Our photo contributor and Social Media moderator John is showcasing this 2003 35-foot New Flyer D35LF transit bus for the May “Photo of the Month”. This bus (out of four total) originally belonged to Capital Metro in Austin, TX as #2028, but is now part of the Community Connector bus fleet in Bangor, ME as #0329. Community Connector has several buses in its fleet that were purchased secondhand – meaning that the buses were retired by one agency and then sold to another for rehabilitation and second revenue service life. Despite the heavy mechanical overhaul that the four buses have received (along with Community Connector’s red exterior livery), the interiors largely retain the Capital Metro styling, including the seats and seat cushions.
Today (April 30, 2017) marked the final day of the six-month Cross-Bay Ferry pilot project. While I’m very sad to see this mode of transport go, I remain hopeful that the City of Tampa, the City of St. Petersburg, and the counties of Pinellas and Hillsborough, will be able to put together the funding needed to have at least a seasonal ferry service in place for the long term.
What did we learn?
Despite concerns that the ferry wouldn’t generate enough ridership, it actually generated enough to allow the operating company to reimburse some of the money back to the cities and counties. The strongest ridership patterns were seen on the weekends, and believe it or not – most riders were residents rather than tourists visiting the region.
The four governments involved will evaluate the full results from the trial period and determine what will be needed to establish a more permanent ferry service – even if it starts out as a seasonal service. Hillsborough County leaders are determined to complete its plans to launch a ferry line between Apollo Beach and MacDill Air Force Base, and if enough boats are purchased for that route, some could be used for service between Tampa and St. Pete on weekends.
I would like to take a few moments to inform my readers that I will be on vacation during the week of May 7 through 13, 2017. During this time; website activities will be temporarily suspended, and Social Media activities will be limited. My South Florida and Northeast Regional moderators will be overseeing The Global Transit Guidebook Facebook Page during my time away. Please do not hesitate to reach out to them if you have any questions or concerns.
The Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (which does business as LYNX) will be enacting service changes on Sunday, April 30, 2017. These changes will largely comprise of scheduling adjustments, but four routes (links) will see some sort of routing change. You can access the revised schedules on the LYNX website and printed schedules will be distributed soon.
- Link 45 – Lake Mary (Seminole County) – All weekday trips will serve the Lake Mary SunRail station. Minor schedule adjustments will also be enacted.
- Link 63 – LYMMO Orange-North Quarter (Orange County) – All trips will be extended to the LYNX Central Station via Amelia Street. This change will allow customers to access both Orange Line segments from the terminal. Additional stops will be added at LYNX Central Station, Orange Avenue/Amelia Street and Livingston Street/Orange Avenue.
- Link 319 – Richmond Heights (Orange County) – Buses from LYNX Central Station will use Terry Avenue, South Street and Parramore Avenue. New stops will be added at Terry Avenue/Church Street.
- Link 427 – U.S. 27/Haines City (Lake County/Orange County/Osceola County/Polk County) – The segment in downtown Haines City will be modified to operate along East Main Street between 5th and 10th instead of East Hinson Avenue. Bus stops will be added at East Main Street and 8th Street.
- Link 8 – West Oak Ridge Road/International Drive (Orange County) – Minor schedule adjustments will be enacted to improve efficiency. A trip from Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets at 9:05 p.m. will be added on Sundays.
- Link 9 – Winter Park/Rosemont (Orange County) – The weekday 7:55 p.m. trip from Rosemont SuperStop will extend to Winter Park SunRail Station. The current 9:10 p.m. departure from Denning Drive/Webster Avenue will now start from the Winter Park SunRail Station at 8:45 p.m.
- Link 37 – Pine Hills/Florida Mall (Orange County) – A trip will be added at 10 p.m. on Sundays from Florida Mall SuperStop.
Link 107 – U.S. 441/Florida Mall (Orange County) – A trip will be added at 10 p.m. on Sundays from Florida Mall SuperStop.
- Link 108 – South U.S. 441/Kissimmee (Orange County/Osceola County) – The Sunday 9:40 p.m. departure from Florida Mall SuperStop will be changed to 9:50 p.m.
- FastLink 441 – Kissimmee/Downtown Orlando (Orange County/Osceola County) – Minor schedule adjustments will be enacted to improve efficiency. A new bus stop will be added at Orange Blossom Trail and Wetherbee Road.
- Minor schedule adjustments will be enacted on Links 7, 13, 18, 20, 24, 26, 125, Xpress Link 208, Link 405, Link 443, and NeighborLink 622 to improve efficiency.
LYNX Central Station Bus Loading Bay Changes
Bus bay assignments at the LYNX Central Station will change accordingly to read the following:
- Bay C – Link 63 LYMMO Orange Line-North Quarter
- Bay D – Link 50
- Bay E – Links 36 and 40
- Bay M – Links 21, 54 and 441
- Bay P – Link 107
- Bay X – Links 7, 11 and 18
- Bay Y – Link 125
Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) will be enacting service changes during the weekend of April 15 and 16. These changes will affect more than half of the SCAT system. Schedules will be posted to the SCAT website soon, and printed schedules will be available on or after April 10, 2017.
- Route 1: Buses will remain on Apex/Coburn east of I-75 and will no longer travel on E. Sawgrass Rd.
- Route 1 Sunday: Route will be reconfigured around Cattlemen Transfer Center. Buses will enter the station via Cattlemen Rd/Bahia Vista
- Route 2: Routing will be reconfigured around SRQ Airport.
- Routes 5 and 6: Minor time point adjustments will be enacted to improve efficiency.
- Route 7: The 5:10AM trip will no longer enter Newtown Estates
- Route 9: Route will extend to Toledo Blade, North Port Emergency Clinic, Shannon Staub Public Library, and Suncoast Technical College. The 5:05AM trip to Venice will be eliminated.
- Routes 10 and 10 Sunday: Due to the launch of the Siesta Key Breeze trolley, the 10 will be eliminated. Route 11 will continue service into Siesta Key and will see no changes.
- Route 13: Frequency will reduce to every 2 hours between Venice Train Depot to Venice Island and will remain on US 41 Business. New Route 23 will serve Venice Island.
- Routes 14 and 14 Sunday: Minor scheduling adjustments will be made to improve efficiency. A late-evening partial trip will also be added.
- Route 15: Route will be reconfigured from the Sarasota Pavilion Transfer Center; via Gateway and Stickney Pt. Rd and also around SRQ Airport.
- Route 16: Frequency will reduce to every 2 hours. The segment on East Dearborn St./Pine St will be eliminated. Buses will instead travel to Englewood Hospital from S.R. 776, McCall Rd., and Pine St. via Merchants Crossing Shopping Plaza.
- Routes 18 and 18 Sunday (and the MCAT Longboat Key Trolley): Due to the launch of the new MCAT-operated Longboat Key Shuttle, the existing Longboat Key Trolley service will be eliminated. Please visit the MCAT website to learn more about the new reservation-based shuttle service. SCAT will continue to operate a revised Route 18 that will terminate at Bay Isles.
- Route 23 (NEW): Venice Circulator: This route will operate as a one-way loop from Venice Train Depot to Venice Beach, Venice Community Center, Venice Shopping Plaza on Golf Dr. and Guild St. before returning to the Venice Train Depot.
- Route 26 (NEW): Englewood Beaches: This route will travel from Englewood Hospital to Old Englewood Village on West Dearborn St. via Englewood Beach.
- Route 28: Route will end at North Port City Hall. Riders traveling to East Price Blvd. and Toledo Blade Blvd. should transfer at North Port City Hall Park and Ride.
- Route 30: Route will be reconfigured around SRQ Airport, and the last trip at 10:25 p.m. from UTC to Lakewood Ranch will be eliminated.
- Seasonal Route 33: Route will be discontinued for season and service will resume in November 2017.
- Route 99: The final trip from SRQ Airport to Downtown Sarasota, will be adjusted to depart at 10:25pm instead of 10:00pm to allow for connections from the last Route 30 trip from the University Town Center (UTC) area.
- Route 215 Sunday: Route will be reconfigured around SRQ Airport.
- Route 1713 Sunday: Time points will be adjusted on the last trip of the evening.
- Route 100X: Route will be revised to only operate Monday through Friday (due to ultra low Saturday ridership). Service to the Laurel Industrial Center will be reduced to only a select couple of trips.
The SCAT Transit Routes Page on the Global Transit Guidebook will be updated soon.
May is only about a month away! Which means summer will not be far behind it. With tourist season approaching for the Virginia Beach area, Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) is announcing changes to the Virginia Beach WAVE seasonal trolley service. Below is a quick summary of what changes are in store for this year.
Route 30 – Atlantic Ave Trolley
Route 31 will continue to operate in its normal fashion beginning May 1, 2017. Between May 1 and May 21, trolleys will operate roughly every 30 to 45 minutes. From May 22 through Labor Day, regular summer service will begin with trolleys operating roughly every 15 minutes. Between Labor Day and September 30, service will begin winding down for the season with trolleys operating roughly every 30 to 45 minutes. Span of service is from 8:00am until 2:00am (the next morning) 7-days-a-week.
Route 32 – Aquarium and Campground Shuttle
Route 32 will also continue to operate in its normal fashion, with service beginning May 22 and running through Labor Day. Buses will operate roughly every 20 minutes 7-days-a-week, from 9:30am until 11:10pm. Note: The Virginia Aquarium and Ocean Breeze stops are only serviced during normal business hours.
Route 33 – Shoppers Shuttle (ELIMINATED)
Due to ultra-low ridership, HRT has eliminated the Shoppers Shuttle service. Those wishing to connect between the Virginia Beach Oceanfront and the Virginia Beach shopping/mall district can do so via the following alternative bus routes.
- Route 20 connects to the Hilltop Shopping District with 30-minute service Monday through Saturday and hourly Sunday service+. Those wishing to travel to Lynnhaven Mall can transfer to Route 29 at Laskin Rd and First Colonial Rd. Route 29 operates Monday through Saturday with hourly service.
- Express (MAX) Route 960 connects to the Virginia Beach Convention Center via the Parks Ave/20th St stop. Those wishing to visit the Virginia Beach Museum of Contemporary Art (M.O.C.A.) can get off at this stop and walk northward to the museum.
*VB WAVE Routes 30 and 31 will continue to provide service to Rudee Inlet
+Route 20 continues to Norfolk with 15-30 minute service between Downtown Norfolk and Pembroke East on weekdays (not all trips go all the way to the Oceanfront during rush hours). Be sure that you’re boarding the correct bus if you’re traveling from Norfolk to the Oceanfront.
Route 35 – North End Shuttle (NEW)
Route 35 will be introduced to serve First Landing State Park, the North End beaches, and the various eateries along Shore Dr. Service will operate 7-days-a-week from May 22 until Labor Day, with buses running roughly every 45 minutes from 8:00am through 12-midnight. After Labor Day, buses will operate Friday through Sunday only with 45-minute service from 8:00am through 12-midnight.
Please see the map below to see where the 35 will operate.
For additional information, including fares, please visit HRT’s website.
The VB WAVE Information Page on the Global Transit Guidebook will be updated soon.
For the month of April, our “Photo of the Month” is Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority #16102 – one of seven new 2016-model 40-foot Gillig Low Floor BRT design Diesel-Electric Hybrid buses. These buses arrived on the PSTA premises back in December of 2016 and began entering revenue service during March of 2017 (though #’s 16101 and 16105 have not yet seen revenue service).
While these buses are virtually identical to their older BRT hybrid counterparts, they sport the latest in BAE HybriDrive technology, so the ride is much smoother and quieter. In fact, if the bus is traveling less than 20mph, the battery is in full control. Also, when the bus is idle, you may notice a slight vibration in the bus as if the engine is shutting off. This is not the case however, the bus is still running even though it is in idle. Operators had to receive special training on this so that they do not think something has gone wrong with the bus. Once the bus exceeds 20mph, or if the battery life drops below 60%, the diesel engine will kick on and recharge the battery. The diesel engine on these buses do not sound as loud as their older counterparts either.
Currently, you’ll find these buses mostly on Route 59, but they have appeared on Routes 18, 52, 74, and 300X from time to time.