September, 2019 Photo of the Month

Showcase Time!

Our September Showcase photo came in a bit late here on the website due to some personal obligations. However, it’s better late than never that I get this next post up, so…with that, we continue our journey across the US. Where to next you ask?


This month, we travel over to what is known as #CityBeautiful – Orlando, FL. The Orlando region is home to a tri-county regional transit agency known as the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority – which does business as LYNX.

LYNX operates roughly 85 bus routes throughout Orange, Osceola, & Seminole Counties, as well as a paratransit service called Access LYNX, & a flex-route neighborhood connector service called NeighborLink. Additionally, the agency operates limited-stop routes called FastLink & a Bus Rapid Transit style circulator system in Orlando called LYMMO. LYNX routes are commonly referred to as Links & the agency’s mascot is the lynx.

LYNX’s bus fleet mostly comprises of 40′ Gillig Low Floor buses with the BRT styling. However, there are several articulated bus fleets that operate on busier routes like the 8 & 50. These articulated buses include 2013 & 2014-series Nova Low Floor Series (LFS), as well as 2016 & 2019 New Flyer Xcelsiors. The above photo is of 2016 NFI XN60 (CNG) #226-616.

Like many transit agencies across the nation, LYNX is unable to provide as much service as it would like due to funding constraints. There is currently talk of holding a transportation sales tax referendum to help fund LYNX & SunRail service in Orange County, but it isn’t clear as to whether this will indeed be pursued.


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New WordPress Features (Test Post)

Just testing some new things…


While creating my last couple of blog posts, I noticed that WordPress rolled out a few new editing blocks for me to insert. I’ve created this testing post so that I could try them out & see how I can incorporate some of these new features into future blog posts & page updates.


CoBlocks

Not sure what these are, but let’s find out…

Okay, so the first CoBlock I inserted is one with a few buttons. You’re limited to four buttons per block, but it’s not necessarily bad. I’ve been able to modify the above setting so that there is adequate spacing between rows, otherwise, the layout looks very awkward.

The links that are connected to each button actually do work – they link to the respective pages on my Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority subsection. Since this new feature is available, I am considering replacing many of my graphical “buttons” with these.

After further research…

…via a Google search, I found the page that explains it all!


Let’s check out some other things that I haven’t used

It’s honestly been a while since I’ve scrolled through all of the editing blocks that are available in the newer WordPress editing interface, & I’ve noticed a few that I previously did not see. Let’s check those blocks out now.

Videos with a caption sidebar. Nice!

The above block allows me to insert a photo or video & then do a quick write-up on the side – such by which would be longer in length than a normal underneath caption.

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Tables. You will see one used from time to time.

  • Welcome to the Blog!

    September 3, 2013 by

    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… Read more

  • September, 2019 Photo of the Month

    September 8, 2019 by

    Our September Showcase photo came in a bit late here on the website due to some personal obligations. However, it’s better late than never that I get this next post up, so…with that, we continue our journey across the US. Where to next you ask? This month, we travel over to what is known as… Read more

  • Labor Day 2019 Holiday Transit Schedule

    August 29, 2019 by

    Monday, September 2, 2018 is Labor Day and many transit agencies will be running limited service, with some agencies not operating at all. As always, please see the listing below to see what level of service that each transit district will operate. Florida Below are the normal Labor Day service levels for Florida.Please keep in… Read more

  • Weather Advisory – Hurricane Dorian

    August 28, 2019 by

    Post was last updated on 09/10/2019 @ 9:35am EDT.This was the final update made. Dorian was declared as an extratropical system on 09/07/2019 and continues to move east, northeast across the eastern Canadian maritimes (Nova Scotia & Newfoundland). As the storm enters the northern Atlantic, it is expected to be downgraded to an extratropical storm,… Read more

  • New WordPress Features (Test Post)

    August 14, 2019 by

    While creating my last couple of blog posts, I noticed that WordPress rolled out a few new editing blocks for me to insert. I’ve created this testing post so that I could try them out & see how I can incorporate some of these new features into future blog posts & page updates. CoBlocks Not… Read more

  • The Back To School 2019 Post

    August 12, 2019 by

    It’s time for students to return to school – & the school buses to hit the roads once again. Well folks! It’s that time again! Time for many people to head back to school! & whether you’re a college student attending one of the local colleges or universities, or a parent trying to get some… Read more

View all posts

Recent blog post listing. Perfect for my next homepage update!

Columns feature, so I can format a post similar to a newsletter.

There are multiple column options available as well, so that you can really customize the look & feel of your post or page. I think it’s pretty cool!

This feature alone gives me a lot of ideas for future posts. I’ve also been looking for ways to do a periodic “newsletter” format post.

I’ve tried a couple of different avenues for this “newsletter” & wound up dramatically failing at it.

As I continue to test out new features, I will eventually decide whether to incorporate them in future posts or page updates.

August, 2019 Photo of the Month

Showcase Time!

Our August Showcase photo came in a bit late here on the website due to some personal obligations. However, it’s better late than never that I get this next post up, so…with that, we continue our journey across the US. Where to next you ask?


This month, we travel back to the Tampa Bay area to visit my current home transit system – the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA).

PSTA was established in 1982, when the St. Petersburg Municipal Transit System & the Central Pinellas Transit Authority merged to create one unified, countywide entity. PSTA currently operates roughly 40 bus routes with roughly 200 transit vehicles. The agency also provides support to the St. Petersburg Downtown Trolley (a.k.a. the “Looper”), the Clearwater Jolley Trolley, & participates in several different mobility partnerships across Pinellas County.

While PSTA does its best to provide efficient service throughout Pinellas, the agency has been dealing with many financial constraints that limits its potential. This problem is echoed by many transit agencies across the nation & is not expected to get much better unless new long-term funding sources are opened.

The photo above is of one of PSTA’s newest buses, # 19102, which is a 2019 35-foot Gillig Low Floor hybrid with the BRT style front. PSTA has gained a total of 20 transit buses & 8 cutaway vans during the past two years that have allowed the agency to rid itself of all of its 2001 & 2002-era buses, as well as a few of the worst performing 2008-series buses.

Next year’s bus order is slated to be rather large as well – with 19 replacement replica trolley buses to replace the aging 2007, 2008, & 2009 models, as well as roughly 15 more buses for the planned Central Ave BRT project. Additionally, there may be a provision – depending on funding – for up to 10 additional regular service buses. So thus, PSTA may very well be able to order a total of 44 buses.


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July, 2019 Photo of the Month

Showcase Time!

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

Miami-Dade Transit (a.k.a. Miami-Dade Department of Transportation & Public Works – DTPW) # 19154 on Route 137.

This month, we head southeast to Miami, FL, where we have the largest transit system in all of Florida – Miami-Dade Transit. The above photo was taken by our South Florida regional moderator Carlos A.

Miami-Dade Transit was established in 1960 and oversees roughly 90 bus routes, 2 elevated rail lines, a people mover system, & paratransit services. The agency is currently planning to execute a major overhaul of its bus system & wishes to expand upon the current Metrorail elevated rail network. However, like many transit agencies across the globe – funding & political issues act as blockades at times when it comes to realizing the system’s full potential.

One of the biggest problems that has faced M-D DTPW is that its entire fleet has become vastly outdated, with buses & trains consistently breaking down, causing customer frustration throughout the network. Fortunately, this scene is being alleviated with new modern trains & buses, which are entering service throughout the remainder of 2019 & continuing through 2020. Once the fleet has been replenished, there could very well be a major expansion effort that follows.

Our South Florida regional moderator Carlos resides in the Miami area & regularly rides the M-D DTPW system. His photos also grace the Global Transit Guidebook website. Pretty soon, you’ll be seeing a dedicated section to the DTPW network – including a list of bus & rail routes, fleet page, & other information.


Please be sure to bookmark my website: globaltransitguidebook.com | Contact Me.

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Legalese | Disclosures

June, 2019 Photo of the Month

Showcase Time!

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

Hillsborough Area Regional Transit # 1218 (ex-Sarasota County Area Transit # 1202X) at the Marion Transit Center in Tampa, FL.

This month, we come back to my original home transit system – Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) in Tampa, FL – to showcase one of its newer additions to the fleet. No, it’s not the swanky new 2019 Gilligs, those will be profiled in a later post. Instead, I’m going to focus on the first batch of secondhand buses that HART has had during the past decade – the 2011 and 2012 40-foot suburban style Gilligs from Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT). Before I jump into the buses themselves, let’s take a glance at the HART system as a whole.

HART began back in 1981 as a countywide replacement to privately-operated service Tampa City Lines – which was originally parented by National City Lines. The agency started with roughly 20 or so local routes and a small handful of “Downtowner” express routes that converged into downtown Tampa. Over time, the system gradually expanded to include major portions of Hillsborough County, including Plant City, Temple Terrace, Carrollwood, & Ruskin.

In 2005 & 2017 respectively, the agency underwent significant service overhauls & optimizations to gradually shift away from the old hub-spoke system & towards a more gridded system that focuses on streetside transfers rather than formal hubs. With the possibility that a new funding source will finally be put to good use, the agency is gearing up for a major expansion over the next decade that would include doubling current bus service & possibly create new multimodal avenues throughout the county.

Currently, HART has roughly 200 buses in its fleet – but should have around 450 or so to effectively serve the needs of Hillsborough. As of May, 2019, 70 of those buses are powered by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), & there are plans to add battery electrics to the fleet in the coming years. In addition to the mainstay fleet, HART has acquired the 8 Gillig buses from Sarasota, as well as 6 Gillig buses from Orlando – marking the second time in 11 years that the agency has purchased secondhand buses.

So how are the ex-SCAT suburbans doing?

On November 13, 2018, #’s 1201X (now 1217) & 1202X (now 1218) were formally transferred to HART. Re-branding of the buses into the HART livery began shortly thereafter, followed by general preparation (installing the HART fareboxes, radios, etc.). 1218’s first day in revenue service with HART was March 5, 2019, with 1217 following suit on March 26, 2019. During the course of May 1 through 3, 2019 – after being delayed due to paperwork issues on SCAT’s end – #’s 1101X through 1106X (to be re-branded as simply 1101 through 1106) were transferred & are currently undergoing re-branding. I predict that these buses will be on the road by the beginning of September, though they could enter revenue service as early as mid August. All of the buses will primarily be assigned to Routes 60LX & 275LX – which serve Tampa International Airport. However, runs on Route 20X have happened & runs on the 360LX are not entirely out of the question either.


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May, 2019 Photo of the Month

Showcase Time!

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

Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) # B028 on the First Coast Flyer Blue Line.

This month’s destination is Jacksonville, FL, known to many as River City, as the mouth of the St. Johns River is just east of the city center. Jacksonville is among a handful of cities that I know of by which are completely incorporated into the county by which they’re located in. This means that no matter what point you enter Duval County, you also simultaneously enter the Jacksonville city limits. This also means that some services – such as police – operate as a combined countywide entity, rather than having separate municipal and county departments.

In 1988, the residents of Duval passes a gas tax aimed at funding various transportation needs within the county without continuing to rely on tolls. This allowed tolling points along the various tolled bridges and expressways to be eliminated. This, along with other organizational changes over the years allowed the JTA to take on the scope of not just providing public transit services, but also county-level roadway improvements [though some projects involve coordination with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)].

The JTA currently operates the Skyway monorail in Downtown Jacksonville, as well as 30 local bus routes, 7 shuttle bus routes, 4 express bus routes, and the First Coast Flyer BRT Lite network – comprising of 4 lines (one of which is currently under construction). The JTA also operates the St Johns River Ferry, the Clay Community Transportation flex van service, the Gameday Xpress football game shuttle during Jacksonville Jaguars home games, and Paratransit services (Connexion). Additionally, the JTA partners with other entities to provide Connexion Plus (private, same-day, door-to-door service), ReadiRide (on-demand ride-share style service), and the Nassau Express Select van service.

I’ve had the opportunity to visit Jacksonville on several occasions during the past two decades, but more recently, I’ve been able to hop on a few of the JTA local routes, as well as the First Coast Flyer Green, Blue, and Red lines. The Purple Line remains under construction, with a projected opening for some time in 2020. The bus depicted in this month’s photo was on the Blue Line. The JTA’s bus fleet comprises of all Gillig Low Floor models, with some newer buses possessing the BRT Plus styling. While most of the fleet is diesel-powered, there are a few diesel-electric hybrid buses operating. In 2014, JTA began transitioning its fleet to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), with its first batch of buses becoming operational in 2015. There are a total of 94 CNG buses in operation (out of a total of roughly 200 buses), with 43 of them being specifically branded for the FCF system.


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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.


Please be sure to bookmark my website: globaltransitguidebook.com | Contact Me.

You can also find me on Social Media: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

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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.


Please be sure to bookmark my website: globaltransitguidebook.com | Contact Me.

You can also find me on Social Media: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

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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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