Ideas for Hampton Roads Transit has joined the Hampton Roads Public Transportation Alliance

It is official: as of yesterday morning, Ideas for Hampton Roads Transit is now a member of the Hampton Roads Public Transportation Alliance.  I will now blog for them – in addition to here – about my experiences.

First and foremost, my experience riding the bus (and ferry) to and from school.

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HRT TRAC Meeting

Getting Started

Last week, HRT’s Transit Riders Advisory Committee met at the 15th Street boardroom.  As usual, I was kicked to the visitor seating area.

Everyone introduced themselves – even me (as the bus route expert), then down to business.  The minutes from the October meeting were missing in action, so delay in voting to approve those minutes.

Comment from the Co-Chairs

Judith

  • Judith attended each public hearing – except Suffolk
  • The TDCHR (governing board of HRT) meets every fourth Thursday
  • Route issues discussed

Lee

  • Rosetta, the Hampton rep, can no longer attend.  Time for a new Hampton rep
  • Service reports were distributed, and the difference between Service Reports and Customer Assistance Forms were discussed
  • Went over TRAC Guidelines

More Business

TRAC was told that the Service Efficiencies Study Part 1: The Reductions are happening January 22nd.  Service Efficiencies Study Part 2: The Additions (NIGHT BUS SERVICE!!!!) will be discussed later, with a possible timeframe of adding them in around May or June of THIS YEAR

Shitty Grove Parking Lot Relocation

THIS IS THE BEST THING FOR US BUS RIDERS!!!! Shitty Grove relocation is FINALLY starting to proceed.  This is a City of Norfolk led project and they are in the first steps of the process.  Due to limited budgets, this has to be on City-owned land.  Requirements: lights.  BATHROOMS for OPERATORS AND PASSENGERS!!!!!!!!!

I will have much more details come March

Night & Sunday Service in Portsmouth: Coming Soon

As part of a commitment to “ease the pain” of tolls at the Tunnel, the following routes will see substantial additional service:

  • Route 44 Turnpike Rd
  • Route 45 Portsmouth Blvd
  • Route 47 High Street
  • Route 90 River Ferry

The money will be on top of – not instead of – money contributed now by the City of Portsmouth.  By signed contract, this will be at minimum for the length of the tunnel operation license (which is currently 50 years).  Although not yet set in stone, these routes will have service 7 days a week with 15 minute frequency at peak and will run until around 10 or 11 PM (the 45 will continue to run until 12-1 AM as it does today).  Portsmouth, YOU ARE GETTING SUNDAY SERVICE!!

Route 7 Airport: What Went Wrong

Long story short: the Airport Authority started crying like little babies at the very, very last minute.  When I say last minute, I mean “crews were in trucks taking bus stop signs to the airport” last minute.

They were scared they would lose parking revenue.  You know?  Every other airport has bus service.  The big ones even have train service.  Do they complain?  Nope.  GROW UP NORFOLK AIRPORT AUTHORITY.  EITHER YOU SAY “OK” TO HRT OR I WILL FILE AN ADA VIOLATION COMPLAINT.

2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,900 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 32 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Goodbye Suffolk

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Yesterday, I went for a ride with HRT Staff on the final day of HRT operations in Suffolk.  Passengers were mostly taking things in stride, and mostly it was a day of saying goodbyes to everyone.  Beginning Tuesday (because Monday is a Holiday), Virginia Regional Transit will be taking over Suffolk operations.  They will operate Routes 71 and 74 as they were, and is expected to report back with proposals around March or April.

I gave Suffolk Public Works an earful due to the loss of Paul D Camp Community College service, then the HRT staffer explained how the 72 also served a lot of residential that would be losing service as well.

I’ve used VRT’s Mountain Division service plenty of times before and I say: give them a chance to iron the kinks out.  Take it in stride, and I will be back in Suffolk to see how VRT is doing.

New Year Schedule

Your New Year Schedule:

  • New Year Eve: Regular Saturday Schedule
  • New Year Day: Regular Sunday Schedule, but no service on Route 960
  • Day After New Year (Monday): Modified Saturday Schedule. Light Rail will be on a weekday schedule. Buses will be on a Saturday schedule. There will be No 960

Suffolk tomorrow

If I can wake up in time, I will be riding Suffolk buses tomorrow 🙂
—-
I did wake up in time. Will blog tomorrow

GoPass 365: Your Questions Answered

I picked up my TCC GoPass today. OFFICIALLY, they start working in January, however, you know I had to test it, so I purchased an All Day Pass when I got on the bus (to keep myself legal) and then inserted my GoPass into the farebox. It works and it works great!!

Now, let me answer your questions:

  • Q: Can I use it to ride the local bus?
    A: Yes
  • Q: Can I Ride the Tide?
    A: Yes, absolutely
  • Q: How about The MAX?
    A: Ye, even The MAX. No having to pay extra either. MAX rides are included with your GoPass!!
  • Q: Do I need to show proof of eligibility?
    A: Yes. In addition to your GoPass, you must present your ID. Students, this would be your College ID. Employer Passes require that you present your Employer Issued ID.

Now, if only more agencies and employers come on board. If you want to allow your employees or students access to all of HRT’s services, please visit the GoPass page (opens in a new tab). Let’s get the word out 🙂

Weekend Schedule

HRT service on the following schedule:

  • Christmas Eve Saturday: Regular Saturday Schedule
  • Christmas Day Sunday: Regular Sunday Schedule, but NO #960
  • Day after Christmas Monday: Saturday Schedule, NO #960, and The Tide ends at 11 PM. 222-6100 operating 9 am to 4 pm.

Ride the Tide for FREE on Wednesday

HRT CEO Philip Shucet would like to thank all 500,000 (and counting) Tide riders by offering FREE rides on The Tide this Wednesday, December 21st. See announcement on Twitter

Us bus riders (and ferry riders too) are still expected to pay regular fare. Free rides are for The Tide light rail only.

MILESTONE: 500,000 Rides

Today marks a milestone in The Tide: 500,000 rides and HRT CEO Philip Shucet giving out free rides.  Congratulations!!

Take that, boobers who say No One Will Ride!!