Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Riding With Phillip (And James)

This morning we finally executed an event long in planning: I took Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) President Phillip Shucet bus riding. We left from Cedar Grove on a seven bus journey across South Hampton Roads. HRT Chief Communications Officer James Toscano joined us.

I was asked to plan an itinerary no more than five hours. For my fellow bus riders keeping score at home, we went Cutback Outbound 1 - Cutback Inbound 15 - Outbound 27 - Inbound 1 - Inbound 8 - Cutback Outbound 6 - Cutback Inbound 6. The initial cutbacks were to give us a cushion at rush hour in case we missed a transfer...which we nearly did at Wards Corner. The timing then put us onto the cutbacks for 20th & Seaboard. The double 6s were because we finally did miss a transfer: the Cutback Inbound 13 pulled out yards ahead of us at 20th & Seaboard. Instead, we took the same 6 back to Cedar Grove.

Phillip got to speak to some bus riders individually. Observing both a high floor and a low floor bus doing wheelchair lifts at Cedar Grove, I may have sold him on the idea that HRT should never order another high floor bus. At Cedar Grove he noted the lack of a pedestrian gate onto Princess Anne Road, and the fuel burn by buses idling on Salter Street. (FYI, he prefers to be addressed by his full legal first name, rather than as "Phil" or "Mr. Shucet".)

Being Chief Communications Officer, James spent time checking out the Insider Cards. He was also the note taker for the trip, and snapped some photos, too.

Best of all, we agreed to make this a regular periodic event. If you see us out on some future excursion, please be more talkative than this morning's group.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Since HRT belongs to a group of transit operators that only buys from Gillig: They no longer make the high-floor Phantom, only the Gillig Low Floor (formerly the Gillig Advantage).

The Advantage: older, bigger destination sign (bus 1301 is a good example)
The Low Floor: newer-looking destination sign