In this week’s transit roundup post, I’ll be highlighting some new ridership records and a new LRT line! It’s going to be an awesome ride, so hang on tight! 🙂
Service Change Alerts
Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) has enacted its service changes for Routes 2, 4, 5, 6, 12, 14, 30, 37, 47LX, and 57 today (November 17, 2013). Please visit my blog post to see what the changes are about! For updated schedules, please visit HART’s website at www.goHART.org.
Top Stories for the week of November 11, 2013
HART and PSTA shatter ridership records for October! HRT October ridership also strong!
The drums don’t stop beating for both Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) and the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) as they continue to shatter ridership records! Here’s October’s ridership numbers at a glance! Notice how I also included October’s numbers for Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) in the graphic.
So let’s break the figures down for HART and PSTA.
- 1,359,764 passengers rode the HART bus system during the month of October, 2013! An increase of about 1.8% over October, 2012.
- HART’s MetroRapid service saw 55,010 riders during the month of October, 2013. Average daily ridership is now at 2,392, which is an increase of 4.7% over September, 2013. Overall MetroRapid ridership has increased by 25.8% since the start of revenue service in July, 2013.
- 1,278,051 passengers rode the PSTA bus system during the month of October, 2013! Just shy of October, 2012’s all-time record.
- PSTA attributes the slight decrease in ridership to the closure of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium during the month of October due to filming of Dolphin Tale 2.
- 1,338,871 passengers rode the HRT bus system in Norfolk during the month of October, 2013. Comparison figures are currently unavailable.
Polk County transit districts provide FREE rides to high school students!
I usually don’t discuss about the public transit districts in Polk County, FL, which comprise of the municipalities of Lakeland, Winter Haven, Mulberry, and several other smaller towns. However, a new pilot program involving public transit is making things just a bit easier for high school students!
This new program, called COLT, and it is designed to get high school students to after school programs. Parents sign permission slips to allow their child to use the program, then Winter Haven Area Transit and the Citrus Connection send buses to various schools throughout the county to pick up students. The buses can transport students to almost every municipality within Polk County.
This program is the first of its kind in the state of Florida, according to Citrus Connection.
Source: Bay News 9.
Virginia Beach to examine three private proposals to extend The Tide LRT to the Oceanfront.
The city of Virginia Beach voted on 11/12 to further review three private proposals to link the Virginia Beach Oceanfront with a rail connection. Two proposals comprise of extending the existing LRT line and the third comprises of a maglev rail line. That third proposal I’m not too thrilled with because it would require passengers to make an unnecessary transfer.
Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) meanwhile is continuing its own publicly-funded study to lay out options to extend LRT to the Oceanfront. Further findings of their study will be released sometime in early 2014.
Source: Virginian Pilot – 11/13/13.
30 squats for a subway ride? Count me in!
In lieu of the 2014 Winter Olympics, the Moscow (Russia) subway system is trying out a unique way of getting passengers onboard, as well as in shape…at the same time! Instead of paying a cash fare, riders are encouraged to step in front of a special machine and perform 30 squats. If the routine is done correctly, the passenger will be provided with a subway ticket. This fun option will be in place throughout the month of November!
Source: CBS News – 11/8/13.
Paris’ LRT Line 7 opens to passengers!
The city of lights has literally doubled its light rail capacity in the last year!
In fact, Paris’s light rail system grew from having four lines (Lines 1 and 2, the initial Line 3, and Line 4), 41.5 km of track, and 70 stations to six lines (including the Line 3 extension, and new Lines 5 and 7) 82.3 km of track, and 145 stations! And guess what? That’s only a sign of things still to come! Two more LRT lines are under construction (Lines 6 and 8) and several others are being planned.
The newest addition to Paris’ LRT system is Line 7, which opened to passengers on November 16, 2013! It provides for 11.2 km of track, connecting the municipalities of Villejuif (via the Villejuif – Louis Aragon bus and subway station) and Athis-Mons via the Orly Airport. A planned second phase will bring the line to the municipality of Juvisy by 2018/2019, which is home to a major commuter rail station.
I’ll have a complete blog post on the opening of LRT Line 7 and other Parisian transport developments later this month and through December!
Other Transit-Related Headlines
- Although Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) does not yet have its own bus tracker app, a third-party app has been gaining popularity! Read more about it here! ~ Source: Virginian Pilot – October 29, 2013
- Lego-Like Bike Lanes That Snap Into Place Could Create Instant Biking Cities – Fast Company – November 13, 2013
- MTA Financial Plan Includes Effective Cost-Cutting Measures – MTA.info – November 13, 2013
- Business and Community Leaders Endorse Greenlight Pinellas Plan – The PSTA Blog on WordPress.com (Press Release) – November 7, 2013
- No train to Tampa without better local service – Tampa Bay Business Journal – November 7, 2013
- Condo developer intrigued by All Aboard Florida’s transit-oriented appeal – Tampa Bay Business Journal – October 31, 2013
- Pinellas commissioners talk transit tax for buses, light rail – Tampa Bay Times – October 29, 2013
- Commuting’s Hidden Cost – The New York Times – October 28, 2013
Other finds for the week
- Good Grief! First Texas, now Florida? Read about how two Florida lawmakers want to increase the max speed limit from 70 to 75. Texas has already increased its max speed limit to 75 on many interstates and even 85 on some roads. Sources: Fox 13 Tampa Bay (FL story), KTRE Ch 9 News, and USA Today (TX stories)
Please help those affected by Typhoon Haiyan
As many of you know, the Philippines (which is my home country) was struck by Typhoon Haiyan (also known in the Philippines as Yolanda) on November 9, 2013. The storm is one of the most powerful and destructive hurricanes on record and is worse than even the destruction of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans in 2005.
On November 13, 2013, I published a special blog post, asking everyone who visits my site to please take a moment to make a donation to one of charities that are assisting with reilef efforts. If you have not done so already, please consider making a donation! Your contribution will make a HUGE difference! Thank you!
Veterans Day 2013
Be sure to read up on my special blog post that is dedicated to all those who have served (and those currently serving) in the US military! I published this post on Veterans Day, November 11, 2013.
As always, if you’d like to leave feedback about my transit roundups, please do so via the Contact Page.
Have a great week!