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Old April 21st, 2017, 01:49 PM   #581
HARTride 2012
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Latest on the PSTA BRT project:

Source: TBBJ

Quote:
The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is getting ready to take the next step in implementing Bus Rapid Transit connecting downtown St. Petersburg to the beaches.

PSTA is sending an environmental impact report on the project to the Federal Transit Administration this month.
Full Story: http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/...r-to-long.html
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Old April 21st, 2017, 01:55 PM   #582
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In other PSTA matters, word is that the current trolley promotion being run for the Spring Break season will not occur again next year. I can't go into details, but in short, it's due to a wash of logistical problems.

Up until now, #'s 16101 and 16105 have not seen revenue service. All the other 16100s continue to see service primarily only on Route 59, with some buses occasionally being assigned to Routes 19, 74, 100X, or 300X. The roof issue at Park St Terminal continues to be problematic (buses can't fit under the terminal because the hybrid tanks are too tall), and because of the facility's age, I'm not sure if PSTA will execute a stopgap measure (which would be to raise the entire roof a few inches or make other modifications) or just restrict the buses from going in until a replacement facility is built (which is still five years away).

From what I'm hearing, PSTA staff isn't liking OneBusAway and is considering pulling out altogether from the project. I wouldn't be surprised if they do in favor of software that can better accommodate Direct Connect.

And then there's this: http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/...authority.html (unfortunately, it's a subscriber story, so I can't access it).
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Old April 22nd, 2017, 09:42 PM   #583
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Originally Posted by HARTride 2012 View Post
From what I'm hearing, PSTA staff isn't liking OneBusAway and is considering pulling out altogether from the project. I wouldn't be surprised if they do in favor of software that can better accommodate Direct Connect.
I have to choose my words carefully on this one...

The See Click Fix feature of OneBusAway isn't popular with management on either side of the bay. It requires a lot of manhours to sift through the reports that come in from that thing, plus a lot of wasted manpower researching false reports. HART is going through self-imposed austerity measures right now to reduce the budget, including a hiring freeze, so perhaps it wasn't the best time to roll that feature out. On top of that, transit agencies are more narrow in scope compared to public utilities or law enforcement, so it's efficacy is questionable. HART has good operators and customer service reps that report issues seen on route/called in, good dispatchers and supervisors that make sure these reports are documented and addressed, and an awesome Facilities/Route Maintenance team that gets the job done quickly (Signal Advertising as well; they're very responsive when it comes to ad shelter issues). The same is true on the PSTA side.
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Old April 23rd, 2017, 02:17 AM   #584
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Yuck! Talk about bad timing!

Yeah, I was only going by what I was hearing, so I wasn't sure how much was accurate. But when you have an agency that is on a skeleton budget and that budget is about to contract even further, what can you do?

I can definitely attest that HART Customer Service overall has been good, and Maintenance is very speedy at correcting issues. I've reported damaged shelters and stuff malfunctioning on buses several times and all with a quick response and turnaround.
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Old May 17th, 2017, 07:19 AM   #585
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A summary of the HART Comprehensive Operations Analysis (COA) is now available. This study covers HART's network of fixed route service at current resource levels, not including DRT services (HARTPlus, HARTFlex, HyperLink, Downtowner and the Marion Transitway AV pilot). The full board recommendation summary is available to the public on the HART website: http://gohart.org/Style%20Library/go...%205_15_17.pdf

The COA is currently a proposal and will be tweaked, based on board, employee and patron feedback, and will be the base on top of which the next Transit Development Plan (TDP) will be built upon. The COA represents roughly the first 3 years of the TDP, serving as a near-term blueprint for rebuilding the HART fixed route network. The TDP will outline changes and additions to the HART service network over the next 10 years, including changes/additions to the HARTFlex and HyperLink networks in suburban and rural areas and the introduction of circulator services that take advantage of ridership patterns identified by HyperLink usage.

The basic gist of the plan has four main elements:

1) Make service more competitive with cars/rideshares by streamlining routes to reduce travel times
2) Focus service on core urban routes that have higher density and heaver congestion
3) Create long distance limited express routes to move people between major activity centers quicker (Downtown, USF, TIA/Westshore, South Tampa, Northwest and Brandon)
4) Get rid of route overlap and replace lower ridership services with more cost-effective options

Key highlights from the proposal:

- Route 1 will be split into a "short" route and a "long" route. The short route will operate as a Tampa St/Florida Ave circulator between Whiting St and Hillsborough Ave, while the long Route 1 will operate every 30 minutes and revert to its pre-MetroRapid routing via Fletcher Ave. This also establishes an all-day circulator connection with the TECO Line Streetcar at Whiting St, providing frequent all-day bus service along the same alignment as several proposed streetcar extension corridors.

- MetroRapid will absorb Route 2 and become a more prominent service in the network, running as frequently as every 12 minute during weekday peak periods. Route 2 and 400 stops will be combined, with a couple of new MetroRapid stops added to fill the longer gaps left by the departure of the 2. The Hidden River branch will become its own route, running every 60 minutes on weekdays. Expect to see 400 and 401 designations appear on destination signs in the near future.

- Routes 1 (south of Hillsborough), 12 and 34 become frequent service routes, running every 15 minutes at peak.

- All HART bus service will be removed from the USF campus. USF Bull Runner and University Area HyperLink will provide all transit between UATC and USF.

- All downtown service will be removed from the Marion Transitway in favor of faster eastside/westside bus circulation throughout downtown. Routes 1, 19 and 30 will circulate using Tampa St and Florida Ave from Scott St to Whiting St (streetcar connections for all three), while Routes 8 and 400 will circulate via Kennedy Blvd/Jackson St and Morgan St. The Marion Transitway will be used by the Downtowner and the Automated Vehicle pilot, when the time comes.

- West Tampa Transit Center will be eliminated. Service will instead use enhanced bus stops along Dale Mabry Hwy between Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd and Columbus Dr for transfers, which allows the 7/32/36/45 to service HCC Dale Mabry directly and hopefully allow for proper Raymond James Stadium service on game days. Route 7 will make its usual loop around HCC Dale Mabry, while Route 32 will be extended to Tampa International Airport.

- Westshore Intermodal Center is off the table until later, with most Westshore services terminating at either Westshore Plaza (Routes 15 and 45), International Plaza (new Route 11, see below) or at a new bus terminal at the south end of TIA SkyConnect (Routes 30, 30LX, 32 and 275LX).

- Only 4 of the current express routes will survive: 20X (Downtown to Lutz/Land 'o Lakes), 24X (MacDill to FishHawk), 25LX (MacDill to South Brandon/Bloomingdale) and 51X (Downtown to New Tampa/Wesley Chapel). The MacDill expresses will make more trips, but will be supplemented by a new express route to Downtown/Brandon (see below). 51X will be restructured this summer to service a new Park-n-Ride facility next to Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel (Bruce B Downs/SR56) which connects directly with PCPT Route 54. Route 20X will remain as-is, but will have a new connecting bus into Pasco County when PCPT Route 41 begins operation next week, on 5/22.

- All those eliminated express route buses will be used to create three new high-speed limited express routes, running hourly throughout the day. Service will alternate to provide 30 min service from TIA to Downtown and Downtown to Brandon. These route numbers are only to make this easier to explain/discuss and are NOT the final route numbers.

30LX: Runs local from Northwest Transfer Center to TIA via the current routing, runs express from TIA to MTC and Westfield Brandon via I-275 and the Selmon Expwy.

275LX: Runs express along I-275 with three stops: UATC, MTC and TIA

618LX: Runs local from MacDill AFB to Britton Plaza along Dale Mabry Hwy, runs express along SR618 (Selmon Expwy) between Britton Plaza, MTC and Westfield Brandon

- A new Route 11 will take the place of Route 10, servicing Downtown to International Plaza via Main St and Spruce St. Again, not the final route number... but it'll probably stick.

- Route 14 will be extended to loop at Swann Ave instead of MTC, running down Armenia Ave into the heart of SoHo and back out via Howard Ave. Service will also be improved to every 30 minutes. Route 7 will take over the old Boulevard alignment to MTC.

- Route 16 will be extended to loop at Rowlett Park, making new connections with Routes 12/18, but losing the Route 39 connection in the process. Service will also be improved to every 30 minutes.

- South County fixed route transit will be vastly reduced. 53LX goes away, 31 turns into the 31LX. HART is looking into placing HyperLink zones along the 31LX, likely replacing or relocating HARTFlex service, but those details will come with the TDP. HARTPlus patrons in South County will need to transition back to Hillsborough County's Sunshine Line service, due to the complete and total elimination of local bus service south of the Alafia River.

- A number of overlapping route segments will be eliminated: Route 618X will replace the Route 36 south of Britton Plaza, Route 39 will replace Route 6 in "The Fishbowl," Route 46 will take over the Brandon Hospital 37, Routes 16, 18 and 45 will take the place of Route 9 entirely.

- A number of low ridership route segments will be eliminated, likely in favor of HyperLink or HARTFlex zones, some of which are already in operation: University Area 1, Citrus Park 7, Orient Road 15, Livingston Rd 18, Westshore Blvd 19, University Area 33, Forest Hills 45, Causeway Blvd 46

- A number of low ridership neighborhood local routes will be outright eliminated, likely in favor of HyperLink or HARTFlex zones: 4, 10, 41, 57

- In-Towner services on Route 96 and 97 will be replaced by Downtown HyperLink and Downtowner services, as well as the Autonomous Vehicle pilot when it begins. The buses used for the In-Towner retire in 2019, which just happens to be perfect timing.

- Some other, smaller things that I likely failed to mention.

A more detailed report with exact specifics will be coming later this summer.
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Old May 17th, 2017, 07:23 AM   #586
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P.S.: Which one of you studied my maps and wrote this thing? I am pleased, but concerned at a few of the changes. In specific, I don't necessarily agree with eliminating the long 7 and the 41 due to the service gaps that will be created, plus it will leave two public high schools, a number of private schools and a number of large businesses without nearby transit service. It's nothing a handful of HARTFlex and HyperLink zones can't solve, though, which is going to be HART's challenge in selling this plan to the public.

-----------

PCPT begins their new Route 41 service on Monday, 5/22. This route will run north/south along US 41/Land O' Lakes Blvd from Central Blvd to County Line Road, linking with HART's Route 20X service at Lutz Target.
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Old May 17th, 2017, 09:40 PM   #587
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I agree with most of the plans changes and some of them I have thought about myself. But what about the Route 33 and Nothdale Flex? I am hoping that at least one of them would be extended to the Lutz Target eventually. Or add a new local fixed route, or a 20LX, or new Lutz Flex on US 41 from UATC to the Lutz Target. In addition, the Route 30 would not serving Kennedy Blvd anymore? I hope not. I like the proposed new 30LX, and 400X. Yes, I am really happy that HART considered my opinion about merging the Route 2 and MetroRapid. I had request this HART a few weeks ago. I am hoping that when or if the MetroRapid is merged with the Route 2, then I hope would add the late night service that the Route 2 used to have. In addition, the MetroRapid would have to eventually get weekend service to (at least 30 minute weekend service) if or when the Route 2 is eliminated. So the Wiregrass Park in Ride is scheduled to complete sometime this summer? That's good, because I was going to eventually going to ask HART on their Facebook page about the Wirgerass Park in Ride updates. I had even look at google maps to see if the Wirgrass Park in Ride construction progress. Unfortunately, as we know Google Maps does not update every day and I cannot go near Florida Hospital to see the updates myself. The last time I was near Florida Hospital, was in last year December 2016, however I did not see any construction on Wirgrass Park in Ride. Lastly, I am still hopping for HART to start the New Tampa Flex eventually, because I am really pushing for New Tampa local service. In addition, I am also that HART or PCPT would eventually add a fixed local bus route from UATC to Wiregrass (similar to the New Tampa Flex and canceled Route 51LX plan). I have waiting for some kind New Tampa local service for a long time and I would continue checking HART Facebook, website, and etc for updates. Also, so HART is also planning to eliminate the Route 9 and/or Route 18 to use their units to increase the Route 12 frequency. This is good and bad. These three routes do serve close to each other and share the same endpoints. However, they travel through different communities along the way. It would not affect me that much. However, it may affect many other people and all three of the routes also served many low income people areas such certain parts of the University Area, Sulphur Springs, East Tampa, Belmont Heights, and etc. No offensive, for stating that. I am sure HART is taking all of that under consideration. However, I assume The Route 12 is much busier than those other two routes. Anyway, I think I have said everything I want to talk about. If I have forgotten anything about the future service plans or etc I would write more information. Yes, I did. So the new Route 11 would replace the existing Route 10? So that means there would be no more service to the Westshore Social Security Administration, Cypress Point Park, and etc? And what about the Route 10 Rocky Point extension? In that case HART should add all day or at least certain trips for the South Tampa Flex to the Westshore Social Security Administration and/or Cypress Point Park. Also, PSTA Route 60X should add a bus stop near Country Campbell Causeway and Rocky Point Dr. Just like how the current Route HART Route 200X does. PSTA Route 60X is another transit project I am really pushing for. When or if PSTA gets the full funding for it then would be the first PSTA express route with all day service, late night service, and especially best of all weekend service. In addition, sometime in the recent past PSTA was or proposed Saturday service on the Route 100X. I am still hoping that PSTA could eventually add Saturday service on the Route 100X, and eventually add at least all day weekday and weekend service to. Because, PSTA Route 100X and PSTA Route 300X current has limited midday service. I am hoping that PSTA would eventually add some form of late night or later service on their regional express routes. Because, of two major reasons. The first is because it decrease the chances of being stuck in either county and the second reason is to increase transfer and connections with MegaBus.com and Red Coach. Anyway, I think I remembered to say everything this time.

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Old May 18th, 2017, 12:26 AM   #588
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In addition, I am really hoping that HART could merge the MetroRapid and Route 2 during their November or December end of the year service changes. I assume that HART does not have the money required to order new additional MetroRapid bus shelters, however they could reuse some of the existing Route 2 bus stop signs and shelters. Then, HART could repaint some of their existing buses with the MetroRapid green and gray colors. However, I am not sure if the existing Route 2 six units would or would not be enough to provide the 12 minute frequency. I also assume HART repaint the newer 2016 and or 2015 CNG busses with the MetroRapid colors. Because, I thought that they repaint their older buses. Anyway, I am hoping that HART could implement some of service changes later this year or whenever they get the chance to.
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Old May 18th, 2017, 01:45 AM   #589
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My opinions:

Route 2 should have been eliminated from the start when MetroRapid was introduced. Why HART kept it is beyond me. JTA did the right thing when it began implementing First Coast Flyer by which the local straightaway route was eliminated for the Flyer route and other locals were re-aligned to provide basic local service along or near the Flyer corridor.

WTTC was another huge waste by HART. Again, why HART did this then is beyond me (other than management at the time wanted to take a cheap and ill-fated route).

WestShore Multimodal is dependent on whether TBX materializes, as we all know. TIA isn't waiting for that. The Gateway (Phase II) of their expansion should allow for accommodations for HART buses and customers can seamlessly transfer to/from SkyConnect.

Underperforming corridors (South WestShore on the 19 for example) need to go. HyperLINK can serve certain areas better, and in other areas, it's not a horrendously long walk.

Axing the Citrus Park portion of the 7 and the 41 will definitely leave gaps. Shortening the 41 back in 2007 already left a large gap. Unless HART can implement Flex for Drew Park, extending up to Leto, I'm equally as concerned.

I'll have more later on as I grasp the entire recommendation.
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Old May 19th, 2017, 06:36 AM   #590
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The first Flamingo farecard readers are being installed across the HART fleet, starting with the 1000s and ascending in numerical order (1200-series MetroRapid buses are next, followed by the 1300s and the 1500/1600/1700 CNGs, then over to the 2400s and up from there). The Flamingo system will not go live until next summer, as every transit vehicle in the bay area needs to have a reader first, plus other infrastructure like ticket vending machines will need to be updated.

My understanding is that HART did not get funding for new fareboxes, so the legacy GFI system will still be in place for the foreseeable future.



Speaking of the 1700s, the first batch is expected in the summer and the second batch in the winter. They will be numbered 1701-1725.

9 gasoline-powered cutaways are also on the way later this year, going before the HART board for final purchase approval at the next meeting. They will replace the last of the diesel paratransit vans (1929-1937). Why gasoline and not CNG? The short answer is that CNG for cutaway vans is not where it needs to be for what HART uses the vans for. Fuel storage capacity and economy are too limited for how many miles HARTPlus operators log each day, especially on HARTFlex. You need a much larger vehicle to carry a large amount of CNG fuel, which is the reverse of Hillsborough County's paratransit needs (smaller vehicles driving longer distances).
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Old May 19th, 2017, 11:59 AM   #591
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Glad to hear about the Flamingo readers! I am willing to bet that HART buses will be first, then PSTA later.

Mike, I've been hearing speculation about 1716-25, that they may be following the BRT Plus design that LYNX has. Not sure if you're able to confirm that though.
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Old May 20th, 2017, 11:44 AM   #592
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Mike, I've been hearing speculation about 1716-25, that they may be following the BRT Plus design that LYNX has. Not sure if you're able to confirm that though.
I hope not. I can already hear the howling of a hundred drivers if that is true. The 2500-series BRT front-ends are immensely unpopular among HART operators due to night glare and visibility issues.

There's a saying that the maintenance sups like to use... the honeymoon's over when a bus hits the 5 year mark. The 1200s are becoming unreliable with age (they just hit 5), so it would make sense that maintenance is preparing to drop them into the local fleet in favor of a fresh batch of MetroRapid vehicles. 1201-1211 are considered a different brand/mode of service and are not used interchangeably with the blue bus fleet. If dispatch runs out of green buses to put on the road, there are no replacements, which leaves a gap in the route. You don't want that kind of thing happening on a BRT service, but HART's not in a position to keep a bunch of spares around, so cycling vehicles out every few years would make a lot of sense.

I'll poke someone about it next week.
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 11:17 AM   #593
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PSTA will be enacting the following changes on June 4, 2017:

Central Ave Trolley

The Central Ave Trolley will see the following changes to improve efficiency and also allow better connections to the Suncoast Beach Trolley during the week.

Monday through Thursday:
*Streamlined departures (buses will depart every 20 minutes during the day, and every 30 minutes during the evening).
*6:10AM trip from Grand Central will now travel to Pass-A-Grille.
*First AM trip leaving The Pier Parking Lots will now be at 6:05AM.
*10:50PM trip to Downtown St. Pete, will travel all the way to The Pier Parking Lots.

Fridays:
*Streamlined departures (buses will depart every 20 minutes during the day, and every 30 minutes during the evening).
*Last departure to Downtown St. Pete will now be 11:50PM
*Last departure to Pass-A-Grille will now be 10:35PM
*Last departure to 75th Ave/Gulf Blvd will now be 11:05PM

Saturdays:
*Streamlined departures (buses will depart every 30 minutes all day).
*6:30AM trip from 75th Ave/Gulf Blvd will be eliminated (unproductive trip).
*Last departure to The Pier Parking Lots will now be at 11:00PM.
*10:10PM round trip from The Pier Parking Lots will still terminate at Grand Central Station on the eastbound return, but will now depart from the lots at 10:15PM.
*After the 10:15PM departure from The Pier Parking Lots, buses will run to 75th Ave/Gulf Blvd only (these departures will be at 10:45PM, 11:15PM, and 11:45PM). Last buses leaving 75th Ave/Gulf Blvd will be 12:05AM and 12:30AM.

Sundays:
*Streamlined departures (buses will depart every 30 minutes all day).
*Last departure to The Pier Parking Lots will now be at 11:00PM.
*10:10PM round trip from The Pier Parking Lots will still terminate at Grand Central Station on the eastbound return, but will now depart from the lots at 10:15PM.

Route 18

*Downtown St. Pete terminating point will now be at 1st Ave N and 6th St N, instead of 1st Ave N and 3rd St N.
*Last southbound Weekday trip (at 11:05PM) will now terminate in Downtown St. Pete, instead of Seminole City Center.
*Minor running time changes.

Route 34

*Sunday frequency will increase from every 60 minutes (running two buses) to every 50 minutes (running three buses).

Route 66L

*The 5:10AM and 6:15AM southbound departures from Pinellas Ave and Dodecanese Blvd will now start at Tarpon Ave and Huey Ave (behind Tarpon Mall) at 5:00AM and 6:05AM respectively.
*Timepoint and running time corrections have been made.

Route 67

*Minor running time changes.
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 11:48 AM   #594
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Also, as of 5/16/17, PSTA has retired #2112, and the three remaining 2003 MCI coaches. While there are no immediate plans to restore motorcoach style buses to the express routes, I do have a feeling that when PSTA does get the funds together for the planned Clearwater Beach to TPA Airport express route, that the agency will attempt to purchase 40-foot Gillig Suburban buses (similar to what SCAT uses for its express service).
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Old May 25th, 2017, 10:30 AM   #595
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Quote:
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Also, as of 5/16/17, PSTA has retired #2112, and the three remaining 2003 MCI coaches. While there are no immediate plans to restore motorcoach style buses to the express routes, I do have a feeling that when PSTA does get the funds together for the planned Clearwater Beach to TPA Airport express route, that the agency will attempt to purchase 40-foot Gillig Suburban buses (similar to what SCAT uses for its express service).
Cutaway vans. Service will be contracted to a private operator. There's a hard push to get this new route in place later this year, as HART wants to end the 200X as soon as possible.

HART COA changes are being fast-tracked, due to a projected budget shortfall for the 2018 fiscal year. A majority of the proposed changes will occur in October, including the decommissioning of of West Tampa Transfer Center.

Update on the plans for Route 19: Latest word is that the southern leg of the route from Britton Plaza to Port Tampa is going to be split into a separate route, Route 17.

If any transit fans want to get pictures of any of the current routes before the entire route network is reconfigured, now is the time. You've got roughly 5 months.
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Old May 26th, 2017, 03:55 AM   #596
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Not surprising.

Also, I'm hearing that the 2400s (except the three hybrids) will stay on the fleet for now, along with 2325. The 30-footers will be leaving the fleet with the 1700s. It would not surprise me if the restructuring has shifted fleet replacement plans, as with many of the lower ridership routes being axed, the 30-footers will no longer be needed.
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Old May 26th, 2017, 06:29 AM   #597
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Not surprising.

Also, I'm hearing that the 2400s (except the three hybrids) will stay on the fleet for now, along with 2325. The 30-footers will be leaving the fleet with the 1700s. It would not surprise me if the restructuring has shifted fleet replacement plans, as with many of the lower ridership routes being axed, the 30-footers will no longer be needed.
2307 and 2308 have already been mothballed. No sense in repairing something that's going to be replaced in a month or two. 2324 and 2325 are pretty roughed up at this point (14 years old), but still see daily service and are definitely contingency fleet material.

2400s get swapped out a lot for wear and tear issues, but they received refurbished engines/transmissions last year, so they should last until the next round of vehicles gets here in 2018 or 2019. 2425 and 2426 are in contingency fleet. 2427 is a real trooper and is usually out on the road. I wouldn't be surprised if it sticks around in contingency fleet until it fails.
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Old May 26th, 2017, 11:27 AM   #598
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Nope, no sense in repairing something that is to be imminently replaced.

I'm glad that many of the 2400s were overhauled so that they could be on the road just a bit longer. My worry now is not so much them, but the prospect that federal funding gets slashed so much that bus purchases can't be made unless the state steps in. Some out there even want the FTA gone altogether.
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Old June 8th, 2017, 03:04 AM   #599
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Ridership continues to be down across the board due to a variety of factors... but the upside of lower ridership is that buses get around faster when they're not making as many stops. HART set an all-time record for fixed route on-time performance in the month of May, 85.9% on time. This is an improvement of over 10% since the same time period in 2014, when buses only arrived as scheduled about 74% of the time.
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Old June 8th, 2017, 10:47 AM   #600
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Anything regarding the late 2017 bus purchase? I'm still hearing speculation that the ten buses will be of the BRT Plus design that LYNX purchased for 2015 and 2016.
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