The official board change at Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) was on July 11, but most of the heavily impacted routes didn't have Sunday service. Therefore, July 12 was the day for things to happen.
Here in Virginia Beach Route 36 became the first mainline route off of Virginia Beach Boulevard in our City to have evening scheduled service since 2001. Given the historic nature of the occasion, I rode that first 36 to TCC and back. While the loads were down from what you would see during the day, I was pleased to see people in the corridor already changing their daily schedule, knowing they now had evening bus service.
The Operator drove my home Route 20 in 2004, when I first started riding regularly again. He later drove Route 23, which I ride second most-often. Therefore, he, others, and I had some good conversation. The subject list is long and intriguing: the Arabs' enslavement of Africans, documents of the Founding Fathers, conservative talk radio, slavery in America, Abraham Lincoln, Lindsay Lohan (twice), the 2nd Congressional District race, the Emancipation Proclamation, LeBron James, and others. You get the drift: we were having an enjoyable evening.
The only real issue we had was upon arrival at the Pembroke East Transfer Center. The Outbound 20 (which another passenger needed) pulled out while we were making the loop around Corporation Drive. My Inbound 20 was running late, so I made my transfer.
I went to TCC - Virginia Beach on Monday morning to observe what was happening with the reconfiguration of Routes 26 & 29. I was there for three lineups (8:45 - 10:45 A.M.), noting:
1. The big event was on my 36 getting there. It was the Operator's first morning driving the 36, and she got lost on the approach to TCC. We regulars had to guide her into the lineup.
2. I saw 1-2 people each lineup still looking for the 29 at TCC. However, a problem that small is manageable.
3. Riding the new loop Route 26, I saw that the 26 enters Lynnhaven Mall twice: once on it's way to the Oceana West Industrial Park, then again as it leaves. With a time point layover off of International Parkway, there's enough time that someone could run quickly into the Mall for something on the first pass, and still catch the same bus on the second pass.
That's what I saw on July 12. Anyone notice anything off on Monday?