Website and Blog History

Page Updated on 10/23/16

Welcome to the Website & Blog History Page. While this site has been around for about three years, I’ve been blogging about public transit for the past seven years. I will begin this page with some key dates by which will tell you how my site has evolved in brief. For those who have a little more time to read through this page, a more detailed history will follow the key dates section.

Key Dates

  • November, 2007: I began to plan out a blog or hobby site dedicated to public transit, and began to explore hosting options/providers.
  • April 13, 2008: The Tampa Transit Utopia Discussion was officially launched via Google’s Blogger service.
  • November 10, 2009: The Tampa Bay Transit by HARTride 2012 website was officially launched (also known as Tampa Bay Transit V2.0).
  • December, 2009: I renamed the The Tampa Transit Utopia Discussion blog to The Tampa Bay Transit Blog to coincide with the Tampa Bay Transit by HARTride 2012 site.
  • May 10, 2010: The 2nd incarnation (V2.5) of Tampa Bay Transit by HARTride 2012 was officially launched using the Google Sites service.
  • August 24, 2010: Europe Transit by HARTride 2012 was officially launched, also using Google Sites.
  • June 3, 2012: I renamed The Tampa Bay Transit Blog to The Transit Blog by HARTride 2012 to reflect my interest in public transit as a whole. I also moved my blog from Google’s Blogger service to the WordPress blogging interface.
  • March 4, 2013: I successfully migrated all of my Europe Transit by HARTride 2012 content from my old Google Sites-hosted site to the WordPress interface, allowing me to use the interface to create an all-in-one website.
  • March 20, 2013: I renamed The Transit Blog by HARTride 2012 to Public Transit as told by HARTride 2012 to reflect the implementation of content from my old websites.
  • April 13, 2013: My website turned 5 years old! I can’t believe it’s already been 5 years! 😀
  • April 19, 2013: The Hampton Roads Transit by HARTride 2012 portal was officially launched.
  • July 15, 2013: The Alternative Fueled Transit Vehicles Page was added, focusing on transit vehicles that are powered by alternative fuels…like CNG.
  • September 22, 2013: Phased updates to the website begin; which included expanded content, new site look and layout, and a broader array of topics for me to blog about.
  • March, 2014: Zachary Ziegler joins as guest blogger.
  • April 13, 2014: 6th Anniversary of my blog!
  • August 1, 2014: The No Tax For Tracks Hillsborough Truth Page supplement was launched.
  • December, 1, 2014: Second phased rebranding and updates to the website begin; which included a brand new menu structure and logo, as well as placeholders for Orlando and Tallahassee.
  • April 13, 2015: 7th Anniversary of my blog! That’s 7 years of transit blogging!
  • November 25, 2015: Third phased rebranding and updates to the website begin; which included a new color scheme and banners, as well as expanded photos and information.
  • April 13, 2016: 8th Anniversary of my blog!
  • October 12, 2016: Fourth phased rebranding and updates to the website begin; which included a new theme, color scheme, grpahics, new photos and expanded information, and a new website name and web address – The Global Transit Guidebook by HARTride 2012!

History in Detail

Shortly after high school, I came up with an idea to create some sort of a hobby website that would be dedicated to my interests in transportation. However, the idea never really took off due to the lack of free web-building resources available at the time (this was back in 2006 when MySpace was just taking off). However, when I began using Tampa’s public bus system to get to and from Hillsborough Community College, where I attained my A.A., I became fascinated with public transit as a whole and realized that I could finally begin my hobby site by using public transit as a launching point. As I learned more about Tampa’s current public transit system, I realized just how much Tampa had been deprived of efficient public transportation.

My original blog logo. Used from 2008 to 2009.
My original blog logo. Used from 2008 to 2009.

In 2007, I became actively engaged in various transportation discussions on the SkyScraperCity forums, which I found as the basis to start some sort of blog, where I could spark some discussion on Tampa’s public transit system. In November of that year, I began to plan out the foundations for the blog and began to explore various web/blog hosting services where I could host it. On April 13, 2008, I launched the The Tampa Transit Utopia Discussion on Google’s Blogger service ~ yeah, silly name ain’t it? Although I didn’t really have any comments from others, to any of my initial blog posts, I knew that just getting my thoughts on public transit out into the web was enough to provoke some thought among some people.

One of my blog logos used between 2009 and 2011.
One of my blog logos used between 2009 and 2011.

In 2009, I was approached by a former bus operator to take over his website, which was devoted to Tampa’s bus system (Hillsborough Area Regional Transit or HART). Without hesitation  I accepted his proposal and began building a new site by which I could eventually expand the site’s content to other geographic regions, including neighboring Pinellas County. The new site was launched on November 10, 2009 and was called Tampa Bay Transit by HARTride 2012In December of 2009, following the launch of Tampa Bay Transit by HARTride 2012, I renamed the blog as The Tampa Bay Transit Blog.

A screenshote of my old website (Tampa Bay Transit V2.5) and the website logo I used between 2011 and 2012.
A screenshot of my old website (Tampa Bay Transit V2.5), a couple of HART bus photos I’ve taken, and the website logo I used between 2011 and 2012.

The first incarnation of my transit website was not without challenges. The web hosting vendor that I initially used was not very user friendly, and it was very difficult for me to upload any content without being bombarded with messages to pay a fee to upgrade, or encountering error messages. So I had to shut down the site for a couple months while I searched for another provider. I then found Google Sites, which has a much more friendlier interface. After building all of the pages for the new site, I officially launched the new site (V2.5) on May 10, 2010.

In June of 2010, I began planning a second website dedicated to European Public Transports. This idea came about after a trip I took to Belgium and France back in March of 2009. On August 24, 2010, I officially launched Europe Transit by HARTride 2012 via Google Sites. devoted to my public transit travels in Europe. I began the site by covering the Paris Metro (Subway) system.

In April of 2011, I began planning my third transit fansite dedicated to New York City transports, following a March, 2011 trip to the area. I also began planning an expansion of the Europe Transit by HARTride 2012 site to cover transport systems in other European cities.

Unfortunately, school and personal obligations made it very difficult to keep my sites updated. For a period of a few months between January and August, 2012, I had to temporarily close all of my websites until I had enough time and motivation to return to them.

My current website as it appeared in April, 2013.
A snapshot of my current website as it appeared in April, 2013, using the Splendido Theme.

In June of 2012, I moved my blog over to the interface due to the expansive amount of customization that WordPress offers. I also learned that the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority also has its blog powered by WordPress, which further enticed me to switch over. During this time, I also renamed the blog to The Transit Blog by HARTride 2012 to reflect my interest in public transit as a whole. In July, 2012, I reopened the Europe Transit site, hoping to be able to make some much-needed updates.

In March, 2013; I decided to build upon my WordPress blog and migrate all of my content from my old sites. On March 4, 2013, I successfully migrated all of my Europe Transit content to the WordPress interface, which allowed me to pave the way to migrating my Tampa Bay Transit site content, open my third portal for New York City public transit, and open my fourth portal for Hampton Roads, VA. On March 10, 2013, I renamed my blog to Public Transit as told by HARTride 2012 to reflect the implementation of my Transit Focus Pages.

My current website as it appeared on October 3, 2013, using the Coraline Theme from WordPress.
My current website as it appeared on October 3, 2013, using the Coraline Theme.

On April 13, 2013, I celebrated my site’s 5th Anniversary with an awesome blog post! Then, on April 19, 2013, following a visit to Norfolk and Virginia Beach, VA, I officially launched the Hampton Roads Transit by HARTride 2012 portal. Since this time, I’ve been gradually building up my portals for both Hampton Roads and Tampa Bay. On September 22, 2013, I began a massive overhaul of my site, including a new theme, and expanded content on my Tampa Bay portal. Additionally, I was able to finish my Tampa Bay content migration and announce the permanent closure of my old websites.

On July 15, 2013, I launched what is now the Alternative Fueled Transit Vehicles Page. This page is dedicated to all things transit vehicles that are powered by alternative fuels…like Compressed Natural Gas (or CNG).

In March of 2014, I brought on board my first guest blog author, Zac, who will be blogging about different transit-related topics around the Tampa Bay area! This addition brings another unique perspective to Tampa Bay’s public transit system! Some of you may already know him from reading his blog! Welcome Aboard!

In April of 2014, I celebrated the 6th Anniversary of my blog and continued to expand sections as I could. I also increased my presence on social media via Facebook and Twitter.

The No Tax For Tracks Hillsborough Truth Page was launched on Facebook on August 1, 2014.
The No Tax For Tracks Hillsborough Truth Page was launched on Facebook on August 1, 2014.

On August 1, 2014, I officially launched a separate project called the No Tax For Tracks Hillsborough Truth Page. This political-themed site focuses on discussing how transportation issues often get inserted into partisan politics; including the failed Greenlight Pinellas and Go Hillsborough referenda initiatives.

Website appearance as of May, 2015, using the Sequential Theme.
Website appearance as of May, 2015, using the Sequential Theme.

In December of 2014, I began to rebrand my website again with a new theme, menu structure, and links. Going into 2015, I introduced a new logo, site header style, and section/sub-section headers. I also began to build the foundations for future expansions of my site; which include Orlando, Tallahassee, and even Asia. On April 13, 2015, I celebrated seven years of transit blogging! I can’t believe that my blog has been around for seven years now! I sure hope that it will be around for at least another seven years!

On November 25, 2015, I began a third wave of website rebranding efforts, which will continue through 2016. This rebranding included a new green color scheme, expanded content, and will ultimately lay the foundation for the completion of each of my Transport sections.

A snapshot of the current website, using the Twenty Fourteen theme. Note: this snapshot was taken prior to the name change of the website.

On April 13, 2016, I celebrated my 8th year of transit blogging and began planning what would become a fourth wave of website rebranding efforts. These efforts were realized on October 12, 2016 with the renaming of the website to The Global Transit Guidebook by HARTride 2012, a new website theme and color scheme, new photos, graphics, and expanded information, and a new domain name.

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