The Transportation District Commission of Hampton Roads (TDCHR), the board that governs Hampton Roads Transit (HRT), met on Thursday afternoon.
The most interesting news is that Suffolk has agreed in principle to reintegrate it's local bus service into HRT's network. Suffolk has been leasing buses from HRT, putting it's own drivers on, and operating the routes separately. Talks will now be needed to tackle the details of the change.
The big news of the day was the awarding of the contract for the construction of catenary lines and other electrical work on Norfolk's light rail starter line. Please note, Flat Earthers: the contract is 5.3% below budget!
In fact, only one contract (Contract 40) has come in markedly over budget. That's for the track work from Harbor Park to EVMS, and it's only high because Norfolk decided to do utility work while the impacted streets are torn up. Remove the utility work and there is no cost problem.
Commissioners were warned about fuel costs. While fuel accounted for only 15% of HRT's FY 2008 Budget, by FY 2010 it's projected to be 20%.
Commissioner Jim Wood spoke of a story by Joe Bouchard, former commander of Norfolk NOB and now Delegate from the 83rd District. Traffic in the region is so bad that the Navy was flying
some from Norfolk NOB to Oceana NAS. It's Bouchard's hope that light rail can be extended to allow that trip to be made by train.
Finally, the postponed TDCHR Retreat has been rescheduled for November 7 & 8 at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott.