Yesterday I made my third trip to Williamsburg via mass transit. I went out to New Town to see a matinee showing of The Town, a great movie. Like my previous off-season trip. service on Williamsburg Area Transport (WAT) left me gushing.
The Summer tourist season strains WAT. However, riding WAT in the off-season versus riding Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) is effectively the difference between flying First Class (WAT) and Coach (HRT). I hope that HRT doesn't absorb WAT through some merger in the name of Regionalism. That would destroy the better culture.
Michael Ragsdale of HR Transit Ideas once told me the only time in his life he was sad to see a HRT bus was when the 121 arrived at the Williamsburg Transportation Center (WTC) for the express run out. (Route 121 is a weekdays rush hour only express bus between WTC and the Newport News Transportation Center via Patrick Henry Mall.) WAT had pampered him so much he knew it would be a letdown to get back on HRT again.
Phillip Shucet will probably leave HRT next year, with a CEO search committee already having been formed and held it's first meeting. I certainly hope the TDCHR takes a close look at WAT's Mark Rickards as the potential replacement.