Tuesday, June 17, 2008

MAX On Day 2: Much Better

It was Day 2 for Hampton Roads Transit's (HRT) Metro Area eXpress (MAX). I again volunteered at Wards Corner in the morning (7-10 A.M.), then went riding later. Some notes:


Things were much better this morning. A couple slightly late buses, and some people who still didn't know. However, a small fraction of the problems that there were on Monday. Two major issues surfaced:

First, the lack of a MAX 30 Day ED (Seniors and Disabled) Pass. Not only had I argued for one in the March Public Hearing, but in May HRT Staff told the User Citizen Advisory Committee (UCAC) that there would be one...only to retract that statement the following week. It's particularly an issue at Wards Corner as you have disabled veterans passing through en route to the VA Hospital in Hampton.

Second, the schedule for the 961 might be tweaked. The HRT Staffer working with me was from the Planning Department, and she wants to change the schedule to aid transfers at Wards Corner.

Disappointment of the morning: when the driver I was looking at Monday morning came through Tuesday morning, I noticed she was wearing a ring. (All the good ones are spoken for!)


To take a look at the 962, I took it out to Chesapeake Square for dinner. It's a nice route that makes more sense in getting to Suffolk, but only operates at peak periods.

However, it got tied up in Downtown Tunnel traffic. In addition, there were two accidents on the Berkley Bridge on the outbound trip.


The final leg home should have been simple: take Route 20 in from Cedar Grove. However, with free service on the new MAX, a three bus routing struck me: 960 Cedar Grove to Silverleaf, 36 Silverleaf to Pembroke East, and then the 20 home. The funnier part is that a lady on board the 960 had the same idea.

The 960 was late to Silverleaf, getting caught first on St. Paul in downtown Norfolk, then an accident obstructed the ramp getting off of I-264. The good news: the 36 was even later, so I still caught it.

HR Transit Idea's Michael Ragsdale was at Silverleaf when I arrived, and we talked about Tuesday morning's events at Silverleaf. (See his blog.)


Anonymous said...

So Henry, when the 922 starts up is HRT going to kill off the 22 or is it going to run in addition? I'm looking at the 30 day fare differences between 50 dollars and 95 dollars for basically the same route service.

The way I see it, if one rode in on the max and had a reason to use the standard buses, they would need to purchase two different fare cards. That to me is an expensive drawback to establishing a viable transportation solution. If someone is going to pay 95 bucks for a 50 dollar service, they should be able to use Max passes on all HRT buses. The reason I'm asking is because I may be reassigned to NOB, giving me an opportunity to finally use bus service, but HRT's website isn't clear at all on what you are getting for 95 dollars. I'm really trying to keep an open mind on this, but paying for two separate passes is not convincing.

Avenging Archangel said...


No, you'll only need one farecard.

MAX farecard - will work on anything HRT, including mainline, the Elizabeth River ferry, and the shuttles.

Mainline - can be used on the MAX, but the $1.50 upgrade needs to be paid. Therefore, if you're going to use the 922 for work, the best bet is to buy the MAX 30 Day.

Granted, the improvement isn't as pronounced on the Navy base expresses. However, you can use your MAX 30 Day on anything, anytime, unlimited.

Avenging Archangel said...

I wasn't direct on one thing: when the 922 comes online, the 22 will disappear.

Anonymous said...

That's the answer I was looking for. Maybe you can get HRT to make that a little more clear on their website. I'm in the early stages of putting together a company fare share proposal, a small test bed here, but a huge international presence. The commuter check plan seems to be something I can build around, but convincing the beancounters may be a challenge.