It’s that time again, time to roll out the next batch of transit system service changes. Effective dates and scope of changes will vary greatly by transit agency. For this post, I’m going to divide each of the changes by transit agency and arrange by effective date.
Sunday, October 8, 2017 is just around the corner, and there is much to talk about in this post. In addition to Hillsborough Area Regional Transit’s systemwide restructuring – called Mission MAX – Hampton Roads Transit is also enacting its own changes on the same day. HRT is also undergoing its own Transit Development Plan update and is considering undergoing a similar system restructuring to that of HART. I’ll delve more into HRT in a few moments, but first – let’s do one final rundown of the changes that we’re expecting to see on the HART system.
Does everything that I just wrote sound confusing? If so, let me break things down a bit:
A summary list of the changes is available on the HART website. This list goes through how each route is changing.
To view the new schedules for each individual HART route, simply go to the Maps & Schedules Page on the HART website, and select the routes drop-down menu on the left. Once you’ve opened up the drop-down menu, scroll all the way down to where you see “HART Service Changes, Effective: 10/8/17 – Coming Soon”. Beneath that divider, you will be able to view the new schedules.
You can view a side-by-side comparison of how each HART route looks like today, versus how they will look like after the restructuring takes effect. This tool is very helpful in determining how your commute will be impacted.
You can also view an interactive system map that shows where each route travels to and from, as well as stop placement. The map is powered by Remix, which is a very powerful tool for transit agencies to use for planning – whether it be a large scale restructuring like what HART is doing, or a routine round of service changes. I’ve actually used the interactive mapping features when they were in demo mode (and open for general public use), and I can definitely see why many transit agencies like to use Remix as a tool for their transit system planning needs.
Lastly, you can go over to Google Maps and use their transit planning feature to view how your commute will shape up once the restructuring takes effect.
Simply click the blue diamond “directions” button on the upper left-hand corner of the page. Then, type the address of where you’re coming from and the address of where you’re going to.
Once your itinerary is mapped out, select the “train” icon at the top to launch the transit option.
Under the transit option, select the drop-down menu that reads “Leave Now”, and change it to “Depart at” or “Arrive by”, then change the date field to 10/8/17 or a date thereafter, and your desired arrival or departure time.
Now you can see which route options are available to you once the restructuring takes effect. You customize your commute further by using the “Schedule Explorer” tool on the bottom left if you wish.
If you have further questions about HART’s Mission MAX restructuring, please do not hesitate to reach out to them by calling (813)-254-4278, visiting the HART website, or reaching out to them via Social Media.
HRT System Changes
Now, let’s take a look at what HRT has in store for October 8, 2017. These changes are not as radical as Mission MAX, but as I mentioned earlier, HRT is working on its own TDP update, which calls for a systemwide examination of its services.
Changes taking effect in the Southside (Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, & Virginia Beach)
Route 2: The current detour on Route 2 will become permanent. No service will be provided to Naval Station Norfolk. The route will terminate at the NEX Mall. Schedule adjustments will be made.
Route 3: Minor schedule adjustments to improve adherence.
Route 21: The current detour on Route 21 will become permanent. No service will be provided to Naval Station Norfolk after 6:30 pm Monday through Friday. No service will be provided on weekends. The route will terminate at the NEX Mall. Schedule adjustments will be made.
Route 25: The route will be modified to provide service to Sentara Princess Anne Medical Complex. Service will be discontinued to the Municipal Center via Route 25. Service to the Municipal Center will be provided by Route 33.
Route 33: Minor schedule adjustments to improve adherence.
Changes taking effect in the Northside (Newport News & Hampton)
No changes are planned for this service change cycle.
Changes taking effect on the Express Routes
Route 919: All evening trips revised due to closure of Bainbridge Avenue and Franklin Street.
Route 922: The following morning trips will be discontinued due to low ridership:
All evening trips revised due to closure of Bainbridge Avenue and Franklin Street.
Route 960: The route will be revised to service Newtown Station. Service will be discontinued to Silverleaf Commuter Station. Route 960 will operate between Downtown Norfolk Transit Center and Arctic Avenue/19th Street with a stop at Newtown Station.
Route 965: All evening trips revised due to closure of Bainbridge Avenue and Franklin Street.
HRT Fare Changes
In 2014, HRT approved a two-phased systemwide fare increase, with the first phase taking effect October, 2014. With this second phase, the one-way base fare for local routes will be brought from $1.75 to $2.00, which is the same level that HART charges for a one-way local & limited express fare. The fare increase was conducted as a two-phased approach so that customers would not be negatively impacted by a single slew of fare increases all at once.
The new fares will take effect on Sunday, October 1, 2017
For a rundown of the new fares and frequently asked questions, please visit the HRT website.
HRT Transit Development Plan (TDP)
HRT is currently working on completing its TDP and is asking for public input. Two meetings will be held., one tonight and the other on Saturday, September 23, 2017. This TDP update calls for a systemwide examination of current services and recommends eliminating lower ridership routes and segments to pave the way for new services to higher demand areas. To view the recommendations and to provide comment, please visit the HRT website.
May is only about a month away! Which means summer will not be far behind it. With tourist season approaching for the Virginia Beach area, Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) is announcing changes to the Virginia Beach WAVE seasonal trolley service. Below is a quick summary of what changes are in store for this year.
Route 30 – Atlantic Ave Trolley
Route 31 will continue to operate in its normal fashion beginning May 1, 2017. Between May 1 and May 21, trolleys will operate roughly every 30 to 45 minutes. From May 22 through Labor Day, regular summer service will begin with trolleys operating roughly every 15 minutes. Between Labor Day and September 30, service will begin winding down for the season with trolleys operating roughly every 30 to 45 minutes. Span of service is from 8:00am until 2:00am (the next morning) 7-days-a-week.
Route 32 – Aquarium and Campground Shuttle
Route 32 will also continue to operate in its normal fashion, with service beginning May 22 and running through Labor Day. Buses will operate roughly every 20 minutes 7-days-a-week, from 9:30am until 11:10pm. Note: The Virginia Aquarium and Ocean Breeze stops are only serviced during normal business hours.
Route 33 – Shoppers Shuttle (ELIMINATED)
Due to ultra-low ridership, HRT has eliminated the Shoppers Shuttle service. Those wishing to connect between the Virginia Beach Oceanfront and the Virginia Beach shopping/mall district can do so via the following alternative bus routes.
Route 20 connects to the Hilltop Shopping District with 30-minute service Monday through Saturday and hourly Sunday service+. Those wishing to travel to Lynnhaven Mall can transfer to Route 29 at Laskin Rd and First Colonial Rd. Route 29 operates Monday through Saturday with hourly service.
Express (MAX) Route 960 connects to the Virginia Beach Convention Center via the Parks Ave/20th St stop. Those wishing to visit the Virginia Beach Museum of Contemporary Art (M.O.C.A.) can get off at this stop and walk northward to the museum.
*VB WAVE Routes 30 and 31 will continue to provide service to Rudee Inlet
+Route 20 continues to Norfolk with 15-30 minute service between Downtown Norfolk and Pembroke East on weekdays (not all trips go all the way to the Oceanfront during rush hours). Be sure that you’re boarding the correct bus if you’re traveling from Norfolk to the Oceanfront.
Route 35 – North End Shuttle (NEW)
Route 35 will be introduced to serve First Landing State Park, the North End beaches, and the various eateries along Shore Dr. Service will operate 7-days-a-week from May 22 until Labor Day, with buses running roughly every 45 minutes from 8:00am through 12-midnight. After Labor Day, buses will operate Friday through Sunday only with 45-minute service from 8:00am through 12-midnight.
Please see the map below to see where the 35 will operate.
For additional information, including fares, please visit HRT’s website.
The VB WAVE Information Page on the Global Transit Guidebook will be updated soon.
It’s that time again; time to implement another round of service changes. This time, I was a tad late in posting the January, 2017 changes for Hampton Roads Transit and Volusia County Transit. So I decided to roll in those changes into one blog post with the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority’s February, 2017 service changes.
This round of changes saw mostly frequency and/or span of service increases for both PSTA and Votran, while HRT saw a round of scheduling and/or routing adjustments and two route eliminations. The biggest change for HRT is the discontinuation of hold requests.
What exactly is a hold request? Let’s say that you’re on the last trip of the evening and need to make a transfer. But the bus that you’re transferring to departs three minutes before the bus that you’re on is scheduled to arrive at the transfer point. Some transit agencies will allow you to place a hold request so that the bus that you’re transferring to will wait a few extra minutes for you to arrive.
With transit agency budgets getting tighter and efficiency improvements becoming more important than ever before, many transit agencies have decided to do away with hold requests to help keep buses running on time. PSTA is one of the transit agencies in West Central Florida that continues to honor hold requests. HART revised its hold request procedures a few years ago to where customers can only place a hold request during the last two trips of the evening, though exceptions may be made during the first trip of the morning.
Hampton Roads Transit (HRT)
Here’s a brief overview of the service changes that took effect for HRT back on January 16, 2017.
Route 25: Minor scheduling changes were enacted to improve efficiency.
Route 33: Routing changes were enacted near the Artic Ave & 19th St Transfer Point to improve efficiency. Please see the graphic below for details.
Route 55: The last three trips departing Greenbriar Mall were adjusted to improve connectivity to other routes at the Robert Hall Transfer Point.
Route 57: Western terminus adjusted from Sunkist Rd/Airline Blvd. to Airline Blvd. and Quailshire Ln.
Route 58: The Mains Creek Rd deviation was discontinued. Buses now stay on Libertyville Rd between Mullen Rd & Great Bridge Blvd. Please see the graphic below for details.
Changes to the Robert Hall Transfer Point: The transfer point was split into two boarding zones to expedite easier and quicker transfers. Zone A serves Routes 14, 55, 57, & 58, while Zone B serves Routes 6 ,13, & 15.
Route 101: Minor scheduling changes were enacted to improve efficiency.
Route 107: Scheduling changes were made to improve connectivity other routes at Patrick Henry Mall.
Route 111: Routing changes were made to the Jefferson Ave segment to where buses travel bi-directionally along Jefferson Ave, Thimble Shoals Blvd, Fishing Point Dr, and City Center Blvd. Northbound buses previously traveled clockwise via Jefferson Ave, City Center Blvd, Fishing Point Blvd, Thimble Shoals Blvd, and then back to Jefferson Ave and City Center Blvd. Please see the graphic below for details.
Route 968 (Route Elimination): This route was operating on a test basis to evaluate transit service to key employment centers. Unfortunately, it was eliminated due to ultra-low ridership.
Route 969 (Route Elimination): This route was operating on a test basis to evaluate transit service to key employment centers. Unfortunately, it was eliminated due to ultra-low ridership.
Changes to the HRT Website
Locating bus schedules on www.gohrt.com has changed. All routes are now separated by area (i.e. Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Hampton) with separate pages on the Peninsula Commuter and Metro Area Express routes remaining intact. Previously, you could view a list of northside and southside bus routes without having to go through the area pages.
Volusia County Transit (Votran)
Here’s a brief overview of the service changes that took effect for Votran back on January 24, 2017.
Route 20: Frequency was increased from hourly service to every 30 minutes Monday through Saturday, interlining with Route 60 was discontinued, and the northern terminus was shifted to the Amelia Ave SuperStop (Transfer Point) by the Northgate Shopping Center. The DeLand WalMart on US Hwy 17 is now only served by southbound trips to the Market Place Transfer Point.
Routes 21 & 22: Departure times from the Market Place Transfer Point were changed to :25 past the hour to allow quicker transfers between these routes and the improved Route 20. The first trips of the morning on both the 21 & 22 no longer enter Deltona City Center.
Route 23: Departure times from the Market Place Transfer Center were changed to :20 past the hour.
Route 33: The SunRail weekday feeder route between DuPont Lakes and the DeBary SunRail station is no longer classified as an express route. Buses will stop at all marked Votran bus stops along the route.
Routes 40 & 41: Timepoint changes were enacted to alleviate confusion with the Julia St/US Hwy 1 interline point.
Route 60: Frequency was increased from hourly service to every 30 minutes Monday through Saturday, interlining with Route 20 was discontinued, and the western terminus was shifted to the Amelia Ave SuperStop (Transfer Point) by the Northgate Shopping Center. Customers wishing to visit the WalMart on US 17 will need to transfer to Route 20.
Here’s a brief overview of the service changes that took effect for PSTA back on February 5, 2017.
Route 4: Sunday service now ends after 9:00pm, instead of ending after 5:00pm.
Route 7: Saturday service now ends after 9:00pm, instead of ending after 6:00pm. Sunday service now ends after 8:00pm, instead of ending after 5:00pm.
Route 11: Sunday service now ends after 6:00pm instead of ending after 4:00pm. Also, Sunday frequency is now hourly throughout the day. Previously, buses ran every two hours throughout the day on Sundays.
Route 14: Service now ends after 9:00pm Monday through Saturday and after 8:00pm on Sundays. Service previously ended after 8:00pm on weekdays, after 7:00pm on Saturdays, and after 5:00pm on Sundays. Sunday frequency has also increased from every two hours to hourly service.
Routes 18 & 19: Sunday service now runs through 8:00pm (Route 18) & 9:00pm (Route 19) respectively. Both routes used to end after 5:00pm on Sundays.
Route 23: Sunday service now ends after 7:00pm, instead of ending after 5:00pm. Sunday frequency has also increased from every two hours to hourly service.
Route 52: Saturday frequency was increased from hourly service to every 30 minutes.
Route 59: Saturday frequency was increased from hourly service to every 30 minutes; and weekday service now runs through 11:00pm, instead of ending after 8:00pm.
Route 61: Minor scheduling changes were enacted to improve efficiency.
Route 66L: A northbound trip from the Park St Terminal in Clearwater was added, with the bus departing at 6:05am.
Route 73: Saturday frequency is now hourly throughout the day. Previously, buses ran roughly every two hours throughout the day.
Route 76: Minor scheduling changes were enacted to improve efficiency.
Route 78: The last three weekday round trips now depart the Park St Terminal in Clearwater at 6:10pm, 7:25pm, & 8:35pm. These trips previously departed at 5:40pm, 6:55pm, & 8:05pm respectively. Saturday frequency was increased from hourly service to every 30 minutes. Sunday frequency was increased from every hour & 10 minutes to every 35 minutes.
Route 79: Minor scheduling changes were enacted to improve efficiency.
Route 98: Whitney Rd deviation was discontinued. Buses now stay on East Bay Dr/Roosevelt Blvd at the US 19 interchange. Those wishing to make transfers to & from the 98 can do so at the stop along Roosevelt Blvd & Dodge St.
Route 813 – North County Connector – Dunedin/Palm Harbor: Route has been split into two separate routes to allow for better flex service in the Safety Harbor area. The 813 will continue to serve Westfield Countryside, the Dunedin & Palm Harbor areas, & the Palm Harbor WalMart, and departure times have changed to reflect the split.
Route 814 – North County Connector – Safety Harbor (New Route): The Safety Harbor portion of the 813 is now the 814, serving Westfield Countryside, the Safety Harbor area, & Philippe Park every hour Monday through Saturday. The new route replaces the Safety Harbor Jolley Trolley.
Jolley Trolley – Safety Harbor Branch (Route Elimination): After a three-year run, the Safety Harbor branch of the Jolley Trolley was eliminated due to funding changes (the city of Safety Habor elected not to continue funding for the trolley beyond 2016).
New Hours for TD Late Shift: 10:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m.
Beginning Sunday, August 28, 2016, the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX) and Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) will enact various service changes throughout their respective systems. Please read carefully through the following changes. Further details – including route schedules – can be found on the transit agency’s website.
Link 320–Avalon Park Schools Connector – New weekday service from Alafaya Trail/East Colonial Drive to East Colonial Drive/Chuluota Road and Avalon Park providing service to the Econ River High Charter School. Service began on August 15.
Link 10– East U.S. 192/St. Cloud (Osceola County) – Eastbound buses will operate on Orange Avenue instead of Grape Avenue between 10th Street and U.S. 192. There will also be minor scheduling adjustments.
Link 24–Millenia (Orange County) – Westbound buses on Oak Ridge Road will operate via International Drive, Altamira Drive, Adrianna Avenue and Oak Ridge Road to the Orlando Premium Outlets International Drive. Eastbound buses will now operate via Oak Ridge Road to Millenia Boulevard. There will also be minor scheduling adjustments.
Link 31– LYMMO Orange-Downtown (Orange County) – While being the “original” LYMMO circulator line, the route’s numbering has been inconsistent with the three subsequent LYMMO routes that have 60-series route numbers. As a result, LYNX is re-designating this route as Link 60 (LYMMO Orange-Downtown).
Link 62– LYMMO Grapefruit (Orange County) – Layover location will be moved to E. Church Street/S. Magnolia Avenue. There will also be minor scheduling adjustments.
Link 63–LYMMO North Quarter Line (Orange County) – The current bus stop on N. Orange Avenue/Concord Street will be moved north to N. Orange Avenue between Colonial Drive and Concord Street.
FastLink 407– Kissimmee/Medical City/Orlando International Airport (Osceola County/Orange County) – The direction of travel will change for this route. Trips from the LYNX Kissimmee Intermodal Station will serve Orlando International Airport (OIA) before Medical City and then reverse on the trips from Medical City to the LYNX Kissimmee Intermodal Station. There will also be minor scheduling adjustments.
Link 6–Dixie Belle Drive (Orange County) – The Weekday/Saturday 5:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. trips, as well as the Saturday trips from Dixie Belle Drive/Gatlin Avenue, the 4:55 a.m. weekday; and 5 a.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday trips from Colonial Plaza SuperStop will all be eliminated. There will also be minor scheduling adjustments.
Link 8– W. Oak Ridge Road/International Drive (Orange County) – A trip at 6:05 a.m. on Weekdays and Saturdays will be added, as well as a 5:15 a.m. trip on Sundays – all from LYNX Central Station. A 4:14 p.m. Weekday, 5:15 p.m. Saturday, and 4:48 p.m. Sunday trips will be added from Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets. There will also be minor scheduling adjustments.
Link 23–Winter Park/Springs Plaza (Orange County) – The Saturday 5:40 a.m. trip from Denning Drive/Webster Avenue and the 5:45 a.m. trip from Springs Plaza will be eliminated.
Link 37– Pine Hills/Florida Mall (Orange County) – A 5:55 a.m. weekday trip, as well as 7 and 8 a.m. Sunday trips will be added from Silver Star Road and Hiawassee Road. 3:10 p.m., 4:10 p.m., and 5:10 p.m. trips will be added on Weekdays; and 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. trips will be added on Sundays – all from Florida Mall. There will also be minor scheduling adjustments.
Link 40–Americana Blvd./Universal Orlando (Orange County) – The 4 a.m. Saturday and 4:45 a.m. Sunday trips from LYNX Central Station will be eliminated.
Link 102–Orange Avenue/South 17-92 (Orange County) – The 4:45 a.m. weekday trip from LYNX Central Station will be eliminated, as well as the 10:28 p.m. Sunday trip from Fernwood Boulevard and Oxford Road. There will also be minor scheduling adjustments.
Link 106– N. U.S. 441/Apopka (Orange County) – The 1 a.m. weekday trip from Apopka SuperStop will be eliminated. A 4:25 a.m. Weekday and a 4:50 a.m. Sunday trip from Apopka SuperStop will be added. A 9:45 p.m. Saturday and a 7:45 p.m. Sunday trip from LYNX Central Station will also be added. There will also be minor scheduling adjustments..
Link 107 – U.S. 441/Orlando Florida Mall (Orange County) – A 9:15 p.m. trip on Sunday from LYNX Central Station will be added. There will also be minor scheduling adjustments.
Link 313– Winter Park (Orange County) – The 7:40 p.m. weekday, 6:39 a.m. and 7:33 p.m. Saturday trips from Florida Hospital will be eliminated, as well as the 6:45 a.m. Saturday trip from LYNX Central Station.
FastLink 418– Florida Mall/Meadow Woods/Lake Nona (Orange County) – The 7:30 p.m. weekday and Saturday trip from the VA Hospital will be eliminated. There will also be minor scheduling adjustments.
Minor Scheduling Adjustments
The following routes will see minor scheduling changes – many of which include changes to timepoints and/or running times.
Route 55 – Greenbrier Circulator (Southside) – New Monday through Saturday service from Greenbrier Mall to Robert Hall Blvd via Crossways Blvd.
Route 968 – MAX (Express) – Silverleaf Park-N-Ride / DoD Suffolk – New express route will provide service between Silverleaf Park-N-Ride to the Joint Staff Compound in Suffolk. There will be two AM trips leaving Silverleaf (6:00, 6:30) and two PM trips leaving the Compound (3:40, 4:10).
Route 969 – MAX (Express) – Indian River Park-N-Ride / DoD Suffolk – New express route will provide service between Indian River/Greenbrier Park-N-Ride to the Joint Staff Compound in Suffolk. There will be two AM trips leaving Indian River(6:11, 6:30) and two PM leaving the Compound (3:40, 4:10).
Route 427 – Denbigh Midnight (Northside) – Route discontinued due to low ridership. Note, this was a lone commuter run that began its trip at about 12:00am, hence the route’s name.
Route 14 – Robert Hall Blvd / TCC Chesapeake (Southside) – Route has been revised to service TCC Chesapeake in one direction only.
Route 111 – Thomas Nelson Community College / Riverside Regional (Northside) – Route modified to provide service between Patrick Henry Mall and Fishing Point via Canon Blvd.Hourly service to the Newport News/Williamsburg Airport, Mary Immaculate Hospital and Riverside Convalescent Center removed from the Route 111. Hourly service to the airport will now be provided by Route 116. Hourly service to Mary Immaculate and Riverside Convalescent center will be provided by the Route 107.
Route 116 – Lee Hall / Patrick Henry Mall (Northside) – Route revised to provide service to Newport News/Williamsburg Airport. Service frequency will also change from 70 minutes to 60 minutes.
Route 119 – Fishing Point Dr/Riverside Regional Medical Center (Northside) – Service to the Canon facility will be discontinued. Route 111 will provide service to Canon Blvd.
Route 121– Newport News Transportation Center / Williamsburg (Northside) – Boarding/Disembarking for for this route at NNTC will now be done on Washington Ave between 34th and 35th St. (In front of the clock tower)
Route 966 – MAX (Express) – Silverleaf Park-N-Ride / Newport News Transit Center – Boarding/Disembarking for this route at NNTC will now be done on Washington Ave between 34th and 35th St. (In front of the clock tower). Schedule has also been adjusted to start service from Silverleaf at 5:40 AM.
Route 15 – Evelyn T. Butts Ave / Robert Hall Blvd (Southside) – Service to Greenbrier Mall, Monday – Friday limited only to after 7:30 PM; service to Greenbrier before 7:30 PM, will be provided by Route 55. Service to Robert Hall also increased to every 30 minutes.
Route 103 – Downtown Newport News / Downtown Hampton (Northside) – Weekdays and Saturdays, after 8:00 PM service frequency will be changed from every 45 minutes to hourly. Sunday service will be hourly.
Route 104 – Downtown Newport News / Newmarket (Northside) – Weekdays and Saturdays, after 8:00 PM service frequency will be changed from every 30 minutes to hourly. Sunday service will be hourly.
Route 108– Patrick Henry Mall / Lee Hall (Northside) – Service frequency will change from 70 minutes to 60 minutes.
Route 918 – MAX (Express) – Silverleaf Park-N-Ride to Lafayette River Annex/Gate 4 – Due to low ridership, service will be reduced to one AM trip (6:00) and one PM trip (4:15).
Route 961 – MAX (Express) – Norfolk to Hampton to Newport News – New 4:00 PM trip from NNTC to DNTC via Evelyn T Butts.
Minor Scheduling Adjustments
The following routes will see minor scheduling changes – many of which include changes to timepoints and/or running times.
Route 12 – South Norfolk / TCC-Virginia Beach (Southside)
Route 23 – Norfolk General / Military Circle / Janaf (Southside)
Monday, October 12, 2015 is Columbus Day. Unlike most Federal holidays, where transit services are typically limited to weekend-level services, most transit districts tend to operate on a typical weekday schedule on Columbus Day, with some districts operating weekday services with modifications.
In the Tampa Bay Area, all area transit districts (HART, PSTA, MCAT, SCAT, PCPT, and Hernando THEbus) will operate on a normal weekday schedule. This includes the TECOline Streetcar, HART MetroRapid, HART and PSTA flex bus services, and various trolleybus routes throughout the metro area.
In the Hampton Roads Area, all HRT services (bus, LRT, and ferry) will also operate on a normal weekday schedule. However, MAX (Express) routes 918, 919, 922, and 965 will NOT operate.
If you have any questions regarding holiday transit services, please contact your respective transit district for details. Customer service centers will be open normal hours (unless otherwise specified by the transit district).
Today marks the final day of Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) Route 30 (Virginia Beach WAVE Atlantic Ave Shuttle) service for 2015. Service on this route will not resume until early May of 2016, with Routes 31 and 32 resuming services in around Memorial Day.
Customers can use Route 33 for year-round Oceanfront bus service.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact HRT directly.
The Virginia Beach WAVE summer shuttle service, which is operated by Hampton Roads Transit (HRT), will begin winding down services on Labor Day (Monday, September 7, 2015). Routes 31 and 32 and end service at their regular service end times on September 7, and will not resume service until in around Memorial Day weekend in 2016. Route 30, which traverses Atlantic Ave, will continue to run on a 20-minute headway beginning on Tuesday, September 8, 2015 until Wednesday, September 30, 2015. At that time, Route 30 service will end for 2015 and will not resume until around May 1, 2016.
Alternative year-round bus services include Routes 20, 29, 33, and 960.
I will be updating my Virginia Beach WAVE information page on Tuesday, September 8, 2015 and Thursday, October 1, 2015 respectively.
Any questions or concerns regarding the end of Virginia Beach WAVE 2015 services should be directed to HRT.
Tonight, the Virginia Beach City Council is expected to select the “Locally Preferred Alternative” (or LPA) for the Virginia Beach Transit Extension Study. The council is also slated to ratify next year’s city budget at tonight’s meeting, which currently includes $20 million dollars for the light rail extension plan.
So far, most of the council seems to be supportive of Mayor Will Sessoms’ proposed budget changes, which also includes a four percent increase for city workers and teachers. Transit advocates and supporters have been fighting hard to make sure that the council moves in a direction that will allow light rail to be extended into Virginia Beach. On the line right now is a state-proposed deal that would have them pay for roughly half the cost of extending The Tide, which currently terminates at the Virginia Beach/Norfolk city limits, to Town Center. The city would be responsible for taking up the remainder of the costs.
Many rail haters meanwhile have been chastising the council, claiming that the light rail extension is part of the reason for a planned tax hike that is to take effect in 2016 and that money can be better spent elsewhere. Many Tea Party activists and insiders have been clamoring that Bus Rapid Transit is a far cheaper and economical alternative to light rail, and that the council should either go that route, or not build anything at all.
Tonight’s meeting begins at 6PM at the Virginia Beach City Council Chambers, 2401 Courthouse Drive, Virginia Beach, Virginia, 23456.
Two years ago this month, I took a trip to Norfolk and Virginia Beach, VA to visit relatives and to embark on my first ride along a light rail line. In this Friday Rewind post, I will reflect back on my experience in Hampton Roads and how the area is pushing for more transportation choices,
In many respects, Norfolk, VA is very similar to Tampa, FL. Both have similarly structured bus systems that utilize Gillig transit buses, and both transit districts; HART and HRT, are facing the same budgetary issues when it comes to maintaining what they have, as well as trying to expand service wherever they can. Both cities have also had old style streetcar systems in the past, both of which were later dismantled. One key difference though, is that Hampton Roads does not have the type of street grid that Tampa Bay has. Most streets in Virginia Beach for instance, are spider web type, which means that roads either radiate around a central point or zig zag in multiple directions. This makes it much harder to run buses, especially routes with are crucial for employment centers. Another difference is that Norfolk has been able to build its starter light rail line, something that Tampa has been vying to do for many years, and may finally have a real chance of modernizing its heritage streetcar system in the coming years.
Now, let me take you through what I was able to experience while in Norfolk last April…
I first parked my car at the Ballentine/Broad Creek Park-and-Ride Lot, just next to the Ballentine/Broad Creek LRT Station. My original plan was to actually use the Military Hwy Park-and-Ride Lot, but I ended up wanting to go just a bit closer to the Norfolk State University Campus, where I could feel the historical charm of the entire city of Norfolk. These two Park-and-Ride lots are two of the four that Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) provides to its customers to allow them to use light rail to get to downtown, instead of hassling with city parking. The other two lots are located at Harbor Park (next to the Harbor Park Stadium) and the Newtown Rd terminus.
Once at the LRT station, I purchased a one-day GoPass that would allow me to ride the bus system and the LRT. I then snapped some photos of the surrounding area as I waited for the next train to arrive. The train shown in this photo arrived just as I walked up to the station. The next train arrived about 15 minutes later. Since this was a Saturday that I rode the train,the frequency of trains was at every 15 minutes.
Heading into downtown
Once onboard the train, I quickly took in the sights of the urban landscape and the sounds of the train rolling along, with automated announcements guiding customers to each station. I’ve noticed that the sound that the Siemens S70 LRV trains make as they pull in and out of each station is very similar to how the Alstom/Bombardier MF 2001 subway trains and Citadis LRV trains in Paris sound like as they arrive and depart. I also liked how sleek, clean, and modern the trains are, as I’ve always been fascinated with modern buses and trains. There are only a handful of light rail lines in the US that still use older, non-articulated types of LRV trains. One of those lines I’ve learned is located in Buffalo, NY. Actually, their system is an LRT/Pre-Metro line, which I’ll profile in a future post.
Once getting off the train, I quickly took in the sights and sounds of the heart of downtown Norfolk, specifically MacArthur Square. This wonderful urban space includes green space that surrounds the current LRT station. I understand that during the construction of the Tide LRT, a couple of buildings along Main St had to be demolished to make way for the stations and track. To the northeast of the MacArthur Square LRT station is the Douglas MacArthur Memorial statue and museum. The building that houses the museum was originally the Norfolk City Hall. The current city hall is located at a small complex of buildings near the Elizabeth River that are a part of Norfolk Civic Plaza. There is also an LRT stop at the Civic Plaza complex.
The MacArthur Center
To the north of the station is the MacArthur Center Mall, which I would say is a “watered down” version of Tampa’s International Plaza. The complex comprises of trendy stores like Abercrombie & Fitch, Forever 21, and H&M, as well as higher-end stores like Nordstrom. Despite the mall’s relatively small footprint, it’s still a great place to visit if you have some extra time to shop and drop. And why battle for a parking space, when you can easily take the train into downtown?
Walking through Norfolk
After visiting the mall, I decided to take a northwestward stroll through downtown and its flanking residential district to the west. The old charm of the multi-story apartment buildings really makes Norfolk a pretty neat place to live. There’s a good variety of parks, attractions, and museums to visit, as well as lots of shops and eateries to stop by at. The Virginia Beach Expressway provides quick access to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, and there’s plenty of opportunities to spend time with nature, including the Norfolk Botanical Gardens.
Proceeding northwestward, I came across the the Fort Norfolk area, just bordering the historic Granby district to the north and downtown Norfolk to the east. This area encompasses many healthcare complexes, including the Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and the Eastern Virginia Medical Center (EVMC). This area also serves as the current western terminus for the Tide LRT. A little further west of this point is a ton of rail yards and industrial shipping docks.
I then proceeded northward towards the historic Granby district, where many centuries-old housing are located. A little further north of where I traveled is Old Dominion University, which is the second major college campus in the Norfolk area. I was really taken away by the unique charm of the older homes and beautiful landscaping. I even got to witness one of the area residents manicuring her wonderful bed of tulips, and these were pretty large tulips too! As I proceeded through the historic Granby district, I was taken even more into the historic charm that Norfolk has to offer, without all the nightclub hubub of Ybor City.
The Return Trip
Finishing up my wonderful walk through the Granby district, I stumbled upon the Cedar Grove Transfer Center, located along Princess Anne Rd and Salter St. On July 7, 2013, all transfer center operations moved to an interim terminal along Wood St, just steps away from the Norfolk Scope Arena. Cedar Grove reminds me a lot of the makeshift bus depot that HART once had at the former Tampa Bay Center Mall, because Cedar Grove is nothing more than a parking lot with a few bus shelters on one side. There were no restrooms or other facilities at the site either. Eventually, a new, modern bus terminal will be built in downtown Norfolk, equipped with restrooms.
It took me a while to locate a bus route that would get me back to the Tide LRT line, but I did manage to locate the shelter for Local Bus Route 44, which travels towards Fort Norfolk in the southbound direction. As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, HRT’s bus fleet primarily comprises of Gillig Low Floor buses. These buses have either a white or grey livery with waves at the bottom. The interiors are a lot like the 2001 series buses that both HART and PSTA have, but with primarily blue colors.
With the height of the afternoon coming to a close, I decided start heading back to Broad Creek so that I could meet up with my family for dinner. Upon arrival to the EVMC/Fort Norfolk LRT station, the train had already arrived and was awaiting departure. I rode the train all the way back to the Ballentine/Broad Creek LRT station and took a few more photos along the way.
What’s next for public transit in Hampton Roads
If you missed my last few posts on The Tide, then you’ve missed quite a bit. Right now, the fight is on to extend the light rail line into Virginia Beach, specifically Town Center or Rosemont. The ongoing transit extension study has taken many twists and turns throughout the past several months, and now it’s come down to the wire as Virginia Beach city leaders decide on the next stage of the study. Unfortunately, the rail haters have mobilized and are threatening to kill off the entire process by convincing the Virginia Beach City Council to go for the dreaded “No Build” option instead of selecting a Locally Preferred Alternative for the ongoing transit extension study. If this happens, Virginia Beach stands to be set back anywhere from 20 to 50 years when it comes to public transit and providing better transportation choices. Any such setback will also jeopardize the Naval Station Norfolk extension study, as well as other transit expansion efforts in the area.