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