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.
MAXing OUT THE EXPERIENCE
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.)