Friday, October 16, 2009

Transit Notes October 16, 2009

Today's full itinerary (a medical appointment, lunch & matinee, and a couple errands) made for an 11 bus day. Some notes from it all:

1. It was the first time I had rode the first Outbound Route 20 of the morning, which goes through Pembroke East at 5:45 A.M. We fluctuated around a dozen passengers. It was a tight group, as the regulars and the Operator knew each other and chatted as friends.

2. Taking Route 29, I stumbled onto an alarming occurrence: the bus stop at Lynnhaven Mall has temporarily been moved to the rear, with Mall access via the backdoors to the Food Court. (I hadn't seen a HRT Passenger Alert on it.) The huge problem: Route 29 already runs regularly late, so the additional few minutes to loop behind the Mall is a disaster. Even in the quiet of the morning, we were late arriving at the TCC - Virginia Beach Transfer Center.

Route 26 and 29 passengers should cushion their riding itineraries to handle possible late buses. (Routes 26 and 29 are presently serviced with the same three buses, with them flipping routes at TCC.)

3. I took the MAX into downtown Norfolk. With it's schedule being reduced in the off-season, it was the last day of midday Route 960 service until May. If only this had happened earlier: 11 passengers were on our trip. (Decent midday loads could have saved the 960.)

4. Preparing to leave downtown Norfolk, I had to grin when I saw the bus approaching on Route 310. It was Bus 511, the same vehicle I rode on that early Outbound 20 trip.

Today's movie was Capitalism: A Love Story. I liked it better than either of the two previous Michael Moore films I had seen: it has neither the flimsy and transparent propaganda of Fahrenheit 9/11 nor was over-the-top like Sicko. Even where I disagreed with Moore on government policy, I enjoyed the humor he aimed at his targets. In this movie, Moore is fairly open about his political goal: cooperative socialism. (For those on the fringe right who love to throw around the word "socialism" to attack any spending you oppose, there's a clear difference between cooperative socialism, state socialism, and traditional American liberalism.) Regardless of your politics, if you opposed the recent Federal bailouts, you'll like Moore's skewering of them.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't you wish you could have rode LR into downtown instead of the slow 960?!

grayson.savage said...

Hey, quick question.

Will there be feeder busses to get from Sentara Leigh to Newtown St? Middletown Arch to Ingelside St.? ODU to EVMS St.? 21st. st to Monticello St.? Etc.???

Thanks.

Michael Ragsdale said...

Speifically:

1. Leigh to Newtown Station: Route 20 (Existing)
2. Middletown Arch to Ingleside: No (Ingleside is a Walk-up, no bus connections and no parking)
2. ODU to EVMS: Route 4A (Proposed)
3. 21st Street (Ghent/Colley Ave end): Route 4A (Proposed), to EVMS Station
4. 21st Street (US-460/Granby St end): Routes 1 & 3 (Existing)

Note: 21st Street proper is proposed to be served by Route 4B, which will head towards Downtown Norfolk (Harbor Park Station?)

Michael Ragsdale said...

(oops, minor spelling - Google let us do comment editing!)

Anonymous said...

Oh, so the bus feeder system on the Tide's website is still the plan? That's good to know. I hope they have everything ready and get the information out so people know about the service.. And I hope they have system maps at all the stations.

Anonymous said...

Woah guys the 20 is running until 1AM starting today!!!!!!!!!!! And every 9-10 minutes at rush hour

Avenging Archangel said...

Anon 1:23,

1. The last 20s come through my neighborhood after Midnight already.

2. The 20 every 9-10 minutes peak? So instead of 2-4 late buses each hour we have 6? That's brilliant - NOT!

The problems with the 20 are volume and stop-and-go traffic on VB Blvd. That's why transit down the NS ROW is a must.

grayson.savage said...

Yeah, imagine LR moving 50+mph making your trip 3X faster than the current #20 in comfortable LRV. Let HRT know that the Virginia Beach extension needs to have three car stations. That's going to be a heavily travelled LR route. At least 20,000/day

Max Shapiro said...

Instead of light rail we should have gotten a bus only lane. Would be done by now, cheaper, and way more efficienct.

Anonymous said...

Extra buses? Uh, get your head out of the sand!

One LRT vehicle can carry about 4 bus loads of people

VaRider said...

A bus lane? You've got to be joking. LR carrys over 200 people on ONE Train, one bus is lucky to hold 40. Busses burn gasoline and diesal fuel which pollutes the air and makes people sick. LR runs on renewable electric energy.

Max Shapiro said...

LR costs huge amounts of money and our city has proven that they are undeniably unqualified to build them. Seen the pylons on 264 where the LR crosses the water? They didn't account for high tide the first time they were put in. The city didn't hire a LR specialist until halfway through.

A bus lane can have more than one bus on it. Buses will be late far less often, if a bus breaks down we can move it, you can't move a broken down LR. LR only goes to newtown road, VB could have been convinced to build a bus lane easily.

There are many more problems with LR. I am totally in favor of mass transit, I take the bus everywhere. I just think LR as it is going to be implemented in Norfolk is a joke. I'm still going to ride it, but there are better uses for our resources.

Anonymous said...

Max Sharipo, I guarantee you once LRT is up and running and you see the reliabiity, you will have changed your mind. Please do share your experiences next year. Will you be an everyday LR rider?

Sarah McNeil said...

@Max:

I take it you've never been on our buses before. Due to traffic they can be late quite often (believe me, I ride the 15 every weekday on Military Hwy between Johnstown Rd & Military Circle - we're lucky if we're only 20 minutes late sometimes)

Sarah McNeil said...

And another thing: one 40 foot bus (the same length as a school bus) can get very crowded, very easily.

For example: I saw this picture of the 15 leaving Military Circle heading to the Naval Station, and it's not even rush hour yet:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/raggiesoft/3460313273/in/set-72157616052946398/

VaRider said...

Do any of you guys think we will meet or exceed ridership projections in the first year?

Anonymous said...

Too Bad the LRT is not going to the Naval Base or Military Circle

Avenging Archangel said...

Anon 9:24,

Phase 2B is to go to the Navy base.

Michael Ragsdale said...

Concerning Military Circle: There will be the following connections (proposed):

* Military Hwy Station: Routes 15 and 23

* Newtown Road Station: Route 20