Thursday afternoon was the monthly meeting of the TDCHR, the Commission that governs Hampton Roads Transit (HRT). The opening order of business was a Public Hearing on pending Metro Area eXpress (MAX) premium express bus service.
There were only two speakers: Michael Ragsdale of HR Transit Ideas and I. As expected, the TDCHR approved the MAX - but on the condition that Staff look at adjusting it based on the Public Hearing comments. We won half the war on Route 960.
Other news from the TDCHR:
1. It looks like Cedar Grove won't be the new permanent downtown Norfolk TC after all. From CEO Michael Townes' Report, "The downtown transfer center will remain at the Princess Anne Rd.-Monticello Ave. area until a permanent downtown transfer facility which will better integrate with light rail can be planned and constructed in partnership with the City of Norfolk."
Since Cedar Grove can't meet the light rail criteria (too far away), it won't be there.
2. HRT's Operating Budget currently has a $2.77 million surplus. In addition, light rail construction is under budget.
3. A contract was approved to supply 5 Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs) for VBWave trolley service.
4. The hybrid replacement buses for the NET will begin arriving in two weeks.
5. The planned Military Circle Bus Terminal, if things go as planned, will open in November.
6. The design for the new headquarters building on Monticello Avenue has been pared down to get it within budget.
7. Statistic of the Day: HRT's buses use 3.2 million gallons of diesel fuel per year.
8. Please note, Reid Greenmun: HRT is short 96 bus drivers. They're habitually short, so can you bag the conspiracy theories about hiring?