Wednesday, November 28, 2007

RAC TPPC Votes To Replace Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs)

This morning the Resort Advisory Commission's Transportation, Pedestrian, and Parking Committee (TPPC) voted to ask Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) to replace the Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs) in the Resort Area that sell tickets for the VBWave Oceanfront trolleys. The machines were only suppose to suffice until Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) came online. With BRT dead and the machines suffering from the salty sea enviroment, they have become a maintenance headache.

HRT came to the TPPC meeting with a reccomendation to discontinue the TVMs, selling tickets through Resort retail establishments and hotels. Resort Area business interests want both the TVMs and retail sales. The suggestion was to pay for the TVMs out of a Federal grant for BRT that has never been spent by HRT. HRT wants to use the funds to buy a hybrid bus for trolley replacement.

Council of Civic Organizations RAC representative Henry Ryto pointed out that if HRT's ongoing fare study (due out in January) introduces a day pass on buses, then the TVMs become redundant. However, the fare study reccomendations won't be implemented before July 1, 2008, so even Ryto's line would require the current TVMs be kept for another year.

The TPPC asked for the purchase of new machines, with Ryto the lone "No" vote.

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