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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Sarasota County Area Transit sells express bus fleet to Hillsborough Area Regional Transit

A New Life

Post was updated on 11/25/2018.
Please see the bottom of this post for the updated information.


Many transit agencies go through vehicle replenishment on a regular basis. Here in the United States, most transit vehicles operate anywhere from 10 to 15 years before it’s time for the agency to bid farewell and retire them. Some agencies however will keep buses on the road longer if the need is there – like if a new bus order is delayed or additional demand arises, while others may part ways earlier than planned if the vehicles are no longer needed – many instances due to shrinking budgets and service reductions.

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PSTA Bus Fleet – September, 2018

#2116 at Williams Park. I last saw this bus in operation back in February, 2018.

Something that I don’t talk about too often via a blog post is bus fleet changes. And for the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), there’s been a ton going on recently – old buses leaving, new buses arriving or on order, and sadly…buses getting into accidents.

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A co-branded livery hits the Paris Metro – Part 2

MF 2001 train #096 prepares to depart Place d'Italie, Line 5. Photo Credit: Minato.
MF 2001 train #097 prepares to depart Place d’Italie, Line 5. Photo Credit: Minato.

I can’t believe that this will be my 250th blog post! I want to thank everyone for following my blog, as well as my social media accounts, throughout the past few years! I truly appreciate everyone who has been able to stop by and read up on the various transit happenings throughout Tampa Bay, New York City, Norfolk, and Paris! In September, after Labor Day, I hope to be able to return to my regular posting schedule and start getting back on track with my Transit Staycations and Norfolk Subway series.

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The MP 89 faces an uncertain future…

Two MP 89CC trains at station Mairie de Montrouge, Line 4. Photo Credit: Minato
Two MP 89CC trains at station Mairie de Montrouge, Line 4. Photo Credit: Minato.

7/12/13: This article, published on 7/11/13, now points out a completion of Line 4 automation by 2019, which is definitely more in line with the completion of the Bagneux extension. There is also a hint in the article that stock from Line 14 (Mp 89CA/MP 05) may be transferred over to Line 4, but still nothing is mentioned about the fate of the MP 89CC.

In June of 2012, I first reported about the cascading of rolling stock throughout the Paris Metro system, specifically that of Lines 1, 4, 5, and 9. A little over a year later, this latest round of cascading is nearing its final phase, with Line 9 set to get brand new MF 2001 trains beginning in September! I’ll be discussing about this upcoming transition, and following up on my previous post about the new look of the Paris subway rolling stock as we know it, in a later post. In this post however, I will be highlighting the uncertainty of my favorite Paris subway rolling stock, the MP 1989.

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March Friday Rewind – PSTA’s Hybrid Buses

I know that I didn’t post a Friday Rewind for February, for I was occupied with designing other posts. However, I do have a segment for March, which will reflect on a post I made back on December 10, 2008.

On this day, I blogged about the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) receiving a fleet of swanky new hybrid buses. Let’s take a look at the previous posting first:

As if PSTA already has awesome buses (both Gilligs and New Flyers), things are about to get even better! According to this PDF newsletter from a few months back, PSTA is slated to purchase 10 new hybrid buses. Three of these buses will be of the BRT style, similar to SCAT’s hybrid fleet, while the remaining seven buses will be trolley style, to run on the Suncoast Beach Trolley Line. You can begin seeing these buses in the PSTA fleet next year.

Today, PSTA has 24 hybrid buses, with plans to increase that fleet to 36 buses by the end of 2013! A portion of these buses are trolley-style, while the rest are BRT-style. The entire hybrid fleet was manufactured by Gillig Corporation out of Hayward, CA.

One of the neat things about hybrid buses of course is the fuel efficiency. In today’s world, where gas prices act like a roller coaster, PSTA felt it made the right choice when they purchased their first batch of hybrid buses back in 2008. The agency has seen their hybrid fleet take on an average increase of 56% in fuel economy, versus their standard diesel fueled buses. That’s a substantial difference! I have a very good feeling that as long as the funding avenues are open, you can expect to see even more hybrid buses incorporated into PSTA’s fleet over the next few years. Though I haven’t had a chance to ride a PSTA bus yet (aside from one of the stylish express motorcoaches), I certainly hope to be able to do so later this year.

Warmest Regards,

HARTride 2012

A co-branded livery hits the Paris Metro – Part 1

The MI 09 commuter rail train featuring co-branded RATP/STIF livery. Click here for photo details.

With the rolling stock transition soon coming to a close on Line 5, the RATP has already begun preparing for the next phase of rolling stock replenishment for Line 9. Line 9 currently possesses the aging MF 67 series D rolling stock, which are gradually reaching the ends of their useful lives. In 2011, the STIF voted to purchase 66 MF 2000 trains to replace the existing 70 MF 67 on Line 9. Because of changes in government policy (ORTF Law of 8 December 2009), the STIF is now required to fund replacement rolling stock by 50% and rolling stock for new lines or extensions by 100%. This eventually lead the STIF to fund the purchase of the MF 2000 rolling stock for Line 9, as well as the MP 05 rolling stock for Line 14.

With these two lines about to be equipped with new rolling stock, evidence of what has become the norm on the Parisian transport system has already been seen on the Paris Metro system…at least by a few so far. That new norm is a co-branded livery that features the white and mint green tones of the RATP, and the grey tones of the STIF (along with the string of leaflets). On SNCF-controlled rail lines, this co-branded livery comes in the form of the grey tones of the STIF and the shades of red of the SNCF. Though this co-branded livery presents a very unique and modern style for rolling stock, as well as buses, I have to say that the livery stops short of being anything close to “awesome”. In other words, I’m not really that thrilled to see the new livery, though things could have been much worse in my opinion.

The first co-branded livery appeared on renovated MI 79 trainsets (RER Line B) in 2011. This particular co-branded livery was unique in the sense that it included tones from all three agencies; the RATP, the STIF, and the SNCF, creating what I call an “organized colorful mess” of mint green, white, grey, and red. The co-branding trend quickly followed onto the numerous fleets of buses that the RATP has purchased since 2010, though in a more simpler form of green, grey, and white. In 2011, the MI 09 rolling stock (RER Line A) was unveiled with a co-branded livery featuring mint green vertical stripes down each door and a horizontal grey banner of the STIF. More recently, the new SNCF Z50000 suburban rail trains and the refurbished SNCF Z20500 commuter rail trains have received similar treatment with grey, white, and red tones, creating a fresh, modern look for both sets of rolling stock.

Now, we have the MF 2000 subway stock for Line 9 gracing a similar co-branded livery to that of the MI 09 commuter rail trains, with the green/white body replaced with grey/white tones and green vertical stripes along each door. This livery has officially marked the beginning of the new norm along the Paris Metro, where the RATP’s mint green and white livery has dominated the underground landscape since the early 1990s. With the MP 05 next on the list for Line 14 reinforcement, we can expect to see the blackend tones be replaced with a lighter shade of grey and the same vertical green stripes on the doors. Don’t think that I’m thrilled to see that happening either…because I’m really not.

Just putting in my 2 cents on the matter folks!

HARTride 2012

Some MI 84 commuter rail stock trains to be re-assigned…

I heard from the Symbioz forums a few days ago that the STIF is proposing to re-deploy twenty trainsets of the MI 84, the commuter rail rolling stock that is gradually being phased out from the RER Line A. This latest development appeared in a media release from the STIF dated February 13, 2013. The release is in French, so you will need a translating service to translate the document into your native language.

Until new rolling stock is ordered to replenish the aging fleet of trains along the RER Line D and Suburban Rail Line R, the STIF is proposing the use of outgoing MI 81 rolling stock to reinforce a portion of both lines for the meantime. The sections that would utilize the MI 81 include the Melun/Juvisy segment of the RER Line D and the Melun/Montereau branch of Suburban Rail Line R. The MI 81 stock along the RER Line A is currently being replaced with the new MI 09 stock, which was introduced in 2011.

Some in Paris may wonder why the MI 81 is being replaced before its predecessor, the MS 61. My understanding is that the MI 81, though similar to its counterpart on the RER Line B, the MI 79, the MI 81 was constructed in a cheaper manner than the MI 79, resulting in greater wear and tear. As a result of this, none of the MI 81 stock have been heavily refurbished, unlike the MS 61. However, it seems that the STIF can put some of the MI 81 trains to good use for a few more years because they will not need extensive refurbishment to run on the other lines, probably just some minor aesthetic and mechanical improvements.

In addition to the possible movement of the MI 81 stock to the RER Line D and Suburban Rail Line R, the STIF is also proposing to bring forth 12 Z2N commuter rail trains to the northern portion of the RER Line D to strengthen service. These trains would be transferred from Suburban Rail Line P, which is currently getting the brand new Z 50000 series rolling stock (known also as the Francilien).

 

HARTride 2012

Merry Christmas & the Year-End Transit Roundup!

Hi everyone!

I know that I’ve been lagging behind on posting as of late. I’ve been trying to get into a regular schedule, but November and December have been much busier than I thought. Holiday event planning is definitely no easy task, and I’ve been having to help my family out with several different events that took place during the past couple months. Add to that; my computer problems during August and September, and my hiatus from earlier in the year. I know that in the end, I probably let down some of my viewers, and I sincerely apologize for that. I hope that with the new year, I can finally devote some time to make some major updates.

For those of you who celebrate Christmas, I would like to wish you, and your family a very Merry Christmas! I certainly hope that you are able to enjoy this wonderful day, no matter where you are located!

With all this said, I would like to take some time to reflect back on some of the major transit-related developments that occurred in 2012. I have grouped everything by month, and color coded each event as they pertain to the particular focus region that I cover in my blog.

BLUE: Tampa Bay (HART, PSTA, MCAT, SCAT, PCPT, Hernando THEbus, Citrus County Transportation)

GREEN: Orlando Area (LYNX, SunRail)

RED: Hampton Roads, VA (HRT)

TEAL: New York City, NY (NYCMTA)

PURPLE: Paris, France (RATP, STIF, SNCF)

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HART unveils first MetroRapid bus!

Checking into my social media accounts this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the first MetroRapid bus has rolled into town! Yes, you heard me right, HART’s new MetroRapid buses have begun their cross-country trek from California to Tampa, with the first one arriving yesterday! You can view a Twitter photo of the bus from HART’s Twitter Feed. They also have posted the news on their Facebook Page.

I’m very much surprised by the release of the new buses. I did not actually think that the new MetroRapid buses would begin rolling out until maybe January, 2013 at the earliest. However, since construction of the MetroRapid system is moving along rather quickly, I guess it is better for HART to have the buses ready to roll by the time the system opens (after all, the buses have to be driven around Tampa so that drivers are accustomed to the new buses and any bugs are worked out).

My understanding is that the new buses are very similar to that of the 29XX and 10XX buses that HART added to their fleet in 2009 and 2010 respectively. However, the rear end of the bus has a similar styling to that of the 25XX buses. The interiors sport the same seating configuration as the 29XX and 10XX buses, but the color scheme is that of white, gray, and green tones to match the MetroRapid livery. It is also my understanding that HART will have 12 of these buses on the road when the first segment of the MetroRapid system opens in 2013 (I previously had mentioned 15, but because HART later decided to reduce frequency of the route from 10 minute peak headways/15 minute non-peak headways to 15 minute peak/20 minute non-peak, the number of buses to be purchased for the route was reduced to 12). The buses are manufactured by Gillig Corporation, based in Hayward, California (yes, that’s why they make that cross-country trip).

I hope to have more info on this up soon! 😀

Warmest Regards,

HARTride 2012.