The Transportation District Commission of Hampton Roads (TDCHR), the governing board of Hampton Roads Transit (HRT), met this afternoon.
Norfolk's light rail Starter Line is about 30% complete, and track and ties should begin to be laid on the eastern portion later next week. Promotion standees reading "The Tide Is Rising" and holding brochures will begin appearing in Norfolk locations.
The awarding of the contract for the Virginia Beach light rail DEIS has been delayed until April. HRT expects to have a pricing proposal from the most qualified bidder late next week.
HRT is running more than $2.2 million under it's Operating Budget for FY 2009.
The draft Operating Budget for FY 2010 has been trimmed to the point where it is less than an .1% increase over FY 2009. First, a one year amendment has allowed state capital funds (which will be supplanted by Federal stimulus money) to be moved to operations. Second, $1 million in Federal funds have been received from the MPO. Third, the termination of Hampton neighborhood service will allow that money to be shifted. Fourth, 7 positions (3 vacant) have been eliminated.
There was a Presentation on the regional Mass Transit Vision Plan, which is scheduled to be released next week. There may be a second round to the process to deal with the Plan's shortcomings.
Some online have wondered where HRT got $5 million from to help with the purchase of the Norfolk Southern Right-Of-Way in Virginia Beach at the same time the system is facing possible service cuts. The money is Federal Section 5307 funds, which couldn't be used for bus operations.
Finally, the next meeting of the TDCHR will be April 23 in Hampton at HRT headquarters at 1:30 P.M.