For the month of July, I head back to my original home transit system – HART – to capture #1211 at the Marion Transit Center. #1211 is part of a batch of fourteen buses that were purchased by HART in 2012. The first twelve – #’s 1201 through 1212 – were assigned for the MetroRapid premium bus service, while the last two – #’s 1215 and 1216 – were ordered to replace #2005 and #2015 (both 2000-series buses) respectively. In 2015, #1212 was re-wrapped and placed into service on local and express routes as a fill-in until the 2015 and 2016 bus fleets arrive. As of July, 2017, #1212 remains in local/express service and there is no word if the bus will return to MetroRapid. There is currently speculation within the transit community that HART’s upcoming 2017 buses may replace a few 1200s on MetroRapid, specifically #’s 1720 throguh 1729, which are set to be delivered at the end of the year. If this is the case, then we could see more 2012-series buses be re-wrapped for local/express service.
During the past couple of weeks, I’ve been planning out my next website update. I’m roughly a year behind on posting PSTA and HART bus photos, there hasn’t been any major website expansion for even longer than that, and there hasn’t been a whole lot in new blog posts either. Truth to be told, I’ve been really busy with other priorities and I am just getting back to being able to tend to the Global Transit Guidebook.
What you will see in the next few weeks will be pretty significant, and some of the changes have already been implemented.
Updating of PSTA, HART, MCAT, & SCAT photos.
Adding a Northeastern U.S. Transports section, starting off with the New York City MTA and my recent travels to the city.
Building the East Central Florida and Florida Panhandle sections.
Updating all website graphics so that each page has the same look.
If you hover your cursor over the main navigation bar at the top, you’ll see under the Transports tab, that the NE U.S. section is already there, along with the New York City MTA page. I will add a second subsection regarding New Jersey Transit, the PATH Subway, and the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail later this year. I’ve also updated the navigation graphics on the homepage and Transports page to reflect what you will see on other pages. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns, or would like to contribute material to the site.
Returning from my 2017 New York City Transit Excursion, I present to you this wonderful vantage point of the Coney Island – Stillwell Ave Subway Station. The station serves as the southern terminus for the (D), (F), (N), and (Q) trains, though occasionally, you’ll see other lines being detoured here. Most recently, the (G) train has been detoured here several times due to maintenance on other tracks that prevent the (F) from serving the station. At one time, the train served the terminal when it served the West End Line. West End service was replaced by the (D) train in 2005.
The original multi-line terminal complex was built back in 1917, though a prior West End terminal sat at the same location since the late 1800s. Over time, the complex became a crucial transfer point between the numerous subway and bus lines that traversed Coney Island and other parts of the New York City metro region. In 2004, the complex underwent a massive overhaul to restore deteriorating tracks and components, as well as to rebuild the platforms themselves. The original station facade was restored and a sweeping European-style vaulted canopy was constructed across the boarding area. The canopy is equipped with solar panels.
Our photo contributor and Social Media moderator John is showcasing this 2003 35-foot New Flyer D35LF transit bus for the May “Photo of the Month”. This bus (out of four total) originally belonged to Capital Metro in Austin, TX as #2028, but is now part of the Community Connector bus fleet in Bangor, ME as #0329. Community Connector has several buses in its fleet that were purchased secondhand – meaning that the buses were retired by one agency and then sold to another for rehabilitation and second revenue service life. Despite the heavy mechanical overhaul that the four buses have received (along with Community Connector’s red exterior livery), the interiors largely retain the Capital Metro styling, including the seats and seat cushions.
I would like to take a few moments to inform my readers that I will be on vacation during the week of May 7 through 13, 2017. During this time; website activities will be temporarily suspended, and Social Media activities will be limited. My South Florida and Northeast Regional moderators will be overseeing The Global Transit Guidebook Facebook Page during my time away. Please do not hesitate to reach out to them if you have any questions or concerns.
For the month of April, our “Photo of the Month” is Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority #16102 – one of seven new 2016-model 40-foot Gillig Low Floor BRT design Diesel-Electric Hybrid buses. These buses arrived on the PSTA premises back in December of 2016 and began entering revenue service during March of 2017 (though #’s 16101 and 16105 have not yet seen revenue service).
While these buses are virtually identical to their older BRT hybrid counterparts, they sport the latest in BAE HybriDrive technology, so the ride is much smoother and quieter. In fact, if the bus is traveling less than 20mph, the battery is in full control. Also, when the bus is idle, you may notice a slight vibration in the bus as if the engine is shutting off. This is not the case however, the bus is still running even though it is in idle. Operators had to receive special training on this so that they do not think something has gone wrong with the bus. Once the bus exceeds 20mph, or if the battery life drops below 60%, the diesel engine will kick on and recharge the battery. The diesel engine on these buses do not sound as loud as their older counterparts either.
Currently, you’ll find these buses mostly on Route 59, but they have appeared on Routes 18, 52, 74, and 300X from time to time.
The March, 2017 “Photo of the Month” is a preserved GM New Look transit bus, taken by photo contributor Dion M.. These buses were introduced by General Motors in 1959 and became a staple in public transit networks throughout the US and Canada through the 1970s and 80s. Many buses remain preserved thanks to various non-profit groups who have committed resources to keeping the history of these buses alive.
The Photo of the Month for February, 2017 was taken by my photo contributor Jake. He resides in Orange City, FL, which is just west-southwest of Daytona Beach, and has taken many photos of the transit buses in Volusia County, as well as neighboring Seminole and Orange Counties. The transit systems that he has photographed include Volusia County Transit (Votran), the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (d.b.a. LYNX), and SunRail. In addition, Jake often takes photos and videos of various First Responder vehicles. You can check out his YouTube Channel and Flickr Feed when you have a few moments.
The photograph shown here is of one of many LYNX transit buses. Over the past several years, the Gillig Low Floor BRT style transit bus has become the mainstay transit bus for the agency – with their one-piece windshields and sloping front and rear. LYNX has recently been ushering in CNG-powered transit buses, which means that the newer Gillig BRT+ style transit buses began making their debut in 2015. Making their debut in 2016 was a line of New Flyer Xcelsior CNG articulated buses, along with another batch of Gillig Low Floor BRT+ style CNG buses. LYNX also has several Nova LFS artics and two NABI BRT style artics in its fleet.
You may be reading the title of this post, but that’s not what I’m calling this story. In fact, right now, the story doesn’t have a name – not even a working title. However, I feel that I have put together enough details to be able to bring forth some basic information about the project to my readers.
What is this story about?
First and foremost, this is purely a work of fiction. While it does take place in a real life area, the characters, venues, and many other elements of the story are all fictional, and all of my own creation. There will be some references to present-day events, places, and public figures, but all are done so coincidentally.
The story takes place in the Tampa Bay Area, but primarily St. Petersburg – all set in the year 2066 (later going into 2067). There won’t be flying cars (I don’t see that we’ll be in the Jetsons age that quickly), but vehicles will be automated and a key roadway that many use today won’t be in existence. There will also be a vast bus and monorail system involved, as well as a built-out Brightline intercity rail system, and a wide array of areas for people to take a breath of fresh air at (also known as parks).
The story revolves around a young man named Nathan Tipton. He is a police officer in San Francisco who winds up moving to St. Petersburg with his mom and younger brother (the latter who is also a police officer). While trying to get adjusted to his new life in Florida, he runs into some old friends and adversaries while trying to make new friends and find his forever soulmate. Throughout the story, Nate also encounters a variety of situations with some being harder to deal with than others.
As I continue to put this story together, I will post subsequent updates regarding the characters, venues, and the overall area by which the story takes place in. I don’t want to reveal too much more about the plot so as to not spoil everything.
If you’d like to provide any suggestions for this project, please feel free to contact me through the Contact Form (link is below).
The Photo of the Month for December, 2016 was taken by my photo contributor and Social Media moderator Carlos. He resides in the Miami, FL area and frequents Miami-Dade Transit, as well as Broward County Transit, PalmTran, Tri-Rail, and from time to time – visits other transit systems in Florida and beyond. His most recent out-of-state trip was to New York City, where he got to visit the new 34th St/Hudson Yards subway station.
The bus photographed was the Optare Solo low floor shuttle bus, which was very short-lived in the United States due to a lack of demand and sales. Miami-Dade Transit purchased several of these buses during the course of 2003 with some having a rear door. During the time that this bus was being introduced in the US, Optare was owned by North American Bus Industries (NABI), which was recently bought out by New Flyer Industries. NABI sold Optare in 2005 and that contributed to the demise of the Solo bus in the US.