Welcome to the Blog!

Welcome to my transit blog, where you can read up on transit-related topics ranging from fare evasion to service adjustments. Feel free to start a discussion if you please, just make sure that you keep things clean. All comments are moderated, meaning that I must approve all comments before they can show up on blog posts and web pages. So any comments that I find to be inappropriate or offensive will not be posted on the website. Periodically, I will have ”Focus Posts” and poll questions that deal with specific transit-related topics.

Spring Hiatus

Sometimes, you need time to re-focus on more important matters.

As the title implies, I will be taking some time away from publishing new blog posts to re-focus on updating existing content & pages on The Global Transit Guidebook website. This hiatus will begin on Thursday, May 2, 2019 and will end on Friday, June 29, 2019. The only exception to the hiatus will be on Saturday, June 1, 2019, when I will automatically publish my June “Showcase” photo post. Other than that though, there will be no new blog posts during this time.


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WEATHER ADVISORY – Passing cold front brings continuous rain, strong winds

Please plan your commute accordingly today and tomorrow. It’s going to be a wet, blustery day.

Today & Friday (April 18, 2019 & April 19, 2019) are set to be very rough, rainy, & windy for much of the southeastern & east coastal US. Today, much of the southeast can expect heavy rain, gusty winds, & the possibility of hail & tornadoes. That threat moves to Florida & the east coast on Friday.

The very nasty weather is all thanks to a passing cold front that has been making its way through the US for the past week. As you get ready for your day, please secure all outdoor furniture & plan your commutes accordingly. Please do not travel unless it is necessary to do so, as there is a possibility of localized flooding, in addition to the above.

Spectrum Bay News 9 Klystron 9 Radar


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Vacation Time!

Time for a vacation…


I would like to take a few moments to inform my readers that I will be on vacation from of April 11, 2019 through 14, 2019. Additionally, I will be largely offline from April 8 through the 10 & also from April 15 through the 17. During this time; website activities will be temporarily suspended, and Social Media activities will be limited. My social media moderators John B. & Jake will be overseeing The Global Transit Guidebook Facebook Page & the Global Transit Guidebook Forum Facebook Group during my time away. Please do not hesitate to reach out to them if you have any questions or concerns.


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April, 2019 Photo of the Month

Showcase Time!

For our April Showcase photo, we continue our journey across the US. Where to next you ask?

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) # 3437 on Route 39C in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

This month’s destination is Toronto, the provincial capitol of Ontario in Canada, and its transit agency – the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). The above photo was contributed by Global Transit Guidebook Forum member Toby R.

Now, if you’ve been following The Global Transit Guidebook for a while now, you’ll notice that this isn’t the first time that a TTC vehicle has appeared on the Showcase rolls. However, the streetcar got airtime last time, so now it’s time for the bus network to shine!

The TTC has been around since the 1920s & operates over 150 bus routes, 10 streetcar lines, & 4 bus routes. In focusing on the bus network this time around, I’ll briefly break down the various bus services that exist within the TTC system, as well as the agency’s bus fleet.

Like any transit agency, the TTC has a network of local bus routes that connect to various parts of the metro region. However, many routes operate in branches (noted by a suffix letter next to the route number) – so some branch routes may serve specific thoroughfares & destinations or have limited stop service, while others may only run limited trips during the day, or seasonal trips. Thus, it’s very important to check the respective route number, map, & schedule to ensure that you board the correct bus. Some routes & branches may operate frequent service – meaning departures are every 10 minutes or better during peak times.

In addition to the local network, the TTC operates a variety of express routes – many serving downtown Toronto, community shuttle routes, & night service routes – operating strategically when streetcar & subway service has ended for the night.

The TTC bus fleet comprises exclusively of either Orion or Nova vehicles – though Orion Bus Industries was later acquired by competitor New Flyer Industries. The agency will pick up new NFI battery electric vehicles later this year – along with a batch of Proterra & BYD battery electric vehicles.


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Friday Rewind – 2008 HART Fleet Repainting

Out with the old & in with the new.



In this month’s Friday Rewind, I take a look back at when Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) began repainting their bus fleet. When I began riding HART in 2006, most of their buses still donned the late 90’s era “HARTline” white with red/blue/green ribbons scheme. The only exception was the 2005 & 2006-series buses which had the same scheme that is used today, but in a purple/gray tone. The latter buses signified the overall transition from the “HARTline” days to the modern era, but that transition – little known to me at the time – was not yet complete.

Now retired bus # 2015 at Britton Plaza. This was a 2000-series bus that had been involved in an accident a few months prior to this sighting & was repainted as part of work done to repair the damage from the accident.

Here’s what I wrote in my original post back on August 13, 2008.

Some of you may have noticed in recent weeks that many of HART’s buses look like they’re literally going to the dogs. Especially in respects to the exterior paint being scratched away in some areas.

Rest assured; the entire fleet is in good hands. In fact, a couple buses rolled out this week with a fresh coat of paint. The blue, navy, and white livery matches the style of the purple, violet, and white livery that is already seen on Commuter Express buses. However, I assume that HART chose the color scheme to better match the buses to the agency’s logo, which is also navy and blue.

The Global Transit Guidebook by HARTride 2012 –
https://globaltransitguidebook.com/2008/08/13/hart-rolls-out-repainted-buses-for-local-routes-amid-reporting-record-ridership-levels/

The new livery is only a part of the many changes that HART’s fleet of buses are going through at the present time. You may have read the post regarding the installation of GPS and automated annunciation systems, as well as security cameras, on all buses. Well those systems seem to be fully functional since my last ride on the Route 19 in late July. I don’t know how extensive the GPS system operates, but I’m sure we will be seeing real-time message boards at some transfer centers in the not too distant future, so that patrons will be able to know exactly when the next bus departs.

The Global Transit Guidebook by HARTride 2012 –
https://globaltransitguidebook.com/2008/08/13/hart-rolls-out-repainted-buses-for-local-routes-amid-reporting-record-ridership-levels/

As mentioned above, other changes were occurring with HART’s fleet at the time, including installation of GPS, surveillance, and automated announcement systems – all of which are still in use but are slated for upgrades in the coming months. There was also a short-lived trial of having LCD screens at the Marion Transit Center that displayed real-time departure information. This project eventually went to the wayside in favor of the OneBusAway app.


Wondering how HART’s livery has evolved over the years? Simply view the gallery below:


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HART, JTA, & LYNX Spring Service Changes

It’s that time again…


…time for several transit agencies to enact service changes.

On Sunday, March 24, 2019, Hillsborough Area Regional Transit will be enacting several routing &/or scheduling changes to improve efficiency. The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) will do the same on Monday, April 1, 2019, followed by the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (d.b.a. LYNX) on Sunday, April 28, 2019.

Service changes are summarized below by transit agency:


Hillsborough Area Regional Transit
Tampa, FL

What’s Changing?

  • Route 7: Running time changes on weekdays to reflect travel patterns.
  • Route 14: One-way looping at the northern end of the line will cease. Buses will travel bi-directionally from the Yukon Transfer Center to Florida Ave, Linebaugh Ave, and then down Armenia Ave.
  • Route 31: Service along Duncan Rd will cease. Buses will travel along US 301 between Duncan and Bloomingdale Ave, then use Bloomingdale between US 301 & Providence Rd. Southbound running times in SouthShore will also be adjusted.
  • Routes 37 & 38: Running time changes during weekday PM rush to reflect travel patterns.
  • Route 400 – MetroRapid North-South: Minor routing change in Downtown Tampa. Northbound buses will use Florida Ave instead of Morgan St to approach the Marion Transit Center. There will be no stops added. Customers can use Routes 1 or 19 along Florida Ave to get to the MTC.

Where can I get more information?

On the HART website, or by calling (813)-254-4278.


Jacksonville Transportation Authority
Jacksonville, FL

What’s Changing?

  • Route 13: Running time changes.
  • Route 15: Running time changes.
  • Route 21: Running time changes.
  • Route 25: Running time changes.
  • Route 32: Southern terminus will shift to Rosa Parks Transit Station in Downtown Jacksonville. Direct service to St. Vincent’s Memorial Hospital in Riverside will cease.
  • Route 33: Running time changes. Saturday frequency will change from 1 hour/20 minutes to 1 hour/30 minutes. Routes 32 & 33 will become interlined.
  • Route 53: Running time changes.
  • Route 84: Running time changes.
  • First Coast Flyer Lines (102/Green, 107/Blue, 109/Red): Running time changes.

Where can I get more information?

On the JTA website, or by calling (904) 630-3100.


Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX)
Orlando, FL

What’s Changing?

  • Route 15: Minor schedule adjustments.
  • LYMMO Services (Routes 60, 61, 62, & 63): Route 61 will have a new stop at Amelia St @ Terry Ave. All four LYMMO routes will see frequency & service span changes.
  • Route 155: Buses will travel between Greenwald Way & Centerview Blvd via Osceola Pkwy.
  • Routes 301 & 304: Minor schedule adjustments.
  • Route 407 (FastLink): During the morning peak, trips to Lake Nona will first serve the VA Medical Center. Morning peak inbound trips to Kissimmee will serve Nemours Children’s Hospital and the USTA National Campus. Midday and afternoon peak service will remain unchanged, except for minor schedule adjustments.
  • Route 441 (FastLink): Northbound & Southbound trips will begin serving the bus stop on S. Orange Blossom Trl & Centerview Blvd.
  • Flex (NeighborLink) Route 613: Zone will be extended northward to include the Park Promenade Plaza.

Where can I get more information?

On the LYNX website, or by calling (407)-841-5969.


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Sarasota County Area Transit Social Media Channel Notice

Change & Consolidation


At first glance, you’d think it was some sort of April Fool’s joke, but it’s not. Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) announced on March 18, 2019 that they are taking part in an effort by Sarasota County Government to consolidate social media channels into unified accounts. This means that each county department that currently has its own Facebook or Twitter account will discontinue their respective accounts & instead feed information into one of the county’s unified accounts. The aim appears to be to allow residents & tourists a single source to locate information on social media instead of having to jump from one place to another.

SCAT’s Facebook Post.

As the Facebook post implies, the stand-alone social channels will be rendered inactive on April 1, 2019. I’m guessing that the channels will still be visible for another few weeks thereafter before being taken down entirely. The same message was also posted to SCAT’s Twitter feed.

SCAT’s Twitter Post.

You may be able to view the above existing feeds for a short period of time after the transition, but expect them to be fully deactivated thereafter. In the event that the accounts become deactivated, please see the listing below for the consolidated channels.


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March, 2019 Photo of the Month

Showcase Time!

For our March Showcase photo, we continue our journey across the US. Where to next you ask?


This month’s destination is New York City – but I’m not profiling the MTA this time. It’s time to give the PATH some limelight. I took the above photo during my 2017 New York City transit excursion.

The PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) subway system originated from its predecessor – the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad – & was originally envisioned to be much larger than it is today, but budgetary, political, & other constraints stifled every possibility of the network realizing its full potential. Nonetheless, the PATH line are an integral part of the overall regional transit network in New York City & surrounding areas.

PATH service operates seven days a week with frequent service during the day on weekdays & less service on weekends & overnights. There are two service branches – the Newark/World Trade Center branch & the Newport/Hoboken/Midtown Manhattan branch. Service patterns vary between weekday daytime & weekday evening/weekends/holidays. The current service pattern, schedules, & service advisories are available on the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey website.


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Website Update – February 2019

Creating a better website experience for you.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been making preparations for my next & largest website update to date. Many of you may have already noticed the new theme & layout, as well as the completion of some sections.

However, over the next few months, I’ll be heavily working on sections that I previously was unable to complete due to other obligations. Such sections for the most part, have been temporarily taken down until I’ve had a chance to re-work them. You’ll thus notice the lack of links on the navigation bar.

My completed sections/pages so far comprise of the following:

  • Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority section (with the exception of the Active Transit Vehicles page)
  • Manatee County Area Transit section
  • About section
  • Other Features & Projects section
  • Intercity Transit Services subsection
  • Transit Museum subsection
  • Alternative Fueled Vehicles subsection

If you’d like to get sneak peak on what I’m working on here at The Global Transit Guidebook & you happen to have a presence on Facebook, please feel free to join The Global Transit Guidebook Forum Facebook Group. There, you can also share your transit-related photos & experiences, partake in periodic group polls & photo contests, & share transit-related news & happenings from your area. You do not have to be a transit enthusiast or advocate to join.


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Getting Around Pinellas During Spring Break 2019

Avoid parking & traffic hassles, use transit this Spring Break!



It’s hard to believe that March is just around the corner, and with that comes the rush of college students and families from all across Pinellas County and beyond to enjoy the county’s award-winning beaches. Also along with that, comes a lot of traffic and parking headaches. In this post, I will break down some of the alternatives available to you should you join in on the Spring Break hustle and bustle.


Extra Transportation Options in Clearwater Beach

Looking towards Pier 60 at Clearwater Beach, a hotspot of tourist activity during Spring Break.

Let’s begin with the award-winning Clearwater Beach, which is a consistent hotspot for tourists & residents alike. Because of the immense amount of people who visit Clearwater throughout the year, peak tourist seasons always bring forth massive amounts of traffic across the Memorial Causeway bridge, & this year will certainly be no exception.

To help alleviate some of the congestion and to promote an alternative option to get to and from Clearwater Beach, the City of Clearwater and the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) collaborated last year to provide additional bus trips between the beach and designated park-and-ride lots in downtown Clearwater. While the initiative was considered a success, it was met with many challenges – including where to let customers on and off at once at Clearwater Beach.

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) Clearwater Beach Transit Center – which was constructed last year – will once again become the focal point of beachside transit operations in Clearwater Beach. While this facility provides a safe avenue for tourists & residents to board or de-board a bus on the westbound side of the causeway, the eastbound side has remained a challenge. This year, the agency – with its partners at the City of Clearwater – has constructed a second transit platform by the Clearwater Beach Marina to allow those heading back to Downtown Clearwater a safe avenue to board without having to circle the roundabout.

Whether you’re driving into the Clearwater area, or using a PSTA bus route to connect to the trolleys, you can leave the driving to your bus operator and not have to worry about changing lanes or battling other visitors to find a parking space. I will tell you right now that finding parking in Clearwater Beach is extremely difficult during the peak tourist season, and you could be waiting over 15 minutes in some cases just to find a parking space.

For the Spring Break 2019 season, PSTA has created a page on its website where you can learn more about the expanded trolley service and park-and-ride lot locations. Buses will depart the park-and-ride lots every 15 minutes (with PSTA and Jolley Trolley vehicles alternating trips) and customers will be able to park at the lots for free. Once at Clearwater Beach, you will be able to exit at the Clearwater Beach Transit Center and will only need to walk a short distance to get to the powder white sand of the beach, or other nearby shopping and dining destinations.

Please keep peeled to the PSTA website for special Spring Break transit promotions!


The Clearwater Ferry

For those who enjoy being out on the water, the Clearwater Ferry is a fun & convenient alternative to crossing the Memorial Causeway. Ferry landings are located alongside Downtown Clearwater, the Clearwater Beach Marina, Island Estates, and the northern end of Clearwater. There’s also a separate route that serves Dunedin, so you can take advantage of that avenue as well! Further information regarding the ferry, including current fares, are available through their website.


Transportation Options to St. Pete Beach

St. Pete Beach is another tourist hotspot during Spring Break, but isn’t as congested as Clearwater Beach. Nonetheless, roadways can get jammed at times and parking can be a hassle. Additionally, roadway construction around Pass-A-Grille is making getting around a headache of its own.

PSTA provides trolley service to St. Pete Beach and Pass-A-Grille via the Central Avenue Trolley. The trolley operates every 20 minutes during the day on weekdays and every 30 minutes during the evening and all day on weekends. Please note that some trips may be delayed or rerouted due to construction in Pass-A-Grille. PSTA is currently exploring the possibility of truncating Central Avenue Trolley service at the Don Cesar Beach Resort stop, and having customers transfer to a shuttle bus or van to complete their trip to Pass-A-Grille.

St. Pete Beach also serves as the southern terminus for the Suncoast Beach Trolley – which departs every 30 minutes. You can catch either trolley at the Gulf Blvd/75th Ave transfer point and quickly get to and from the beaches – whether you’re coming from St. Pete, Clearwater, or somewhere in between.


What if I’m going to another beach?

Most of Pinellas’ award-winning beaches are served by either a PSTA bus or trolley, or the Jolley Trolley lines. The only exceptions are Fort Desoto Park/Beach, Honeymoon Island, Sunset Beach, and Fred Howard Park, as there is no transit service to these destinations. However, bicyclists can ride to these areas without having to venture too far off from a bus route or The Pinellas Trail system.

The Central Avenue Trolley serves the following destinations:

  • Pass-A-Grille Beach
  • St. Pete Beach (transfer point to the Suncoast Beach Trolley is at 75th Ave @ Gulf Blvd)
  • South Pasadena
  • Central Avenue Corridor & the historic Grand Central District
  • PSTA Grand Central Station
  • The Edge (Arts & Entertainment) District
  • Downtown St. Petersburg (including Beach Dr, Sundial Shoppes, and The Pier District)

The Suncoast Beach Trolley serves the following destinations:

  • St. Pete Beach
  • Treasure Island
  • Madeira Beach (including the John’s Pass Shopping District & Boardwalk)
    • Connection to Route 68 is available at John’s Pass. Simply exit the trolley at the stops across from the shopping district and board Route 68 at the northbound-facing stop along Gulf Blvd. You may also transfer by exiting the trolley at any stop along Gulf Blvd between the shopping district & 150th Ave (Tom Stuart Causeway).
  • Reddington Beaches (including Reddington Shores)
    Indian Shores
  • Indian Rocks Beach
    • Connection to Route 59 is available at 4th Ave. Simply exit the trolley at the Gulf Blvd stop by the CVS Pharmacy at 4th Ave & walk one block east to the stop on 4th Ave @ 1st St.
  • There are no stops in the Belleair Beach or Belleair Shores areas.
    • Unfortunately, these communities are not very friendly to transit and do not wish to place any funding towards transit service, so thus there are no trolley stops in these communities.
  • Sand Key Beach
  • Clearwater Beach (including dining and entertainment)
  • PSTA Clearwater Beach Transit Center
  • Island Estates (early morning trips only)
  • PSTA Park St Terminal
  • Downtown Clearwater dining and entertainment
    • The Jolley Trolley Beach Route serves Island Estates after 10:00am. The route also serves many popular Clearwater Beach destinations throughout the day. Departure times are staggered so that you don’t have to wait too long for either a PSTA Suncoast Beach Trolley or a Jolley Trolley vehicle to arrive if you’re traversing the island.

The Jolley Trolley Coastal Route serves the following destinations:

  • Sand Key Beach
  • Clearwater Beach (including dining and entertainment)
  • PSTA Clearwater Beach Transit Center
  • Island Estates
  • PSTA Park St Terminal
  • Downtown Clearwater dining and entertainment
  • Various coastal destinations throughout Dunedin, Ozona, and Tarpon Springs – including the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks.

Regardless of where you venture off to via PSTA, be sure to download the Transit App before you go!


What other transportation options are available?

For those who aren’t using transit to get around, but still don’t want to rent a vehicle, you can utilize Uber and Lyft. Just keep in mind that surge pricing may be in effect during periods of high demand. Taxicab companies will also be busy shutting people around the area.

If you’re visiting Downtown St. Petersburg, you can also take advantage of Coast Bike Share. Fees are affordable and there are numerous hubs located throughout the city.

Going into other counties?

If you plan to visit Hillsborough, Pasco, or Manatee County, please see the resources below for further information.


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