Category Archives: Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT)

Holiday Transit Services for Labor Day – September 2, 2013

Labor Day will be on Monday, September 2, 2013, and as with many holidays, transit services will be limited. Please see the listing below to see what level of service that each transit district will operate.

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Holiday Transit Services for Independence Day – July 4, 2013

Independence Day will be on Thursday, July 4, and as with many holidays, transit services will be limited. Please see the listing below to see what level of service that each transit district will operate.

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No new funding = Bare-Bones service

As you may have heard; HART and PSTA posted news last week of record ridership during the month of April, which continues to be an amazing trend despite the current state of the economy throughout the Bay Area.

However, I really have to make things clear about the reality of the current transit funding situation, because some people don’t seem to realize that you can’t have expanded transit service without money to fund those services. When I was reading comments on HART and PSTA’s Facebook pages, some people were asking why can’t we get more routes or buses? Again, if there is no funding available, then there is simply no way to get new buses or routes…it’s as simple as that.

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Memorial Day Holiday Transit Schedules

Memorial Day will be on May 27, 2013, and as with many holidays, transit services will be limited. Please see the listing below to see what level of service that each transit district will operate.

Normal Weekday-Level Service:

  • TECOline Streetcar Line

Saturday-Level Service:

  • Hampton Roads Transit – All Modes

Sunday-Level Service:

  • HART Local Bus Routes
  • PSTA Local Bus Routes
  • PSTA Trolleybus Routes*
  • MCAT Beach Express and Anna Maria Trolley*

No Services:

  • HART and PSTA Express Bus Routes
  • MCAT and SCAT Bus Services (except the MCAT Beach Express and Anna Maria Trolley)
  • Any bus route that normally does not operate on a Sunday

*Some trolleybus routes may operate on a schedule other than a Sunday schedule. Please check the transit district’s website for details.

Normal transit services will resume on Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Remember that HART MetroRapid service will begin on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 and rides will be FREE for two weeks. Please stay tuned for further information.

As always, if you see something here that is incorrect, please let me know.

HARTflex to begin in April

After three years of delays, HARTflex is finally set to begin service in April! This will mark the begining of reservation-based, flex-route minibus service in the Tampa Bay Area.

How does it work?

Patrons in SouthShore and Brandon, the first two areas to recieve service, can call a special reservation line (to be announced) and place a reservation. Minibuses then transfer passengers from their homes to their place of business or other points of interest within the service area. HARTflex buses will follow a designated fixed route, but will be able to deviate up to 3/4 of a mile outside of that desginated route. HARTflex service will also connect to HART Local or Commuter Express bus routes to allow for connectivity outside the designated neighborhood zones.

See this article for more details, including the proposed fares.

MCAT’s Palmetto Station Opens!

On January 30, 2010, MCAT officially opened its new Palmetto Station Terminal on 8th Ave. W. and 19th St. W. in Palmetto. This change resulted in minor changes to SCAT Route 99 and MCAT Routes 11 & 13. More…

October Transit Update

I know I said before that I wouldn’t make another post til December. But there have been many developments on the transit front here in Tampa Bay that I should quickly point out.

HART System: All of the new 29XX Gillig Low Floor 40ft buses are in service since October 1, 2009. Many of these buses are seen runing express routes, as well as higher frequency local routes. The next batch of 29 Gilligs will come in sometime in Spring 2010, replacing all but one (#2015) of the 2000 model Gillig Low Floor 30ft buses and most of the Champion/Freightliner buses that HART purchased in 2008. HART will enact several route changes on November 8, including the reallignment of Routes 1 & 2, the merger of Routes 33 & 83, and the extension/revision of Route 36 towards Lutz. Additionally, there will be frequency changes to Routes 15 & 37, with a reduction of off peak hours to 60 minute frequency, and the increase of peak hour frequency to 30 minutes. The HARTflex system will not go into motion until March or April 2010 and construction of the TECOline Streetcar Extension began on October 9, with completion slated for 2011. The future TIA Transfer Center is currently in the planning stages, with construction to begin in mid 2010.

Intercounty Express Service to Expand: PSTA is currently exploring an expansion of Express Routes, including one towards the WestShore area. Not much details at the moment. However, a source tells me that Sarasota Transit (SCAT) is planning two intercounty express routes to be operational by mid 2010. One route will connect Sarasota/Bradenton with downtown St. Pete, and the other will connect Sarasota/Bradenton to downtown Tampa. Fares and schedules are yet to be determined, but my undertanding is that this will be a peak hour service with morning trips leaving Sarasota and afternoon trips going to Sarasota.

MCAT Introduces new hybrid buses: MCAT recently purchased a fleet of 40-foot Gillig BRT Hybrid Drive buses, which are being used on busier routes, such as the Route 99 Connector. Check out some of the photos posted by transitrider!

High Speed Rail looking dim… At least in Florida anyway. I find it really dumb that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood “demanded” that SunRail be passed or else HSR funds won’t come to Florida. Come on! SunRail is flawed as it is, and attaching an “ultimatum” for HSR funds isn’t going to help…

You can now contact me through email at hartride2012tampa@gmail.com

BIG CHANGES COMING SOON! Something big is happening in December, stay tuned for those…

Holiday Schedules

During holidays, many transit agencies (with the exception of some larger city transit agencies like NYCMTA for example) scale back service due to lower ridership and to allow many of their employees to take a day off. Below are some of the holiday service hours for several Tampa Bay area transit agencies.

HART:

New Year’s Day: No bus service and limited paratransit service, however streetcars run on normal hours.

MLK Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Friday after Thanksgiving, and December 26: Saturday level bus and paratransit service, streetcars run on normal hours.

Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day: All transit services are suspended on these days.

PSTA:

Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day: No bus service.

All other holidays: Sunday level bus service.

MCAT & SCAT:

No holiday service with either agency, however the Longboat Trolley runs all year round.