Summer 2014 Transit News You Can Use

Summer is just around the corner! Which means if you live along the coast, it’s time to prep those beach supplies! In Virginia Beach and Tampa Bay, you can easily take public transit to the beach and relax! Want to let the kids hang out with friends without sacrificing time and gas? You can do that too! I’ll be discussing summer-related happenings in both Virginia Beach and Tampa Bay in just a few moments. If you reside in or plan to visit Paris very soon, I’ll also have an update to a subway station closure that I discussed a few months ago.

The Virginia Beach WAVE rolls into service for Summer 2014!

The Virginia Beach Oceanfront is always hopping! Especially during summer! Photo taken by HARTride 2012 in April, 2013.
The Virginia Beach Oceanfront is always hopping! Especially during summer! Photo Credit: HARTride 2012.

On May 1, Route 30 of the Virginia Beach WAVE (or VB WAVE) began limited services along the Virginia Beach, VA Oceanfront for Summer 2014. The shuttle currently is operating from 8:00am until 2:00am the next morning, with buses running roughly every 20 minutes. Route 30 runs along the entire expanse of Atlantic Ave and allows residents and visitors to easily access the many Oceanfront shops, eateries, museums, and other sights. On Sunday, May 18, full VB WAVE services will begin, which will include Route 30 operating roughly every 15 minutes, as well as the operation of Routes 31 and 32.

Route 31 connects the southern end of Atlantic Ave to the various tourist venues along General Booth Blvd, including the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Museum and the Ocean Breeze Water Park. The route then continues south towards the Holiday Trav-L-Park and the Virginia Beach KOA Campground. This route runs 7 days a week from the beginning of May until Labor Day between 9:30am and 11:10pm. Shuttle frequency is roughly every 20 minutes. Please note that the Aquarium and Ocean Breeze stops are only serviced during venue operating hours.

Route 32 allows riders to ride between the Oceanfront and the Hilltop shopping area for an awesome shopping and dining experience. Service is also provided to the Lynnhaven Mall, which is touted as Virginia Beach’s premier shopping destination. This route runs 7 days a week from the beginning of May until Labor Day between 10:00am and 10:00pm. Shuttle frequency is roughly every 60 minutes.

All three routes will run through September, with Routes 31 and 32 running through the Labor Day weekend, and Route 30 running through the end of September. An updated system map is available.

VB Wave fares, which are listed below, are slightly different than the rest of the Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) bus system. As HRT’s new fare structure is gradually implemented, VB WAVE fares will eventually level out with the rest of the system.

  • Adults/Youth: $1.00
  • Seniors and persons with disabilities: $0.50
  • Children under 38”: Free
  • GO 1-Day Shuttle Pass: $2.00
  • GO 1-Day Shuttle Pass (Seniors, Disabled, Youth): $1.00
  • GO 3-Day Shuttle Pass: $5.00
  • GO 3-Day Shuttle Pass (Seniors, Disabled, Youth): $2.50

GoPasses can be purchased from participating retailers or from any Ticket Vending Machine (TVM).

For updates on the VB WAVE, please visit HRT’s website. You can also view my web page dedicated to the VB WAVE. Don’t forget that you can easily connect to other HRT bus routes from the Oceanfront, and even connect to The Tide Light Rail Line at Newtown Rd! Why hassle with parking and traffic hassles when you can let HRT do the driving for you!

Summer Youth Passes are BLAST with Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties!

#2601, fresh from the paint shop, pulls into Britton Plaza. Photo taken by HARTride 2012. October, 2011.
Let HART and PSTA do the driving for you! Photo Credit: HARTride 2012.

For several years now, both Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) in Hillsborough County, FL, and the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) in Pinellas County, FL have offered special youth passes during the period between May and September as a way to encourage middle and high school students to use public transit (and in-turn, give their parents a break from driving the kids around and having to spend more money on gas, all while helping the environment). With these special summer youth passes, one can easily travel to family-oriented hotspots like beaches and theme parks, as well as hanging out with friends at the movies! High school students can also take advantage of these passes to commute to work, and thus sparing the parents stress and gas!

Students can begin using HART and PSTA summer passes later this month (HART has announced May 12, and PSTA has announced May 15). However, you can begin making your purchases NOW by visiting a HART or PSTA transit center! PSTA also allows you to purchase Summer Haul Passes online through PSTA’s online ticket store, and at selected ticketing vendors. The HART Summer Blast Pass is only $30.00, while the PSTA Summer Haul Pass is $35.00! That’s less than $2.40 a week! Proper photo ID (government or school-issued) is required to be able to use these passes. Both HART and PSTA also issue youth discount permits, which are available at their respective transit centers.

Please note that both HART and PSTA summer passes are NOT VALID on express routes or Paratransit services. HART summer passes are also NOT VALID on the TECOline Streetcar Line.

New to the system? Both HART and PSTA provide travel training programs at NO COST to you! Just call the HART InfoLine at (813)-254-4278, or the PSTA InfoLine at (727)-540-1900 for further information.

2nd phase of work/closure at Paris Subway station Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre begins

If you plan on heading to Paris in the next few weeks, you’ll want to be aware of a station closure along the Paris Metro (subway) that will be in place for the next few months. As I reported a few months ago, station Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre along Lines 1 and 7 of the Paris Subway has been undergoing renovation work. Complete closure of the Line 1 platforms wrapped up in March, and now the Line 7 platforms are closed until approximately July 24, 2014.

Palais Royal Closure 2
Diagram created by HARTride 2012. Diagram is not to scale.

What this means for those heading to the Louvre and surrounding areas is that one will have to exit at either Pont Neuf to the east or Pyramides to the north. Additionally, those wishing to make connections between Lines 1 and 7 will need to use station Chatelet-les-Halles.

Later this summer, Line 6 service will be suspended between stations Pasteur and Passy. The elevated section of Line 6 in this area is known for its breathtaking views of Paris, including the Eiffel Tower. I’ll have a blog post up on this upcoming closure when more information becomes available.

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