November, 2019 Photo of the Month

Showcase Time!

Our November Showcase photo is here! Can you believe we’re almost at the end of 2019? Anyhow, we continue our journey across the US. Where to next you ask?

MUNI Metro # 2029, paired with # 2006 (in the background).

If you happen to follow my HARTride 2012 page on Facebook, then you already know that I was given the opportunity to travel again – this time, to the San Francisco Bay Area. This was my first trip to the Bay Area in nearly 20 years & I wanted to make sure that I utilized public transit to the greatest extent possible. Be sure to look out for my new blog series Journeys Afar featuring highlights from this trip. I’ll also re-launch & (hopefully complete) my 2017 New York City trip under the new series.

Selecting this month’s Showcase photo was no easy task, as I had about a dozen good transit photos from my trip that I deemed worthy of putting up. So yesterday, I put everything up for a vote on The Global Transit Guidebook Forum Facebook group & asked members which of the photos would they like to see uploaded? While the voting process began as a rather close battle with two other photos, the spread widened during the evening hours just prior to me closing the poll.

Discussing the featured photo & its accompanying system now, the train photographed is San Francisco Municipal Railway (known as MUNI) # 2029, which was paired with # 2006 (showing in the background). These trains are 2016-series Siemens LRVs, with # 2006 coincidentally being the first set to enter revenue service back in November of 2017. The trains are poised to replace aging Breda (which was acquired by Hitachi in 2015) model trainsets through 2028.

Both the Siemens LRVs & the older Breda LRVs operate on MUNI’s Metro system – which is a light rail network that operates like a metro/subway – especially along the central section underneath Market St. In fact, trains utilize the upper level of the double decker track section underneath Market that was originally envisioned for Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) service that would have connected to Marin County. Marin was originally supportive of BART but eventually withdrew in the early stages of the network’s planning & construction process, thus plans to connect the rail network to that county died completely.

The MUNI Metro system comprises of 6 lines, all denoted by letter. Each letter is derived from the corridor by which each line travels down after exiting the central section underneath Market St. For instance, the (T) is derived from its running along Third St. A 7th (shuttle) service operates as a supplement to regular services in the central section during peak weekday hours & San Francisco Giants home games. An 8th line is currently under construction & projected to open in 2021.

The broader MUNI multimodal network was originally established in 1912 & is owned & operated by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). The network includes over 50 bus routes, roughly 17 of those being trolleybus lines by which electric buses run on overhead poles connected to overhead wires, 2 heritage streetcar lines that operate on street level, & 3 heritage cable car lines. The agency also operates the Presidio Go shuttles in the Presidio section of San Francisco, as well as SF Paratransit services.


Want to see your photo featured?

This month’s Showcase photo was courtesy of The Global Transit Guidebook Forum member G.D.W.

If you’d like to see your transit-related photo featured in the future, please select the Contact link below, or join The Global Transit Guidebook Forum Facebook Group.


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

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Legalese | Disclosures

Fall, 2019 Website Update & Vacation Notice

It’s been a busy October…


Website Updates

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been making some major revisions to the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) subsection of The Global Transit Guidebook website. These revisions include the addition of over 100 new transit vehicle photos, the creation of a new retired transit vehicles subsection, & updating route info to reflect the newly minted service changes for the fall. I hope that you’ll spend some time going through the changes I’ve made to this subsection & let me know what you think!

In the coming months, I intend to make the same revisions to the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) subsection, which you’ll notice that I’ve temporarily taken down in preparation of this. What you see on the revised PSTA subsection will be similar to what you’ll see on the revised HART subsection.

In addition to the PSTA subsection overhaul, I’ve also revised the Tampa International Airport & Cross-Bay Ferry subsections, as well as opened the Polk Citrus Connection subsection. The latter will begin as a single-page subsection until I’m able to make a trip out to Polk County to explore the system there.


Vacation Time!

With the above said, it’s about time for me to embark on another adventure! Where am I going exactly? Well, you’ll have to stay tuned to my social media channels to find out. If you’re not already following me on social media, please take a moment to do so via the links found at the bottom of the post. I also suggest that you follow my HARTride 2012 page on Facebook, as this is where you’ll see my check-ins & other musings during my adventure.

As always, there will be no website updates or new blog posts until I return & social media activities will be somewhat limited. However, my social media moderators are available to answer any questions or concerns that you may have. If you’re not already a member of The Global Transit Guidebook Forum Facebook Group, I highly encourage you to join! Before I wrap up this post, I want to go over a few things that you’ll see in November.

  • The November Showcase photo & corresponding blog post will be posted/uploaded on Saturday, November 2, 2019.
  • The HART subsection revisions will begin on Sunday, November 3, 2019 & will continue through the month. My goal is to have the revised subsection up by the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • The Veterans Day Holiday Transit Service Schedules blog post will be posted on Sunday, November 3, 2019.
  • The 2019 Winter Holiday Transit Service Schedules blog post will be posted on Thursday, November 14, 2019.
  • Episode 7 of my Transit 101 series will be posted on Wednesday, November 20, 2019.

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

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

Legalese | Disclosures

October, 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?

Bee Line # 135 on Route 52. 2005 32′ Orion V.

This month, we travel back to the New York City region. But once again, we’re not focusing on the New York MTA. Instead, we’re shifting to the transit agency that operates immediately north of the Bronx – which is Westchester County & Westchester Transportation, known as the Bee Line. The Bee Line is owned by the Westchester County Department of Public Works and Transportation, though services are contracted out to Liberty Lines Transit and PTLA Enterprise.

The Bee Line operates over 40 bus routes spanning Yonkers, White Plains, New Rochelle, Hartsdale, Hawthorne, Peekskill, Pleasantville, and many other communities within Westchester County, as well as southeastern Putnam County. Additionally, some bus routes in the southern & central county extend down to the Bronx – allowing customers a seamless connection between the Bee Line system & the MTA system. These routes are in addition to the White Plains to Midtown Manhattan Express – Route 28, which is coded as the BxM4C to match the MTA style of route numbering. Also, the Bee Line honors the MTA MetroCard & is on track to adopt the new OMNY tap-&-go fare payment system by 2022.

Bee Line’s fleet comprises of mostly Orion V units – like the one pictured above. However, with Orion no longer in existence, the agency made its first New Flyer Xcelsior purchase in 2018 – with a batch of hybrid articulated buses. It is likely that more New Flyer Xcelsiors will gradually replace the aging lineup of Orion, Neoplan, & North American Bus Industries (NABI) buses – all of the latter having gone out of business in the past two decades.


Want to see your photo featured?

This month’s Showcase photo was courtesy of The Global Transit Guidebook Forum member G.D.W.

If you’d like to see your transit-related photo featured in the future, please select the Contact link below, or join The Global Transit Guidebook Forum Facebook Group.


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

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

Legalese | Disclosures

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.


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

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

Legalese | Disclosures

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

  • Introducing – Journeys Afar

    November 7, 2019 by

    While I’ve written several Transit Tourism type posts during the course of the past several years, I never really had a name for the series. But now I do! Journeys Afar will take you on a documented journey along my out-of-town trips by which I’m able to utilize public transportation. Such posts will include re-launches… Read more

  • Veterans Day 2019 Holiday Service Schedules

    November 7, 2019 by

    Monday, November 11 is Veterans Day, with Friday, November 10, 2019 being observed by government offices.  While most transit agencies that I cover will operate a normal weekday schedule on November 11, some agencies may have exceptions as to which routes will run. Other agencies (specifically some smaller agencies) will not operate at all on… Read more

  • Service Alert: TECOline Streetcar

    November 3, 2019 by

    Beginning Monday, November 4, 2019, through February of 2020, the TECOline Streetcar Line will experience a service interruption due to ballast replacement along the streetcar right of way between Cadrecha Plaza in Ybor City & Cumberland St in the Channelside District. Please see the map below for an overview of how service will operate during… Read more

  • November, 2019 Photo of the Month

    November 2, 2019 by

    Our November Showcase photo is here! Can you believe we’re almost at the end of 2019? Anyhow, we continue our journey across the US. Where to next you ask? If you happen to follow my HARTride 2012 page on Facebook, then you already know that I was given the opportunity to travel again – this… Read more

  • Fall, 2019 Website Update & Vacation Notice

    October 20, 2019 by

    Website Updates Over the past couple of months, I’ve been making some major revisions to the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) subsection of The Global Transit Guidebook website. These revisions include the addition of over 100 new transit vehicle photos, the creation of a new retired transit vehicles subsection, & updating route info to reflect… 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.


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

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

Legalese | Disclosures

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.

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

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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Legalese | Disclosures

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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Legalese | Disclosures

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

Legalese | Disclosures