What will the project accomplish?
The project will result in a new strategic plan with specific action steps needed to implement transformational changes to the current HRT bus system. To achieve this, the project will evaluate the performance of the current bus system and take a “blank slate” approach to designing scenarios for a new transit network. The goal is to design a new bus network that is more relevant and responsive to the needs of Hampton Roads citizens.
This project is not a high-level study to evaluate corridors for improved transit. It is also not focused on developing new detailed bus service plans (for example, creating new stops and route schedules). Rather, this project will take a fresh look at the overall transit system design and performance, and determine what changes should be made to make the region’s core bus system (HRT) as effective and efficient as possible.
Why is the project being done now?
The transportation marketplace is evolving. New technologies and options like Uber and Lyft are influencing consumer expectations and transportation choices. Bus ridership nationally – and on the current HRT system – has been declining in recent years. It is important for public transit agencies to adapt and evolve to meet the needs of the changing environment. Meanwhile, in 2018 the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation requiring certain transit agencies – HRT included – to develop new strategic plans once every 5 years. This project will satisfy this new strategic planning requirement.
When is the project happening?
The project will run between Fall 2018 and Winter 2019. The public will be encouraged to actively participate, providing valuable input throughout the duration of the project.
Who is involved in the project?
The lead organization for the project is the TDCHR – the Transportation District Commission of Hampton Roads (which does business as Hampton Roads Transit). The public-at-large, transit riders, bus operators, transportation organizations, the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, local governments, and community stakeholders will all be involved in the project.
The TDCHR is a regional transportation organization. It is comprised of 6 local governments: Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach. Through coordination and collaboration, the TDCHR has the primary responsibility to weigh factors that influence the quality of bus service across the 6 cities (for example, costs, technology, governance, operational challenges, etc.) and to identify the sustainable and appropriate role for bus service across the six-city area – both today and for the years ahead.
Will current bus service that I rely on be changed?
The project will not result in immediate changes to any bus service. However, the identification of a new bus network design and mix of services may result in the need to change existing bus routes as part of future implementation plans.
Any major service changes will require additional public outreach, more detailed planning and analysis, and approvals by the TDCHR and any City government in which the service changes would take place.
How can I have my input included?
The TDCHR values your input! To start, please complete the online survey
that is open between November 2018 and February 2019. You may also sign up for email updates. The project will include several opportunities for public input, including community meetings, online meetings, and public outreach. Check this website for regular updates as the project continues. You can email the Project Team at email@example.com.