Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mass Transit To Busch Gardens

Having made the trip to Williamsburg by mass transit buses, I thought I'd post the directions for anyone wanting to go with the season just around the corner. I'll give the directions coming from South Hampton Roads:

1. Take Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) Route 961 to the Newport News Transportation Center (NNTC).

2. From there, take HRT Route 107 to Patrick Henry Mall.

3. Travel HRT Route 116 the length of the route: from Patrick Henry Mall to Lee Hall.

4. At Lee Hall, take the Gray Line of Williamsburg Area Transport (WAT) to Busch Gardens.

Heading towards Williamsburg, get off at the stop at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. The England entrance of Busch Gardens is within sight. Heading back, the bus stop is on the other side of the road.

There is no WAT service on Sunday. For other Williamsburg attractions, continue on the Gray Line into downtown.

9 comments:

Michael Ragsdale said...

CORRECTION: Get off the #1 at the BG England Parking Lot

Michael Ragsdale said...

And for anyone wishing to travel to Water Country, make a transfer to the Yellow Line at the BG England Parking Lot or WAT Center

HRT travelers in Newport News: the 121 takes you between NNTC and WAT Center twice in the morning and twice in the evening Monday - Friday excluding holidays. Due to internal squabbling, and WAT's mistrust of HRT (who can blame them?), this route hardly runs at all. The 121 stops at:
* NNTC
* Patrick Henry Mall
* WAT Center

Southside Riders outside of Norfolk (excluding 20 and 45 riders): getting back from BG, you better have a ride waiting for you because your cities don't feel people have anything to do in the evenings! Also, be reminded that the last 961 leaves NNTC at 9:15 PM arriving at Shitty Grove at 10:10 PM (the park closes at either 10 or 11 PM depending on what day it is during peak Summer season)

Anonymous said...

Too bad this would never work for me because the last bus to TCC-Chesapeake on the 13 leaves Norfolk at 420.

Michael Ragsdale said...

@Anon: if you're taking the 13, the last one is 5:20, not 4:20. Still, I see your point (I'm over by TCC Va Beach and have the same problem)

Anonymous said...

When will HR get a real transit system, with busses running until 11-12 p.m?

Avenging Archangel said...

Michael,

If you're right about the Inbound Gray Line, then WAT's website is wrong. See their listing of bus stops.

Even were that the case, you're arguing about maybe 50 yards.

As for the 121, the last of the two leaves NNTC at 6:45 A.M., too early unless you're on that very first 961 out of Cedar Grove. However, Monday I did come home on the Inbound 121 that left WTC at 5 P.M.

Michael Ragsdale said...

Henry, this is correct: WAT's website is incorrect (unless they changed it)

The Grey Line (Route 1*) serves Busch Gardens England Charter Bus Pickup/Drop-off in both directions, and even has an official WAT bus stop sign. They even have time built in to the schedule to allow for this, which is why your Grey Line was already waiting on Elmhurst when your 116 arrived - it didn't need the Busch Gardens time. Think about it from a tourist point of view: why would you want to ride back to WAT Center via Newport News?

WAT only enters the park when open for the public. The bus stop signs you saw on U.S. 60 are for park employees (for which the park is open 24/7/365 mainly for the mechanics, gardeners, animal trainers, and administration staff) which was added, according to one of my then BG-coworkers, when there were complaints from workers needing to enter the park before season started.

Now, as for the Route 1 moniker: When I went to a William & Mary information session, I paid $1.50 for a ride + transfer (there were no day passes then) and the Grey Line that picked me up Elmhurst St, the transfer was marked Route 1. I transferred to the Blue Line at WAT Center (the Grey Line was a bit early so I got to see everyone) - the Blue Line had a passenger load that could give the 71 a run for its money - and my transfer was marked Route 2

Michael Ragsdale said...

As for the walking-distance to England Parking Lot:

What you were unable to see was the entrance's deceptive curve making the distance longer that it would seem (the road curls back on itself and there's no way to cross the "median" - although it looks like you can when viewed on Google Maps, you really can't). This entrance is also the Employee Entrance which is how I'm very familiar with it.

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