unnecessary expenses! Later this month, I will be blogging about what exactly was cut out of their budgets and how both districts are using the money they saved to restore services that were previously cut due to budget cuts, as well as to enhance busy bus routes.

Enjoy your Monday!

HARTride 2012

PSTA Service Enhancements – Effective October 6, 2013

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) is rolling out service improvements to two bus routes in order to better serve the communities that these routes operate in. These changes go into effect today (Sunday, October 6, 2013). I will be briefly going over these changes in today’s post.

  • Route 58: The 6:35am westbound trip from Gateway Mall will now serve the St. Petersburg College campus just off 113th St N. See the new schedule here.
  • Route 444 (Pinellas Park Circulator Shuttle): Four trips Monday through Thursday, and two trips on Fridays, will now serve the St. Petersburg Housing Authority facility off of Gandy Blvd by I-275. See the new schedule here.

And if that wasn’t enough good news, PSTA is planning to restore services on several routes that were cut back since 2007 due to local, state, and federal budget cuts. I will be outlining these changes, as well as changes to HART’s bus system in a post later this month!

On Monday and Tuesday, I’ll be posting about the progress of both SunRail in Orlando, as well as an update to the Florida East Coast Industries’ “All Aboard Florida” Intercity Passenger Rail Plan. Additionally, I’ll be posting about the record ridership that both HART and PSTA have experienced in August, and how cutting certain unneeded expenditures paved the way for cost savings that were put to use to enhance bus services.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

HARTride 2012