Saturday, September 26, 2009

Draft COA Meetings

Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) held meetings on it's draft Comprehensive Operations Analysis (COA) this week, Wednesday in Norfolk and Thursday evening in Hampton. The COA examined existing mainline bus service and suggested where it could be improved. The COA was done by HNTB Corporation, a consultant.

The essential difference between the two meetings was on area of public comment. In Norfolk, people were more interested in establishing improved general service parameters and asking questions about HRT's Transit Riders Advisory Committee (TRAC). In Hampton, feedback largely was giving ideas where individual routes could be made better.

Despite great efforts by HRT to promote the meetings, attendance wasn't very good in numbers. As one Staffer said prior to the Hampton meeting, riders won't say a word until the day changes are actually implemented....then they'll scream. HRT featured the meetings on their website, their Facebook page, posted fliers at bus transfer centers, ran announcements on the buses' ACS systems, etc.

The sideshow of the two days happened in Hampton when a woman as insane as Reid Greenmun showed up late. First she sat down, a minute later stood up, pulled out a piece of paper and announced "I want to give a speech." She then started on about particular Operators and Customer Service personnel, never coming to a conclusion. She thought she could do a better job at running the buses, so twice announced she wanted to be named President of HRT. Finally, she got on top of her table and blathered about the psychological differences between men and women. (Yeah, men don't make fools of themselves in COA meetings....) Order was restored when a HRT Staffer got her out of the room to speak to her individually, allowing the consultants to continue with their Presentation.

Personally, I like the vast majority of the changes proposed in the COA. How many revisions are made before it goes to the TDCHR for approval, and what will they be?

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