The Transportation District Commission of Hampton Roads (TDCHR) is the governing board of Hampton Roads Transit (HRT). It held it's June meeting today, and there was great news for we Virginia Beach residents.
With the Fiscal Year (FY) ending June 30, there was the election of new TDCHR Officers for the next year. Under the rotation, Norfolk had the Vice Chair in FY 2009 (Randy Wright), with Norfolk scheduled to get the Chair in FY 2010. Virginia Beach was slated to get the Vice Chair in FY 2010, then the Chair in FY 2011. Randy Wright passed a year on the Chair, and the new TDCHR Chairman is [drum roll, please] Jim Wood. Why? Wright wants to be Chairman when Norfolk's light rail Starter Line comes online. Passing now gives Wood the TDCHR Chairmanship as the Beach's light rail Study begins. Everyone was happy with the swap.
The revised TDCHR By-Laws were presented to the Commission, with a vote for adoption scheduled for the July TDCHR meeting. No major issues were raised.
One of the changes in the new By-Laws will be a Public Comment period before TDCHR meetings at least quarterly (2 on the Southside, 2 on the Peninsula). Virginia law holds that a citizen does not have a right to address a board or commission unless a public hearing is being held. However, HRT Staff has been wanting to include more public comment in the wake of the MPO's scathing Federal review. Therefore, this mechanism was drafted.
Yes, the Commission approved the changes to MAX Routes 960 and 963. However, the wording of the Resolution leaves open the door to off-season midday 960 service should a study show that adding Town Center would make such a route feasible.
At the end of May, HRT was $1.2 million under Budget with just a month to go.
Virginia Beach's light rail Community Advisory Committee (CAC) is slated to hold it's first meeting probably in early August. The hope had been late July, but meeting all the Federal rules may push it back some.
Finally, best wishes to Commissioner Paul Riddick of Norfolk, who is recovering from knee replacement surgery.