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Newport News Now

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Newport News Now is a daily e-newsletter that launched in March 2016. Articles that ran in our newsletter between March 2016 and March 2018 are available on these pages. Newsletters produced beginning in April 2018 can be viewed on our new daily newsletter page.

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Mar 30

Major Transit Corridor Study Underway for the Peninsula

Posted on March 30, 2016 at 8:32 AM by Communications Department

The Hampton Roads Transit Authority (HRT) is responsible for providing transit service in Newport News and other cities on the Peninsula. This is an all bus service in this area but HRT does operate a light rail line that serves a part of the City of Norfolk. 3-30 BRT final_SCThe City of Newport News has been interested in a significant enhancement of transit service serving the city. This could come from a study being conducted by HRT. This study is looking at the possibility of establishing a major transit corridor to be served by fixed guideway transit system. Fixed guideway refers to a dedicated path for mass transit, and could include Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), Light Rail or other transit types that are operated along their own pathways. These systems are generally faster and more reliable than traditional buses because they often operate separately from roadway traffic. BRT systems have been utilized in many US and foreign cities to greatly enhance the transit service. Such systems operate similarly to rail lines with stops only at designated stations, a separate right of way from other vehicles, payment at stations and technology that gives the rider real time information about bus arrival and departure times as well as wi-fi service.

HRT has engaged Kimley-Horn Associates to provide an 18-month study of potential fixed guideway transit options for the Peninsula. Newport News is participating in the study and has shared a preliminary mapping of a possible 25 mile long dedicated route through the city. Alternative routes and transit options will be evaluated for ridership, traffic impacts, costs and benefits. While prior studies have focused on light rail systems, the City of Newport News staff believes Bus Rapid Transit seems a much more likely candidate because the overall lower cost and flexibility may be more suited to the area’s distributed ridership and destinations. Focus group meetings will begin immediately and end in June and a public meeting is scheduled for the month of May. The proposed system would include linkages between the key destinations in the Peninsula municipalities. For more information or if you would like to participate in a focus group meeting, contact Bryan Stilley in the Department of Engineering at bstilley@nnva.gov or Britta Ayers in the Department of Planning at bayers@nnva.gov.