This afternoon the Transportation District Commission of Hampton Roads (TDCHR), the governing board of Hampton Roads Transit (HRT), held it's April meeting.
The top story was the granting of a contract for the Study of two extensions to Norfolk's light rail Starter Line. The one is the Alternatives Analysis (AA) and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Newtown Road to the Dome site in Virginia Beach, the other is the AA for Eastern Virginia Medical School to the Navy base in Norfolk. The AA is only included for the latter given that there are a number of possible alignments. In Virginia Beach, the purchase of the Norfolk Southern Right-Of-Way pretty much cements that routing.
It was a historic occasion. Not only was Debbie Messina of The Virginian-Pravda covering the meeting (as usual), but WAVY-TV sent a camera crew. That's the first time I've seen a television crew at a TDCHR meeting.
Staff has proposed eliminating MAX Route 963. In addition, they want to pare down Route 960 during the off-season to weekday rush hour service only. There will be a Public Hearing on the changes at the May 28 TDCHR meeting. Opposition to the 960 changes is expected from Virginia Beach Resort Area businesses.
The TDCHR entered into a Comprehensive Agreement for Phase I of a new Southside facility. The new building would provide maintenance and operations space, replacing the current structures, which are over a century old and originally designed for streetcars.
In related news, the TDCHR agreed to a lease on the former Ford Launch Facility on Indian River Road to house maintenance and operations during construction. The lease is for two years with a six month option. The Launch Facility is part of the former Ford plant.
Finally, MV Contract Transportation was awarded a contract to provide paratransit for the next three years, with two subsequent one year options.