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Norfolk Light Rail and Transit


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Amtrak will add a 3rd Norfolk to DC train sometime this year. https://www.pilotonline.com/news/transportation/vp-nw-passenger-rail-hampton-roads-buttigieg-northam-20210331-zdpqhmjqzfe5rcioi3brqor

Once it's 4 lanes, then people will really see why a third crossing is needed

They focus too much on bus service. There is and always will be a stigma on using the city bus. Enough of the light rail studies and get it done already. 

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Depending on what they do with Military Circle, I'd like to see 8A past the airport, as it passes that shopping area, even if it has seen better days. I also like 4a down Monticello. I think that would be perfect as it's a straight shot from downtown Norfolk.

I'm with you on 8a... I like the idea of connecting Military Circle, Janaf, NIA, Wards Corner, and the Naval Base.  There's potential for a revitalization of Wards Corner as an "Uptown" area with the rail passing through.  The stretch between the airport and Wards Corner would be kinda dead unless developments were to sprout up around the train stations.  As far as the West End is concerned, I'm indecisive as to favor 2a or 3a.  2a would connect ODU with EVMS (wouldn't that merger be great) and 3a would incorporate Ghent's 21st street.  Both would get me to work (ODU) without having to transfer from train to bus  :good:

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With it being the largest school in Hampton Roads, the football team being FBS/I-A now, and major events at The Ted, there definitely needs to be a stop at ODU. Hampton Blvd. is messy enough without special events, esp. now that people are probably taking the HRBT to avoid the Midtown Tunnel tolls.

 

As for the LRT expansion to the Peninsula, I'm definitely in favor. I'm just not sure whether I'd rather see that first or the third crossing. Part of me says the latter, and focus on expanding LRT to the Beach and Chesapeake.

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With it being the largest school in Hampton Roads, the football team being FBS/I-A now, and major events at The Ted, there definitely needs to be a stop at ODU. Hampton Blvd. is messy enough without special events, esp. now that people are probably taking the HRBT to avoid the Midtown Tunnel tolls.

 

As for the LRT expansion to the Peninsula, I'm definitely in favor. I'm just not sure whether I'd rather see that first or the third crossing. Part of me says the latter, and focus on expanding LRT to the Beach and Chesapeake.

Agreed. Any expansion of the light rail that does not connect to ODU in some way is IMO a failure. Though I would also like to see the Military Highway area connected eventually too. But ODU has to be the next biggest priority outside of the base.

 

As for light rail to the Peninsula.... meh. I don't think the benefits would outweigh the MASSIVE cost. I think a better idea would be a high speed ferry to get those from the light rail to the Peninsula and then BRT on the Peninsula itself. Outside of the Shipyard, Peninsula Town Center, City Center, and MAYBE Downtown Hampton, there just isn't a whole lot on the Peninsula. I don't see it extending all the way to Williamsburg or JCC.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Agreed. Any expansion of the light rail that does not connect to ODU in some way is IMO a failure. Though I would also like to see the Military Highway area connected eventually too. But ODU has to be the next biggest priority outside of the base.

 

As for light rail to the Peninsula.... meh. I don't think the benefits would outweigh the MASSIVE cost. I think a better idea would be a high speed ferry to get those from the light rail to the Peninsula and then BRT on the Peninsula itself. Outside of the Shipyard, Peninsula Town Center, City Center, and MAYBE Downtown Hampton, there just isn't a whole lot on the Peninsula. I don't see it extending all the way to Williamsburg or JCC.

ODU yes, just not sure how if the routes make sense financially. sounds like a like razing and a lot of imminent domain.

Also, this would get a good time for Norfolk to get a handle on its key spots in the city that does not include downtown. The options planned for LRT could be nice if it were points in between that made sense. this would be a good time to look at Military circle, wards corner and all the potential routes and areas and look at how to maximize the areas and use of LRT. Janaf could be something really special with all the modern designs these days. Having LRT route through that potential is big. Of course the airport...

Edited by brikkman
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  • 11 months later...

I still don't get why they didn't use the land near Harbor Park. That stretch of Park Ave. isn't that heavily traveled, and it would complement the Amtrak station. Instead, you go for an area that's already horribly congested.

 

I really don't want to be "that guy" who says typical Norfolk but...

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I think that Greyhound seems to get lost in all the transportation talks in the city. The terminal is old and in need of renovation if they plan on keeping it open.

 

It would make sense to include them in any talks of a transportation hub in the city.

 

Finally, this property is a prime location for development. Couple this property with the old golden triangle property and you have some fantastic options to expand downtown.

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I think that Greyhound seems to get lost in all the transportation talks in the city. The terminal is old and in need of renovation if they plan on keeping it open.

 

It would make sense to include them in any talks of a transportation hub in the city.

 

Finally, this property is a prime location for development. Couple this property with the old golden triangle property and you have some fantastic options to expand downtown.

Why would Greyhound want to move?  Yes, their building is old, dirty, and in need of renovation.  But it's cheap.  A new terminal would cost big bucks.  Are any potential passengers thinking "I'd take the bus, but their Norfolk terminal is so dingy.  No, I think I'll fly instead."? Or, "I was going to fly or take the train, but now that Greyhound has a brand spanking new terminal, I guess I'll take the bus instead."? Or even, "Now that I can get Greyhound right at the bus transfer station, I'll go with Greyhound."  I don't see any incentive for Greyhound to leave their Shangri La on Brambleton.

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Why would Greyhound want to move?  Yes, their building is old, dirty, and in need of renovation.  But it's cheap.  A new terminal would cost big bucks.  Are any potential passengers thinking "I'd take the bus, but their Norfolk terminal is so dingy.  No, I think I'll fly instead."? Or, "I was going to fly or take the train, but now that Greyhound has a brand spanking new terminal, I guess I'll take the bus instead."? Or even, "Now that I can get Greyhound right at the bus transfer station, I'll go with Greyhound."  I don't see any incentive for Greyhound to leave their Shangri La on Brambleton.

I totally disagree with you here! I recently took a Greyhound trip to Pittsburgh and there were quite a few passengers waiting on several buses there. I can understand what you are saying about it being cheap and all; nonetheless, that property is way too valuable and will eventually be served notice to renovate or move. Besides, I would think that Greyhound would do much better if they were part of an transportation hub and would be viewed more positively by more people. The cost of Greyhound travel is still quite a bargain for 2015.

 

Please don't get me wrong here, I love Amtrak also and do most of my travel this way instead of driving. The price of Amtrak is a bit steeper and the room prices are ridiculously high most of the time. Greyhound gets you to your destination a bit faster when going on long trips even including the layovers. Your butt may be a little worn out from all the sitting; nonetheless, it is a great way to meet people on the plus side.

 

I honestly don't know how much Greyhound would have to pay to occupy space in a new Union Station type development for Amtrak, Light-Rail, and Greyhound but it offers them a chance to to promote something new and even an expanded with a restaurant service once again.

 

Finally, perhaps Greyhound would qualify for state funding just like Amtrak since it serves as a mode of mass transportation in our region.

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  • 1 month later...

This is not a good article. While I think Norfolk is committed for the long haul, and will finish the extension to the naval base regardless, I think the Va. Beach extension is still tenuous. Too many articles like this will kill light rail to Va. Beach. The pilot just gave the naysayers a gold mine. We will never hear the end of this. I'm interested to hear what the official response will be.

 

http://hamptonroads.com/2015/06/tide-biggest-money-loser-passenger-country

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I really question the Pilot's stance sometimes. Of course it'll lose money when it only goes through downtown, and a couple miles beyond that. Unfortunately, that info is probably never mentioned.

 

Pilot just gave the naysayers all the ammo they need to keep this area small-time. The article itself really sounds like a non-story.

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  • 2 weeks later...

From the WVEC article...

The Commonwealth Transportation Board Wednesday dedicated more than $7 million over the next six years to pay for the study. The money will be available July 1, when the new fiscal year begins.

Six years? Am I misunderstanding things? I thought they wanted to have the expansion complete by the end of the decade, 2018 or '19 at the latest?

Edited by BFG
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From the WVEC article...

Six years? Am I misunderstanding things? I thought they wanted to have the expansion complete by the end of the decade, 2018 or '19 at the latest?

I think that timeline is for VB's extension to Town Center. The extension to the Navy Base is further behind. Though I'll admit six years to complete the study seems a bit ridiculous. Even assuming they start construction in 2021 (and if the study is a 6 year study, it won't), we're probably not looking at functional light rail to the navy base for another 8 or 9 years.

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Somewhat related to the Tide, Amtrak will move back the departure time of the weekday trip to DC from the horrible time of 5 am to 6:10 am. 

http://hamptonroads.com/2015/08/amtrak-moving-weekday-departure-norfolk-washington-train

For what it's worth, the Tide still won't make it from Newtown Rd. to Harbor Park in time for the departure. HRT needs to start the runs from Newtown and EVMC at 5:30 am instead of 5:55 and 5:59, respectively.

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For what it's worth, the Tide still won't make it from Newtown Rd. to Harbor Park in time for the departure. HRT needs to start the runs from Newtown and EVMC at 5:30 am instead of 5:55 and 5:59, respectively.

Talk to the City of Norfolk to pay for additional/expanded service times.

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I think that the hours should be expanded for the Tide. Overall, the hours need to be expanded for all HRT modes of transportation. I would ride a bike to work, but the downtown ferries don't run early enough for me to get to work on time!

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