Friday, June 12, 2009

MAX Routes 960 and 963

Maybe dry for non-bus riders, but this has been a big issue in transit circles recently. Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) had proposed eliminating Route 963, and running Route 960 only on weekdays at peak periods October - April. Today HRT's Operations & Oversight Committee (O & O) met to hear Staff's final recommendations to report to the full Transportation District Commission of Hampton Roads (TDCHR).

963 riders and their families (Yes, you Jessica) can breath a sign of relief. Only 1 of the 3 trips on the 963 will be eliminated. 2 of 3 runs between the Hampton Transportation Center and the Navy base in Norfolk will be maintained. Route 963 will be monitored closely thereafter for 6 months to determine if other tweaks are necessary.

The 960 was the disappointment. Staff's recommendation was approved with two caveats. First, two trips each direction will be kept on off-season weekends for Resort Area workers. Second, Staff will study adding Town Center to Route 960. The latter was pushed by Commissioner John Uhrin, Chairman of O & O.

Therefore, October - April Route 960 will look quite different. On weekdays it will have Route 962's template. On weekends it will look like former Route 24 in the off-season. Disappointing.

Next up for bus service in Virginia Beach: boosting to meet the Beach's own Federally-mandated light rail requirements, plus feeding into Norfolk's Starter Line.

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