StarMetro (bus service) Article

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StarMetro Logo.png
StarMetro Gillig BRT 29.jpg
BRT Low Floor in StarMetro colors
SloganSmart City. Smart Transit. Moving Forward Together.
Headquarters Tallahassee, Florida
Service area Tallahassee, Florida
Service typeBus
Routes15 weekday
Hubs1
StationsC.K. Steele Plaza
Operator City of Tallahassee
Website www.talgov.com/starmetro/starmetroHome.aspx

StarMetro is the city-owned and operated public bus service for Tallahassee, Florida, and was previously known as TalTran. StarMetro operates both fixed-route and dial-a-ride service in the Tallahassee metropolitan area.

Routes

StarMetro operates every day of the year except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Weekday service consists of 15 regularly scheduled fixed-routes, two flex-routes, and one express route that operates during peak travel times. The "Saturday" schedule consists of 12 of the weekday routes, typically with the earliest trip eliminated and/or the headway reduced. The "Sunday" schedule consists of a completely separate system of four routes that is not as extensive as the weekday/Saturday routes. This Sunday route system is also run on weekday and Saturday nights (7:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M.). All weekday and Saturday routes are named for Tallahassee area locations and symbols while the Sunday routes are numbered. Additionally, on Friday and Saturday evenings from 4:30 P.M. to 1:00 A.M. StarMetro operates the "Dinner Trolley" route which offers free service to various entertainment locations in the Gaines Street (College Town), Downtown, Cascades Park and Midtown areas serving each stop approximately every 30 minutes. During "Celebrate America" on July 4th (Unofficially Route J4) StarMetro offers a special opportunity to view The Annual Fireworks at Tom Brown Park. So Park your car and enjoy a free bus ride to the event! Busses leave from The New Koger Center on Capital Cir. SE starting at 5:00 P. M. and continue operating until around 9:30 P. M.. After the Fireworks have concluded, return service will commence.

Weekday routes

Route Headway Destinations
A – Azalea 30 minutes Lowe's Shopping Center, Commonwealth (Capital Cir. NW) , Tennessee St., Downtown, Mahan Dr., Fallschase (WalMart)
B – Big Bend 30 minutes Lake Jackson Town Center, Monroe St. from Fred George Road to Capital Cir SW
C – Canopy 30 minutes Tennessee St. between Tallahassee Community College and Downtown
D – Dogwood 30 minutes Downtown, Innovation Park
E – Evergreen 30 minutes Downtown, TCC, Tharpe St., Governor's Square Mall, Park Ave., Capital Cir. SE, Conner Blvd. Extension (Tom Brown Park) to Apalachee Pkwy. (ACE Hardware & WalMart), Sutor Rd. & Trojan Trail (Lincoln High School)
F – Forest 30 minutes Huntington Oaks, Mission Rd., Appleyard Dr., Jackson Bluff Rd., Downtown
G – Gulf 60 minutes Ridge Rd., Downtown, Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, Capital Regional Medical Center
K - Killearn 60 Minutes Downtown - Village Square
L – Live Oak 45 minutes Innovation Park, Orange Ave.& Blair Stone Rd. (Sergeant Ernest "Boots" Thomas" VA Outpatient Clinic), Apalachee Pkwy. Target & WalMart
M – Moss 30 minutes Frenchtown, Downtown, Bond Community, South City
P- Park 30 minutes Downtown, Park Ave., Governor's Square Mall
R - Red Hills 60 Minutes Kroger Center to Village Square, Capital Regional Medical Center via Apalachee Pkwy., Capital Cir. SE/NE
S – San Luis 60 minutes Commonwealth Area (Capital Cir. NW), Downtown, Governor's Square Mall, TMH, Centre of Tallahassee
T – Tall Timbers 60 minutes TCC, FSU, Downtown, Koger Center via Old St. Augustine Rd.
W- Southwood Express 60 minutes Downtown, Koger Center, Southwood Town Center

Additionally, the SouthWood Express route runs from downtown to SouthWood and back every 60 minutes with breaks in service from 9:30 to 11:25 a.m. and from 2:00 to 3:15 p.m.

StarMetro also offers two "FLEX" route which connects residents in the Lake Jackson area to the Lake Jackson town center, where riders can transfer to the Big Bend and Forest routes. The other "FLEX" route serves residents in the Southside, where riders can transfer to the Dogwood, Gulf, Live Oak and Moss routes. Riders must call StarMetro two hours before they wish to be picked up in order to use the FLEX routes.

Saturday routes

Also operates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Veterans' Day & Day after Thanksgiving

Route Headway Destinations
A – Azalea 60 Minutes Lowe's Shopping Center, Commonwealth (Capital Cir. NW), Tennessee St., Mahan Dr., Fallschase (WalMart)
B – Big Bend 60 minutes Lake Jackson Town Center, Monroe St. from Fred George Road to Capital Cir SW
D – Dogwood 60 minutes Downtown, Innovation Park
E – Evergreen 60 minutes Downtown, TCC, Tharpe St., Governor's Square Mall, Park Ave., Capital Cir. SE, Conner Blvd. (Tom Brown Park), Sutor Rd. & Trojan Trail (Lincoln High School), Apalachee Pkwy. WalMart
F – Forest 60 minutes Huntington Oaks, Mission Rd., Appleyard Dr., Jackson Bluff Rd., Downtown
G – Gulf 60 minutes Ridge Rd., Downtown, Governor's Square Mall, Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, Capital Regional Medical Center
K - Killearn 60 minutes Downtown - Village Square
L – Live Oak 45 minutes Innovation Park, Orange Ave., Blair Stone Rd., Apalachee Pkwy. Target & WalMart
M – Moss 60 minutes Frenchtown, Downtown, Bond Community, South City
R - Red Hills 60 minutes Kroger Center to Village Square, Capital Regional Medical Center via Apalachee Pkwy., Capital Cir. SE/NE
S – San Luis 60 minutes Commonwealth Area (Capital Cir. NW), Downtown, Governor's Square Mall, TMH, Centre of Tallahassee
T – Tall Timbers 60 minutes TCC, FSU, Downtown, Koger Center via Old St. Augustine Rd.

Sunday & Night routes

Also operates New Year's Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July & Labor Day

Route Headway Destinations
Route 1 60 minutes Lowe's Shopping Center (Capital Cir. NW), Tennessee St., C. K. Steele Plaza, Miccosukee Rd.& Magnolia Dr. (TMH) , Governor's Square Mall , Kroger Center (Via Apalachee Pkwy.), Parkway Center (Via S/N Magnolia Dr.)
Route 2 60 minutes Macon Community, Monroe St., C. K. Steele Plaza, Orange Ave., Woodville Hwy.
Route 3 60 minutes TCC, Pensacola St., Gaines St., C. K. Steele Plaza, Lake Bradford Rd.
Route 5 60 minutes Frenchtown, C. K. Steele Plaza, Bond Community, South City

Campus routes

StarMetro operates fixed routes on the campus of Florida State University Monday through Friday while school is in session. The FSU Nite Nole route operates Monday through Saturday nights. These routes are free to the public and connect each campus with nearby student housing facilities. StarMetro used to also provide fixed routes on the Florida A&M University campus, but this was discontinued when the institution decided not to renew its contract with the agency and began providing campus shuttle services in-house [1].

Enhanced services

  • Bike-On-Bus is a free bike rack system which allows up to two people on a first-come, first-served basis, to load their bikes onto bike racks fixed to front of the buses
  • Next by Text allows riders to learn the arrival time of the next bus at any stop by texting the stop number to 27299.
  • Spirit Express transports Florida State Seminoles football fans from the Tallahassee–Leon County Civic Center to Doak Campbell Stadium and back. Children under 12 ride for free.
  • Bus charters are available with StarMetro.
  • Community Transportation Coordinator. Transportation services for citizens throughout Leon County are available. Riders must qualify through Medicaid, Developmental Disabilities or the Transportation Disadvantaged program for transportation. This is door-to-door service with fares charged based on the sponsoring program.

Fares

The regular, one-trip fare is $1.25 and the reduced one-trip fare is $0.60. The reduced fare is available for seniors, children, disabled persons and people on Medicare. Passengers who purchase a one-trip fare may request a transfer ticket from the driver, which are free; those are valid for up to two transfers within 90 minutes of the ticket being issued; round-trips & stopovers are prohibited. Kids below 42 inches (110 cm) ride for free with fare-paying rider; limit 3.

StarMetro offers three unlimited ride pass options: rolling 24 hours of unlimited rides for $3, rolling weekly unlimited for $10, and a rolling 31-day unlimited pass for $38. [1]

Facilities and infrastructure

StarMetro's main station is C.K. Steele plaza, which was named for the Reverend Charles Kenzie Steele. It is located at 111 West Tennessee Street in downtown Tallahassee on the block bordered by Tennessee Street, Adams Street, Call Street, and Duval Street. The plaza features 24 covered gates for passenger boarding and alighting. Amenities at the plaza include restrooms, covered seating areas, bus driver lounge, and a customer service booth. Thirteen out of the 15 regularly scheduled weekday routes (Azalea, Big Bend, Canopy, Dogwood, Evergreen, Forest, Gulf, Killearn, Moss, Park, San Luis, Tall Timbers and Southwood Express) stop at the plaza, in addition to The Heritage Route serving Florida State University Campus, making it the single busiest stop in the system. In addition to StarMetro busses, Steele Plaza serves as the eastern terminus of the Gadsden Express route, which connects the residents of Quincy and Midway to Tallahassee. Megabus also uses the plaza as its Tallahassee stop along the Orlando – New Orleans Route.

The headquarters for StarMetro are located at 555 Appleyard Drive at the corner of Appleyard and Jackson Bluff Road. Only two routes pass this facility (Forest and Live Oak). Located on this property are administrative offices, a bus maintenance facility, bus parking lot, call center, and customer service window.

Bus stops are referred to as Star Stops, and they are denoted by a rectangular blue sign featuring a white star, route in appropriate color that serves particular location & days of operation. Many stops have no amenities, while the busier stops and transfer points have various amenities including benches, waste containers, and/or covered shelters.

Fleet

Active fleet

Year Builder and
model name
Photo Length
(feet)
Width
(inches)
Numbers Notes
2000 Gillig Trolley 35 ft (10.67 m) 102 in (2.59 m) 0001-0004 Used for The new Trolley Routes that debuted in February 2017.
2001 Gillig
Advantage G18B102N4
35 ft (10.67 m) 102 in (2.59 m) 0103, 0106 and 0107 TalTran, then StarMetro Logo. Equipped with wheelchair lifts & bicycle racks. 0101 Decorated for various Holidays throughout the year. Before being sold buses 104 & 105 were painted in a special music themed variant to promote the short lived "Rhythm Route".
2003 Gillig
Advantage G18B102N4
35 ft (10.67 m) 102 in (2.59 m) 0301-0302 TalTran, then StarMetro Logo. Equipped with wheelchair lifts & bicycle racks.
2005 Gillig
Advantage G29B102N4
35 ft (10.67 m) 102 in (2.59 m) 0501-0509 TalTran, then StarMetro Logo. Equipped with wheelchair lifts & bicycle racks. 0509 was Stolen by a passenger and was crashed in a police chase that ended in Quincy. The bus was recovered and operates today.
2006 Gillig
BRT G29E102R2
StarMetro Gillig BRT 29.jpg 31 ft (9.45 m) 102 in (2.59 m) 0601-0605 TalTran, then StarMetro Logo. Equipped with wheelchair lifts & bicycle racks. 602-605 are now in FSU Colors and operate exclusively on FSU Routes.
2007 Gillig
BRT G29E102R2
31 ft (9.45 m) 102 in (2.59 m) 0701 TalTran, then StarMetro Logo. Equipped with wheelchair lifts & bicycle racks. FSU Route Exclusive wrapped in FSU Colors.
2007 Gillig
BRT G29D102N4 (0702-0706), G27D102N4 (0707-0710)
41 ft (12.50 m) 102 in (2.59 m) 0702-0710 TalTran, then StarMetro Logo. Equipped with wheelchair lifts & bicycle racks.
2008 Champion
Defender
36.1 ft (11.00 m) 95 in (2.41 m) 0801-0805 TalTran, then StarMetro Logo. Equipped with wheelchair lifts & bicycle racks. These vans are featured in a unique Florida State color scheme and shuttle passengers from and within FSU.
2009 Gillig
BRT G27B102N4
37 ft (11.28 m) 102 in (2.59 m) 0901-0904 TalTran, then StarMetro Logo. Equipped with wheelchair lifts & bicycle racks. Buses are featured in a unique Florida State color scheme and shuttle passengers from and within FSU.
2009 Gillig
BRT G27B102N4
37 ft (11.28 m) 102 in (2.59 m) 0905-0908 TalTran, then StarMetro Logo. Equipped with wheelchair lifts & bicycle racks.
2009 Champion
Challenger
23 ft (7.01 m) 95 in (2.41 m) 2901-2914 StarMetro Logo. These vans are only used for StarMetro's Dial-A-Ride service, which utilizes door-to-door service designed for senior citizens and the disabled, who may not be able to get to a standard bus stop. Dial-A-Ride features separate, smaller, multi-passenger vans equipped with handicap access and side mounted wheelchair lifts.
2010 Gillig
BRT G27D102N4
41 ft (12.50 m) 102 in (2.59 m) 1001–1012 StarMetro Logo. Equipped with wheelchair lifts & bicycle racks.
2011 Gillig
BRT G27B102N4
34.9 ft (10.64 m) 102 in (2.59 m) 1101–1103 StarMetro Logo. Equipped with wheelchair lifts & bicycle racks. Wrapped in FSU Colors.
2011 Gillig
BRT G27D102N4
41 ft (12.50 m) 102 in (2.59 m) 1104–1105 StarMetro Logo. Equipped with wheelchair lifts & bicycle racks.
2012 Proterra
EcoRide BE35
34.9 ft (10.64 m) E001-E005 Painted different colors. Used only on the Canopy Route. Equipped with wheelchair lifts & bicycle racks.
2012 Gillig BRT 41 ft (12.50 m) 1201-1202 StarMetro Logo. Equipped with wheelchair lifts & bicycle racks.
2013 Gillig BRT 41 ft (12.50 m) 1301-1302 StarMetro Logo. Equipped with wheelchair lifts & bicycle racks.
2015 Gillig Advantage CNG 35 ft (10.67 m) FRG1501-1503 StarMetro Logo. CNG Powered. Equipped with wheelchair lifts & bicycle racks.
2017 Gillig Advantage CNG 35 ft (10.67 m) FRG1701-1705 StarMetro Logo. CNG Powered. Equipped with wheelchair lifts & bicycle racks.
2018-19 Proterra
Catalyst BE35
35 ft (10.67 m) Unknown (15 buses) Currently on order with expected delivery in late 2018 or early 2019

Promotional fleet

Year Photo Numbers Notes
2005 0555 The "Big Dipper" is a miniature vehicle resembling a bus and operated by one StarMetro employee. Custom built by the StarMetro maintenance shop from used bus parts, the "Big Dipper" is used in Tallahassee's parades at Winter Festival and Springtime Tallahassee.

Retired fleet

Year Builder and model name Length
(feet)
Width
(inches)
Numbers Retired Notes
1968 General Motors Corporation
New Look (T6H-4523A) "Fishbowl"
35 ft (10.67 m) 96 in (2.44 m) 6803-6806 TalTran Logo (Blue & White), Partially Refurbished 1992 with separate wheelchair lift access alongside backdoor exit, opening windows, not equipped with power steering, lack of adequate air-conditioning, original 1968 interiors preserved. 6805 Dubbed "The Ghostbuster", was in white paint most of the time and decorations were added for Easter, Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas.
1976 General Motors Corporation
New Look (T6H-4523A) "Fishbowl"
35 ft (10.67 m) 96 in (2.44 m) 7601-7623 TalTran Logo, Opening windows, partial interior refurbishing after floor separation.
1982 Blue Bird
City Bird
30 ft (9.14 m) 96 in (2.44 m) 8201-8210 TalTran Logo, Opening windows.
1983 General Motors Corporation
RTS-04 (T80-604)
40 ft (12.19 m) 96 in (2.44 m) 8401-8404 TalTran Logo, First busses purchased with digital signs and locked windows, not wheelchair equipped.
1983 General Motors Corporation
RTS-04 (T70-604)
35 ft (10.67 m) 96 in (2.44 m) 8405-8411 TalTran Logo, Locked windows, not wheelchair equipped.
1992 Transportation Manufacturing Corporation
RTS-06 (T70-606)
35 ft (10.67 m) 96 in (2.44 m) 9201-9207 TalTran Logo, First modern busses equipped with wheelchair lifts and bicycle racks. 9207 After accident, had back digital sign moved slightly towards left but remained on right side
1993 Orion Bus Industries
02.501
25.92 ft (7.90 m) 96 in (2.44 m) 9301-9305 TalTran Logo, Low floor busses, driver seat high off floor, equipped with wheelchair lifts.
1994 Transportation Manufacturing Corporation
RTS-06 (T70-606)
35 ft (10.67 m) 96 in (2.44 m) 9401-9425 TalTran, then StarMetro Logo. Some buses had interiors partially refurbished after floor separation. Equipped with wheelchair lifts & bicycle racks. 9420 sold to Limo company in Quincy.
1994 New Flyer Industries
D40LF
40 ft (12.19 m) 102 in (2.59 m) 9426-9432 TalTran, then StarMetro Logo (Red, White & Blue). Equipped with wheelchair lifts. These buses were ex- Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Agency units purchased in 2005.
1996 NovaBus
RTS-06 (T80-606)
40 ft (12.19 m) 96 in (2.44 m) 9601-9609 TalTran, then StarMetro Logo. Equipped with wheelchair lifts & bicycle racks. Sold To Various Limo Company's in Tallahassee.
2000 Advanced Bus Industries
TSV-30
30 ft (9.14 m) 96 in (2.44 m) 2011, three unknown
(4 buses)
StarMetro Logo. Equipped with wheelchair lifts. These buses were ex- Central Ohio Transit Authority units. Used on the 80X Routes until 2007.

Improvements/StarMetro Renaissance Project

From 2006–2009, StarMetro began a makeover including new routes, stations, and stops. One planned change is the addition of two new transfer stops. These stops will make it possible to travel across Tallahassee without changing buses at the downtown hub station. In addition, StarMetro is planning wireless internet and television in buses, GPS-enabled buses with live location maps over the Internet, solar-lighted stops with live location maps, and blinking lights at stops to let drivers know of waiting passengers. The C.K. Steele station includes renovation and installation of information kiosks. Seats on the newer-model buses are made of padded plastic and are arranged front-facing in rows and sideways against the walls, much like a subway car layout. All models in use except the Dial-A-Ride shuttle vans exceed 4000 pounds, and therefore are not equipped with seat belts. All buses are equipped with climate-control and interior lighting.

StarMetro implemented a complete route overhaul dubbed "Nova2010" in 2010, which reduced the current system to 11 routes, of which only 4 are intended meet at CK Steele Plaza. The routes now run at closer intervals than before, while providing transfer points all over the city — no longer requiring all two-bus trips to transfer at CK Steele Plaza. Some trips may now require two transfers, but will still generally result in a more direct and faster trip than transferring at the Plaza.

References

  1. ^ StarMetro. "Fares & Passes." City of Tallahassee. http://www.talgov.com/starmetro/starmetro-fares.aspx

External links