Trolling at Go Hillsborough

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As the Go Hillsborough public outreach process continues, out have come the trolls on the official Facebook page. Yep, you heard right…trolls, and many of them too. In fact, though I am not naming anyone specific, these are the same trolls that consistently trashed PSTA’s Greenlight Pinellas Facebook page last year. These are also the same trolls who support No Tax For Tracks, and who do not want the rest of us to have any transportation choices.

It’s bad enough trying to get a discussion back on track due to these trolls, but try to simply acknowledge that you disagree with their point of view, and that’s when the insults start flying. These trolls often love to insult voter intelligence and will stop at nothing to make you think that they’re right and we’re wrong. Pitiful and childish name calling quickly becomes the Plan B for many of these trolls, and it really is sickening to see then stoop so low to get what they want.

The point of this post today, the folks at Go Hillsborough need to make it clear that such trolling won’t be tolerated. Put these trolls on a very short leash and discourage them from derailing the conversation on transportation choices. If the trolls ignore the warnings, ban them immediately. We cannot afford to have another meaningful discussion on transportation be sidetracked by those who have made it known to us that they only want what suits them, even if what they (the trolls) want causes the rest of us to suffer.

Platt St bike lane is coming along well

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The City of Tampa recently announced the addition of buffered bike lanes to Platt St, pictured here. The process is nearing completion. Photo Credit: HARTride 2012.

Remember a few months ago when the City of Tampa announced that they were going to add buffered bike lanes to Platt St from Armenia Ave to Bayshore Blvd? Well, that process has been underway for the past few weeks, much sooner than I expected, and it appears to be nearing completion at this point. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the finished product. 🙂

HART Route 53LX changes now in effect

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Route 53LX will be modified to serve the new St. Joseph's Hospital South campus. Credit: HART.

As mentioned a couple of weeks ago, HART Route 53LX will be modified to serve the new St. Joseph’s Hospital South campus off of Big Bend Rd near US 301. As of February 16, 2015, those modifications have taken effect. You will be able to access the adjusted schedules online soon.

On delivery – HART’s new CNG Gilligs

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#1502 is in the house! Photo Credit: HART

Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) welcomed eight of 22 brand new swanky Compressed Natural Gas-powered 40-foot Gillig Low Floor buses this week. These buses will largely replace the remaining 2001 and some of the 2002 fleet, which are reaching the ends of their useful lives. #1522 will replace #2416, which caught fire last year while dead heading from an express run it had just finished.

Go Hillsborough – Part 1 – An Overview

Credit: HARTride 2012
Credit: HARTride 2012

Let the discussion begin

You’ve likely been hearing about it over the past few months, but now the official public outreach process has begun in Hillsborough County. What is this outreach process about exactly? It’s about building a better transportation network throughout the county. Because let’s face it, we’re at a pivotal crossroads right now, and unless we act to fix the situation at hand, things will only get worse from here.

Read more

HRT Snow Routes

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Photo Credit: Hampton Roads Transit (HRT)

Back in December, I told you about Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) working on a system of Snow Routes, designed to provide basic bus services in the event that sustained snowfall is forecasted to exceed six inches.

In the last few weeks, HRT has unveiled those Snow Routes and installed blue “snowflake” signs at designated bus stops. The routes themselves are designated by color and will operate every hour (unless otherwise indicated) between 6:00am and 8:00pm Monday through Saturday. Sunday service will NOT be provided.

Now keep in mind, these Snow Routes will only be activated if sustained snowfall is to exceed six inches. Usually such circumstances will warrant schools and many other government facilities to close due to many streets being impassable. Additionally, many transit agencies, including HRT, do not have the resources available to clear streets on their own. This is left to the responsibility of the area municipal governments (usually the Public Works Department) to ensure that all streets are cleared of snow and ice. What this does do though, is that the plowing/clearing of thoroughfares is prioritized so that buses can move through quickly.

In events by which the snow routes are not activated, HRT will operate normal transit service to the fullest extent it can while ensuring the safety of customers and employees. There will no doubt be delays and detours, and customers should always arrive at their stop early to ensure on-time boarding. Additionally, customers stay tuned to local media outlets and social media for updates. Customers can also contact Customer Service (when open) for information, but keep in mind that operations may be limited during major weather events.

HRT will exercise caution when operating light rail and ferry services and will decrease or suspend services if weather conditions worsen. Customers should plan accordingly.

Further information on HRT’s Snow Routes and other weather related transit procedures can be found on HRT’s website.

President’s Day 2015 Holiday Transit Schedule

Monday, February 16, 2015 is President’s 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 President’s Day, with some districts operating weekday services with modifications.

In the Tampa Bay Area, most area transit districts (HART, PSTA, MCAT, SCAT, and PCPT) 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. Polk and Hernando County transit services will NOT operate.

LYNX in Orlando will operate on a normal weekday schedule, as will SunRail. However, LYNX Routes (Links) 416 & 427 will NOT operate due to Polk Transit services not operating. StarMetro in Tallahassee will also operate on a normal weekday schedule.

In the Hampton Roads, VA Area, all HRT services (bus, LRT, and ferry) will 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). Customer service centers will NOT BE OPEN for those transit districts that ARE NOT OPERATING on President’s Day.

HRT DNTC moving back to “regular” interim spot

Due to construction, the Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) Downtown Norfolk Transit Center (DNTC) was temporarily moved over to Charlotte St. Now with that work wrapping up, the DNTC will move back to it’s “regular” interim location on Wood St on Wednesday, February 11, 2015.

More information can be found on HRT’s website.

Transit Matters to Families

It’s not just individuals that use transit, there are entire families that hop aboard the bus, train, or ferry to get from A to B.

Ride PSTA

For the month of February, we’d like to share some stories with you about families and public transit. Every day moms, dads, sisters, brothers, sons, and daughters board PSTA buses to make their way around the county. Many of these family members travel together, and some families turn it into an adventure.

The Sorenson family uses public transit as a way to get quality time with the kids. Here’s their story, as told by dad Carl Sorenson:

Sorenson family

Not long ago I found myself in a situation where telecommuting for work was no longer an option. This happened right at the same time that I was purchasing a house in St. Petersburg. I suddenly found myself travelling to Manatee County five days a week – too much for me. So, last year I started a new job in downtown St. Pete – and what a commute I have now!

One way I…

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Transit Ridership Summary updated with December, 2014 figures

The Transit Ridership Summary table has been updated with December, 2014 figures! If you’re new to my site, this table can be accessed and downloaded through Dropbox. Don’t have a Dropbox account? Not a problem! Anyone can access and download this file. Even then, Dropbox provides a free “basic” service for you to upload and share files to.

For those of you who may have missed my original post, I am now listing ridership figures on an Excel spreadsheet, as opposed to creating a detailed blog post every month with figures. Please note that since I am publishing figures for three transit agencies, HART, PSTA, and HRT, that there may be a delay in posting, since each agency releases ridership figures at different times.

As always, these ridership figures are obtained from publicly accessible sources, such as board meeting packets, and cannot be considered as copyrighted or proprietary.

Access the May – November Transit Ridership Summary