Category Archives: Side Projects

New Story Project – Tampa Bay of the Future

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?

01-12-17_7-30-49-am
Nathan Tipton – the main character of the story. Note: All of my characters are created in The Sims 4.

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).


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

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

Legalese | Disclosures

(Note: All links above have been updated to reflect the new website)

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Cindyville Fictional Transit System – Part 1

Greetings everyone!

In this installment of my fantasy transit systems series, I’m going to present to you another fictional city that I have a transit system for.

A map of the Cindyville rail system. The Blue and Red Lines are elevated rail lines, The Green and Yellow Lines are People Movers, and the Purple Line is a Commuter Rail Line. By HARTride 2012. ~ Click on the image to take a closer look.
A map of the Cindyville rail system. The Blue and Red Lines are elevated rail lines, The Green and Yellow Lines are People Movers, and the Purple Line is a Commuter Rail Line. By HARTride 2012. ~ Click on the image to take a closer look.

This is the fictional city of Cindyville, by which I had a decent bus system set up for (including schedules and route maps) before my old computer crashed. This map is the rail system that complements the bus lines and allows for fast service around the area.

RAIL LINES AND HISTORY OF THE SYSTEM

The blue and red lines are both elevated rail (like the Chicago El). The Blue Line was built first and opened in 1998 between Patsyville Airport and Cindyville Airport. The Red Line quickly followed, and opened in 2004 between Old Town and 22nd Ave S. The segment between 22nd Ave S and 75th Ave N opened in 2012. Both El lines are fully automated and operate similarly to that of the Paris Metro Line 14.

There is also a People Mover system around the Cindyville Airport, the Yellow Line, though it not yet complete to the south. The first link opened between Terminal 1 and the Transportation Center in 1998, along with the Blue Line El. The Terminal 2 station opened in 2003, and the link to Terminal 4 opened in 2008. Terminal 3 is planned, but will not be built anytime soon.

A second People Mover line, the Westside Connector, was actually the city’s first mode of rail transport, opening in 1987 as a demo line. The connector was nearly demolished in 1993 due to low ridership, but was saved after transit advocates were able to convince the city of Cindyville to extend the line to the Central Station and connect it to the then-proposed Blue Line El. The two original stations along the Westside Connector are 22nd Ave S and Riverwalk (which was originally called Lynnhaven Blvd). The third original station was called Mildred Park and was demolished in 1996 to make way for a 5 block extension to the Cindyville Central Station, which opened along with the Blue Line El in 1998. The Central Station serves as downtown Cindyville’s transit hub, serving various bus routes, the Blue Line El, the Westside Connector, and the Eastside Commuter Rail.

Speaking of which, the Eastside Commuter Rail is denoted in Purple and opened in 2004 as a quick and easy way for commuters in the east suburbs to avoid driving on the interstates. The commuter rail line is modeled after the Music City STAR in Nashville, TN.

SERVICE HOURS

Both the Blue and Red Line El’s run local service only, there is no express service at this time, although some stations along the Blue Line (Ridge Rd, Old Town, Central Station, 75th Ave N, and Patsyville Airport) are structured as four-track, three-platform stations to one day facilitate express service if the Blue Line is extended southward.

The Blue Line El operates 24/7, since it is a vital link between airports.

Weekday frequency is as follows:

  • Weekday peak frequency (4am to 9am, 3pm to 7pm) is 2 to 5 minutes.
  • Weekday midday frequency (9am to 3pm) is every 6 to 10 minutes.
  • Weekday evening frequency (7pm to 10pm) is every 15 minutes.
  • Weekday overnight frequency (10pm to 4am, Mon thru Thurs nights) is every 30 minutes.
  • On Friday nights, from 10pm to 2am (Saturday morning), frequency remains every 15 minutes to allow customers to enjoy city nightlife.

Weekend frequency is as follows:

  • Saturday early morning frequency (2am to 6am) is every 30 minutes.
  • Saturday morning frequency (6am to 9am) is every 15 minutes.
  • Saturday midday frequency (9am to 4pm) is every 20 minutes.
  • Saturday late afternoon/evening/late night frequency (4pm to 2am Sunday morning) is every 15 minutes to allow customers to enjoy city nightlife.
  • Sunday early morning frequency (2am to 6am) is every 30 minutes.
  • Sunday daytime/evening frequency (6am to 10pm) is every 20 minutes.
  • Sunday overnight frequency (10pm to 4am Monday morning) is every 30 minutes.

The Red Line El has more limited hours, since it runs along the eastern downtown beltway (freeway). Service is more like 24/5 (running continuously from 4am Monday until 2am Sunday morning). Beginning, November 3, 2013, service hours will improve along the Red Line, as the city of Cindyville has set aside additional funding for the transit system.

Weekday frequency is as follows:

  • Weekday peak frequency (4am to 9am, 3pm to 7pm) is 2 to 5 minutes.
  • Weekday midday frequency (9am to 3pm) is every 6 to 10 minutes.
  • Weekday evening frequency (7pm to 10pm) is every 15 minutes.
  • Weekday overnight frequency (10pm to 4am, Mon thru Thurs nights) is every 30 minutes.
  • On Friday nights, from 10pm to 2am (Saturday morning), frequency remains every 15 minutes to allow customers to enjoy city nightlife.

Weekend frequency is as follows:

  • Saturday early morning frequency (2am to 6am) is every 30 minutes.
  • Saturday daytime frequency (6am to 6pm) is every 20 minutes.
  • Saturday evening/late night frequency (6pm to 2am Sunday morning) is every 15 minutes to allow customers to enjoy city nightlife.
  • Service stops at 2am Sunday morning, and then resumes at 7am.
  • Sunday frequency is every 20 minutes all day (7am until end of service at 10pm).

Holiday service for both the Red and Blue Lines follow the same schedule/frequency as Sunday service.

This map placard would be seen inside Red and Blue Line trains. By HARTride 2012.
This map placard would be seen inside Red and Blue Line trains. By HARTride 2012.

The Westside Connector and Airport People Movers have varying hours, but frequent departures.

For the Westside Connector APM:

  • Service operates 24/7, including holidays.
  • Trains depart every 90 seconds on weekdays (from 4am Monday to 2am Saturday) and every 2 minutes during weekends and holidays.

For the Cindyville Airport APM:

  • Service operates 24/7, including holidays.
  • Trains depart every 90 seconds between 4am and 10pm, 7 days a week, including holidays.
  • Frequency decreases to every 2 minutes during the overnight (10pm to 4am).

The Eastside Commuter Rail operates Monday through Friday from 4:45am until 9am and from 3:15pm to 9pm. Service frequency varies between every 45 minutes to every hour. There is also additional late-night service on Friday nights (9pm until 12-midnight) to allow customers to enjoy city nightlife.

For those wishing to enjoy nightlife until 2am Saturday morning, and also on Saturday night, a supplemental motorcoach shuttle bus service (Cindyville RailOWL Shuttle) operates along the Eastside Commuter Rail corridor on Saturday mornings, departing the Cindyville Central Station at 12:15am, 12:45am, 1:15am, 1:45am, and 2:15am. Saturday night shuttles depart the Sanderson Station (serving all commuter rail stops) for inbound service every 15 minutes between 6pm and 10pm. Outbound service shuttles depart the Cindyville Central Station every 15 minutes between 9pm and 2:15am.

ROLLING STOCK

The Red Line El uses the CVX-1996 rubber-tyred automated railcars, which are based off the MP 89CA trains from the Paris Metro Line 14. These trains originally were distributed amongst the Blue and Red Lines, but operate solely on the Red Line since it was extended from 22nd Ave S to 75th Ave N in 2012. Trains run in 6-car configurations.

The Blue Line uses the CVX-2006 rubber-tyred automated railcars, which are based off the MP 05 trains from the Paris Metro Line 1. These trains have been in service along the Blue Line since 2011. Trains run in 10-car configurations.

Both the Westside Connector and Cindyville Airport APMs utilize Bombardier Innovia APM 100 cars in 3-car configurations.

Norfolk Fantasy Subway – Part 4

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about my fantasy transport projects, so let me go ahead a provide an update. I’ll first start with the Norfolk fantasy subway system, and then next week, I’ll follow up on the fantasy rail system for Tampa.

In this installment of the Norfolk fantasy subway system, I’m going to profile Line 5. Line 5 is structured similarly to Line 3 in terms of station layout and express service. However, express service is only available south of Norfolk. The segment that is north of the Kimball Terrace/NSU station has trains making stops at all stations, regardless if they are running local or express service. Line 5 has a total of 19 stops and connections to every subway line in the network (including Line 7a) are available, as well as connections to the various fantasy light rail lines T2, T3a, T3b, and T4. There is also a connection to the T1 LRT (which is The Tide LRT Line in real life) at the Kimball Terrace/NSU station.

Line 5 is a steel-wheeled line and uses rolling stock that is similar to the R-142 rolling stock from the New York City Subway. Other steel-wheeled lines use a newer rolling stock that is similar to the R-160A from New York. During the rush hours, trains run in 8 car configurations while during off-peak times, trains tend to run with 6 cars.

To see a Google Map of Line 5, click here.

In my next installment, I’ll go over Line 7, followed by Lines 8 and 9 later in June. In July, I will profile Lines 1, 2, and 6, and then Lines 4 and 10 in August. Along the way, I’ll also be profiling the LRT lines and compare my visions with real-life plans.

Air Base Mayhem FanFiction Story – Part 1

Hi everyone!

As I’ve mentioned through my Projects page, I am working on a few fanfiction stories in the FanFiction.Net website. One of those stories revolves around one of my favorite Nintendo 64 video games, Perfect Dark. This story, titled Air Base Mayhem, describes the lives of several staff members who work in the air base facility that is depicted in the game as one of Joanna Dark’s missions. The first part of the story is like a soap opera, depicting the everyday lives of each of the staff members. I hope to be able to complete the first part sometime towards the end of 2013, and then begin the second part, which will go through what happens to each of the staff members when Joanna shuts down the base’s security system (which is an objective in the actual mission). Some characters will eventually be killed off, but I will not say right now which ones will remain through the end of the series.

For now, I have rewritten Chapter 1 and am currently working on Chapter 2. I do appreciate any and all comments in regards to this story, but please…no flaming. Any comments that I see as inappropriate will be flagged for removal immediately.

Warmest Regards;

HARTride 2012

 

Fantasy Metro/Subway for Norfolk, VA – Part 3

In my third installment of my fantasy subway for the Hampton Roads, VA area, I focus on Line 3. Line 3 connects the two busy military hubs of Naval Station Norfolk and Naval Air Station Oceana via the Lynnhaven area and Norfolk International Airport. This particular line has 18 stations and is one of a few that have express service. To view the Google map of this route, click here.

Because Line 3 has express service, it is one of the few subway lines that follow a four track configuration (similar to some of the lines of the New York City subway) for most of its route (I’ll go through the exceptions in a later posting). Most stations encompass two island platforms, with the outer tracks facilitating local service and the inner tracks facilitating express service. Stations that are “skipped” during express service have barrier walls facing the express tracks. The line is also completely underground and connections are available to subway lines 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7.

The rolling stock used for Line 3 is similar to that of the MP 89 from the Paris Metro, as Line 3 is one of the few rubber-tyred subway lines in the system. The other rubber-tyred lines in the fantasy Norfolk system include Lines 1, 4, 6, 7, 7A, and 10. The other lines utilize traditional steel wheel trains similar to those used on the New York City Subway. I will go over the rolling stock of the fantasy Norfolk system in a later posting.

Like my Line 7A map, I’ve listed all of the Line 3 stations on my Google Map.

Tampa Bay Fantasy Rail System – Part 2

As I mentioned in my last posting, I will be going over the Red Line of my fantasy light rail system for Tampa Bay. This is one of the key lines to this fantasy rail system, as it links the community of Wesley Chapel to the USF area, downtown Tampa, and MacDill Air Force Base. This fantasy corridor mostly utilizes existing CSX rail lines, while the northernmost and southernmost portions are along roadway medians. To view a route map that I’ve created via Google Maps, click here.

In reality, a corridor like this is very much possible, being that it would mostly run along existing freight rail lines. The southern terminus is near the main gate of MacDill AFB, where it would easily be able to pick up military personnel working at the base. The route would then run along the median of Dale Mabry Hwy until it reaches the CSX freight rail line that runs alongside the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway. There would be a stop at Gandy Blvd before the Red Line transfers onto the freight rail line.

From there, the line would travel towards downtown Tampa, making stops at Bay to Bay Blvd (Palma Ceia Station), Hyde Park/Swann Ave, and Kennedy Blvd (to serve the University of Tampa). Once in downtown, the Red Line would connect to the Navy Line loop, which acts at the eastern terminus of the Navy Line LRT. There would be two stations in downtown Tampa: one at Ashley Dr, and one at Nebraska Ave (by Tampa’s Union Station).

Next, the Red Line would enter Ybor City, making a stop in the heart of the historic district near the TECOline Streetcar Line and 6th Ave. The line would then switch over to the freight rail line that runs northward towards Florida Ave and I-275.  There would be subsequent stops at Columbus Dr, MLK Blvd, Hillsborough Ave, Sligh Ave, and Busch Blvd.

Any light rail link into the USF area is vital, which is why I’ve made the Red Line utilize the freight rail line that lies just south of Fowler Ave. The line would then shift northward once reaching Bruce B. Downs Blvd; making 2 stops by the USF Tampa Campus. The next couple of stops include Bearss Ave and Cypress Preserve Dr (Tampa Palms Station).

The final, and northernmost section of the Red Line crosses underneath I-75, running through the median of Bruce B. Downs Blvd, and enters into New Tampa and Wesley Chapel. The final stops here include Cross Creek Blvd, a provisional station at County Line Rd, State Rd 56 (next to Wiregrass), and State Rd 54. At State Rd 54, there would be a commuter rail link that would allow connection from eastern Pasco County into Pinellas County.

Although the stations that I mentioned above would serve most of the population centers surrounding the line, things could change. Originally, I had more stations put in on the map, but then realized that there were just too many to be able to run efficient service in real life. After all, that’s why we have local bus service, to provide feeder service to the rail stops. As for express service…yes, this line does operate express service by which a few stations are skipped during the height of rush hour. For instance; express service between downtown Tampa and MacDill would involve the Kennedy Blvd station being skipped. Express service between downtown and Wesley Chapel would involve the Columbus Dr, Hillsborough Ave, Sligh Ave, and Bearss Ave stations being skipped. The skipped stations would have a provision of a third track to allow express trains to easily bypass these stations.

In my next post, I will go over Line 3 of the Norfolk, VA fantasy subway. Please feel free to comment if you have anything to share!

 

Warmest Regards,

HARTride 2012

Tampa Bay Fantasy Rail System – Part 1

Hi everyone,

As I mentioned earlier this month, I will be posting some things about a fantasy rail system that I started working on for the Tampa area during the course of 2010.

At the time that I began working on this fantasy system, Hillsborough Area Regional Transit was promoting a one cent sales tax increase for Hillsborough County to help fund road construction and transit improvements. The plan was very ambitious and included several light rail and bus rapid transit lines. However, the plan left many questions to be answered, thus confusing a lot of voters. On top of that, the economy was still in a very bad state and many anti-tax conservatives were lumping the sales tax hike with President Obama’s high speed rail plan. All of the massive confusion led to a massive defeat of the sales tax. After the defeat of the sales tax referendum, Governor Rick Scott pulled the plug on Florida’s high speed rail plan. With much of Tampa’s transit ambitions dashed, I halted all work on my fantasy rail system until a later time.

Fast forward to 2013: Pinellas County is gearing up for their own transit expansion plan and the chatter about rail has restarted, being led this time by the grassroots efforts of Connect Tampa Bay. Therefore, I have decided to go ahead and restart my fantasy rail system project for the Tampa area.

To read more about this project, click “Continue Reading”.

Continue reading Tampa Bay Fantasy Rail System – Part 1

Happy New Year! ~ 2013…here we go!

Happy New Year everyone! With the start of 2013, I would like to let everyone know what I am working on for the month of January. Some of the posts that I am planning out include:

  • Ventra: An innovative common-use transit payment system that is being implemented this year throughout the Chicago transit system.
  • Paris Metro Line 12: From it’s beginnings as the Nord-Sud Line A, to its recent extension towards the northern Parisian suburb of Aubervillers, Line 12 is a vital north-south axis for the city’s growing subway system.
  • Part 3 of my fantasy subway system for Norfolk, VA: Where I focus on Line 3 of the fictional subway system, which connects the military hubs of Naval Station Norfolk and Naval Air Station Oceana near Virginia Beach. The fictional line also passes by Norfolk International Airport.
  • Part 1 of my fantasy rail system for Tampa Bay, FL: Since I’ve been talking quite a bit about my fantasy subway for Norfolk, I thought about reviving my fantasy rail system for Tampa. I originally sketched up a map of possible light rail and commuter rail lines prior to the defeat of the 2010 sales tax referendum.

Plus: Updates on HART MetroRapid, and MLK Holiday transit services.

In the next couple of days, I hope to have a poll question posted as well. This question will be in regards to the medians of Interstate 275 in Tampa. I won’t go too in depth, as to not spoil the surprise. However, some of you may have an idea of what I’ll be asking.

In the meantime, I invite you to check out Zac Ziegler’s latest post on Tampa’s light rail ambitions. This post comes not very long after a recent poll showed that many Tampanians now support a sales tax increase that would help fund light rail…something that seemed unclear just two years ago. If you haven’t read up on his other post regarding the 1% sales tax for transit, which he describes what could have happened if the 2010 sales tax referendum in Hillsborough County had passed, then I invite you to read that post as well, as I found it to be a very good read.

Also, I’ve made some updates to the About and Projects pages.

I hope that your 2013 is filled with joy and prosperity!

Warmest Regards:

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)

Continue reading Merry Christmas & the Year-End Transit Roundup!

Fantasy Metro/Subway for Norfolk, VA – Part 2

I have two small updates for my fantasy subway project that I’m doing on Google Maps that revolves around the Hampton Roads, VA area. The first update consists of the addition of five tramway (light rail) lines throughout Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Portsmouth. I will briefly go through where each of the lines travel to. You can view the map here.

  • Tramway 1 (T1) travels from Naval Station Norfolk, through downtown Norfolk, and towards Virginia Beach. A portion of this line comprises of the existing Tide Light Rail line.
  • Tramway 2 (T2) travels from downtown Norfolk towards Suffolk via Chesapeake.
  • Tramway 3 (T3) is a semi-loop line that travels from Portsmouth through the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Oakleaf Forest, Fairmont Park, and into Naval Station Norfolk from the east.
  • Tramway 4 (T4) runs from Portsmouth into Suffolk. An extension is planned to go into downtown Norfolk, but it has been a challenge. ~ In reality, it would be a challenge connecting Portsmouth to Norfolk via LRT due to the Elizabeth River being quite large. I have to ask myself if a new tunnel would have to be built.
  • Tramway 5 (T5) connects the Lynhaven Bay area to downtown Norfolk via the airport.

I will likely make more changes to the LRT lines later. I now realize that T5 could really be a part of T3, but I’m not sure whether to merge the lines. And you may notice how I number each of the LRT lines. The naming/numbering convention used is similar to how the LRT lines are numbered in Paris, France.

My second update is a stand-alone map of the Line 7A subway. Since it is the smallest subway line, I thought I would make an individual line map of Line 7A first. Line 7A basically runs along the beltway that partially surrounds Suffolk. Originally, it was part of Line 7 when it terminated at Holland Rd. However, when Line 7 was extended towards the outer fringe town of Courtland, a bypass tunnel was built along Holland Rd to facilitate quicker service into Norfolk. Thus, the original beltway line was made independent. You can view a map of Line 7A here.

I want to stress that these are just fantasy systems, just like the Mushroom Kingdom transit system. There are actual efforts to try and extend the existing LRT line in Norfolk towards Naval Station Norfolk, as well as Virginia Beach and Portsmouth. However, I am not sure if the proposed extensions will ever make it out of the planning books. It sure would be nice to have a neat network of light rail lines, as well as BRT lines throughout Hampton Roads.

If you want to share any comments, or have questions, feel free to drop me a line via the Contact page.

 

Warmest Regards,

HARTride 2012